12/22/2005 12:00AM

Osborne, international official, dies

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Michael Osborne, one of the world's most respected international racing officials, has died after a short illness. He was 71.

Osborne, who at the time of his death was chairman of The Curragh Racecourse and Training Grounds, had previously been senior steward of the Irish Turf Club and managing director of the Irish National Stud. He also built Sheikh Mohammed's stud farm in Ireland, helped establish international racing in Dubai, and worked in the United States as manager of North Ridge Farm in Lexington, Ky.

As chief executive of the Emirates Racing Association, Osborne "established the Dubai World Cup as a great international race," Sheikh Mohammed said in a statement.

At his death, Osborne was also chairman of the World Racing Championships, which includes such prestigious races as the Dubai World Cup, Hong Kong International Races, and the Breeders' Cup Turf and Classic.