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Osborne First Female to Helm Irish Turf Club

Meta Osborne became the first woman at the helm of an international horseracing regulatory body Dec. 18 when she took over as senior steward of the Irish Turf Club.

Osborne, who joined the Turf Club in 2005, replaces Neville O'Byrne in the position and becomes the first female senior steward of the Turf Club in the organization's 225 year history. She is a daughter of the late Michael Osborne, who served as senior steward of the Turf Club from 1994 to 1997.  

Harry McCalmont replaces Osborne as deputy senior steward.

Osborne is a Co. Kildare-based equine veterinarian specializing in the reproduction management of more than 900 mares. She and her husband, Dermot Cantillon, own Tinnakill House Stud in Co. Laois. The farm has raised a trio of group I winners in Alexander Goldrun, Red Evie, and Casamento. Earlier this year, Cantillon was appointed chairman of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing.

"It has been a great year for women in Irish racing and it is nice to round it off," Osborne told Racing Post. "It's also a great reflection on the Turf Club, which is the oldest continuously operating regulatory body in the racing world.

"There are challenges, but I have a good team around me. Every organization must look at itself and what it does and ask, does it carry out its remit? It is exciting to be part of it.

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