Horse Sport Ireland appoints new CEO

horse racing ireland Ronan Murphy ceo
9 August 2016; Jonty Evans of Ireland, on Cooley Rorkes Drift, in action during the Eventing Individual Jumping Final at the Olympic Equestrian Centre, Deodoro, during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Horse Sport Ireland has appointed Ronan Murphy as its new CEO, replacing Damian McDonald who held the position since the foundation of the organisation in 2006 until December 2016.

Horse Sport Ireland is the national governing body for equestrian sport in Ireland and has the responsibility of maintaining the Irish Draught and Irish Sport Horse Studbook, issuing passports, marketing the Irish equine industry globally as well as co-ordinating education and high performance programmes.

Murphy, who is expected to take up his position before the end of August, joins Horse Sport Ireland from HSI from Makeway Ltd., the Waterford based Agri-Technology Supply Company.

Previous to this he held the position of CEO in Weatherbys Ireland which is the Keeper of the General Stud Book in Ireland, responsible for the TB Stud Books in Ireland and the U.K. in addition to the Weatherbys Ireland DNA testing laboratory. Murphy previously worked in Hermitage Genetics, a Kilkenny-based company specialising in performance genetics.


“It’s a privilege to be joining the team at Horse Sport Ireland at this exciting and strategically important time for the Irish Sport Horse industry,” said Murphy on his appointment.

“I am looking forward to working closely with all our stakeholders to deliver our strategic plans, build a sustainable industry and to ensure the continued success of the Irish Sport Horse sector around the world.”

Ronan, who is a breeder and competitor in both polo and Show Jumping disciplines, earned a first-class honours degree in agricultural science before completing a masters in equine reproductive physiology.

Horse Sport Ireland chairman Jim Beecher paid tribute to interim CEO James Kennedy while welcoming Murphy to the team.


He said: “I am delighted to welcome Ronan to the dedicated team in Horse Sport Ireland, Ronan brings with him a wealth of experience from the equine and agriculture industry, he is a proven leader and is the right person to bring the organisation forward.

“I would like to thank and recognise the work of interim CEO James Kennedy who has managed the organisation for the last four months. I am also grateful to James for staying on in this position during the coming months.”

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