Irishman Joe Osborne, the current managing director of Godolphin in Ireland, will take up the position of interim chief executive of Godolphin’s global operation following the resignation of John Ferguson as chief executive and racing manager – bringing to an end Ferguson’s quarter of a century working for Sheikh Mohammed in various roles.
Following recent reports in the media and an interview in The Racing Post on Monday with Saeed bin Suroor, one of Sheikh Mohammed’s principal horse trainers in Britain, indicating unrest within the Godolphin operation, Ferguson resigned from his position on Tuesday.
In a statement issued to Press Association Sport, Ferguson, a former National Hunt trainer and bloodstock adviser, said: “Given the recent articles in the media, it was clear my position was untenable. At times such as these, what matters is the future and my stepping down will allow everyone to draw a line under things and move forward.”
The Managing Director of Kildangan Stud, Godolphin’s key base in Ireland, Joe Osborne, said in a statement: “We are committed to our objective of achieving success for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and his family. Our thanks go to John Ferguson for his longstanding contribution to Godolphin and Darley.”
Ferguson took charge of Sheikh Mohammed’s racing operation in February 2014 after long-time racing manager Simon Crisford left when the organisation was engulfed in the steroids scandal involving trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni.
Ferguson was appointed chief executive and racing manager in a re-shaped and streamlined Godolphin in December 2015 when the global racing and breeding empires of Sheikh Mohammed were merged into one operation.
At that time, Ferguson was enjoying a successful career as a jumps trainer. He handed in his licence at the end of April 2016, however, in order to devote more time to Godolphin, which has horses in training in Ireland, Dubai, Australia, France, America and Britain.