Sport Horse Racing

Friday 19 April 2019

Meehan appointed as new CEO amid huge changes at Down Royal

Meehan can call on more than a decade of experience in racing/stadium management and marketing at Dundalk’s hugely successful all-weather track. Stock photo: Getty Images
Meehan can call on more than a decade of experience in racing/stadium management and marketing at Dundalk’s hugely successful all-weather track. Stock photo: Getty Images
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Down Royal have appointed Emma Meehan as their new racecourse chief executive with her role to commence in January coinciding with the dawning of a new era at the Antrim track.

Meehan can call on more than a decade of experience in racing/stadium management and marketing at Dundalk's hugely successful all-weather track and hers is the first appointment under the new management of Merrion Property Group.

Merrion Property Group will take over the day-to-day running of Down Royal from January 1, 2019 while new directors at the track have also been confirmed.

Former director of marketing and communications at Horse Racing Ireland Michael O'Rourke, formerly Ayr/Musselburgh/Ayr racecourse manager Mark Kershaw and leading bookmaker Gareth Graham are part of the new team amid huge changes. Joe Collins - former senior Clerk of the Course for the Irish Horseracing regulatory board (IHRB) - will advise the new personnel as Down Royal stages a full diary of racing for 2019 with the same fixtures and prize money as this year.

Meehan said of her new position: "Down Royal is regarded as the pacesetter for modern racecourses and it is a leading venue here and across the UK. I recognise that taking on the management of the venue is a challenge as well as an exciting opportunity.

"Our aim from day one is to ensure that racegoers continue to enjoy Down Royal and in fact we will enhance the overall Down Royal experience. This is the beginning of an exciting new era for horse racing in Northern Ireland and throughout the island."

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