The Irish Horse Board announces exciting move to Goffs in Co Kildare at their AGM

The Irish Horse Board Annual General Meeting was held last week (February 27th) at Bloomfield House Hotel in Mullingar, with many IHB members in attendance generating lively discussion on a wide range of topics.

As one member attending the AGM stated;

“The Irish Horse Board is the only democratic Government-funded breeders organisation, where members can come and have their say at the Annual General Meeting. This is so important going forward.”

In an exciting announcement which was made at the AGM, the Irish Horse Board confirmed that their offices have now relocated to the prestigious Goffs complex, The Paddocks, Kill, Co Kildare. The Irish Horse Board move to Goffs, brings together two well-established equestrian organisations with decades of involvement in the Irish equine sector.

In his opening address, IHB Chairman Tiernan Gill welcomed those in attendance and began by saying:
“It is particularly pleasing for me as your Chairman to address you after what has been our first year of very active operations in many years. 2023 was a significant year for us as we mark the 30th anniversary of the Irish Horse Board. As you know, the Irish Horse Board was established in 1993 as a Co-operative and remains the representative membership body for breeders and producers. Our mandate is to represent you, the breeders, producers and members, in order to ensure the further development of vibrant rural sport horse enterprises and I urge you all to actively contribute through your local regional Board Director to help the Co-op to shape the future of our industry. Working together, we have the power to chart the way forward for the industry to unlock its untapped potential, and create opportunities that will benefit us all.”

Tiernan Gill added:
“The Irish Horse Board put our ‘boots back on the ground’ again last year as we took on responsibility for the promotion and marketing of the Irish Sport Horse industry. This was made possible through the contract awarded to us by the Department of Agriculture, following our successful tender process. As Chairman, on your behalf, I want to thank our Board for their initiative in taking the decision to undertake this exciting challenge and begin what is a new era for the Irish Horse Board. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the Department for their ongoing support for our long established breeders’ representative body and we look forward to collaborating closely with them in delivering for you and for the industry.^

Tiernan Gill concluded by saying:
“The work that we have undertaken would not have been possible without our small team, which was put in place during last year, headed-up by our Director General, Alison Corbally. Alison came on-board at the end of April last, and working in close cooperation with your Board, a lot of work has been done. Structures and promotion and marketing initiatives have been put in place that will underpin the further development of the industry into the future. In a short space of time, we have ‘hit the ground running’ to promote and market the industry worldwide.”

In her address to the AGM, Irish Horse Board Director General Alison Corbally, gave an overview of the structures and current functions of the IHB and said:

“The Irish Horse Board was established by Government in 1993 as the breeder’s representative organisation in Ireland. The IHB retains its original remit to represent breeders in all aspects, in addition to carrying out the Government contract to promote and market the Irish Horse industry.”

The main aims of the Irish Horse board include:

  • Increase the prosperity of those engaged in the horse industry in Ireland by Co-operative action in all aspects of the industry including promotion and marketing.
  • To identify markets and help define breeding goals which best serve these markets.
  • Promote the Irish Horse in these markets.
  • Promote the horse industry as a viable supplementary farm enterprise.
  • Promote the training of breeders in technical aspects of horse production.
  • To assist in the promotion of equestrian tourism.
  • To represent the interest of breeders on various bodies and to co-ordinate matters of concern between the society and other interested parties and groups, including Government Departments.

Alison Corbally outlined how a number of initiatives have been put in place over the past year by the IHB, such as: the establishment of a press office, a new website, social media platforms, attendance at high profile events at home and abroad, working with the main sales providers, engagement and ongoing dialogue with approved studbooks and a hugely successful International Promotion and Marketing Conference held in the Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny last November.

Looking ahead to 2024, Alison Corbally stressed that there was much to look forward to at this exciting time for IHB members, including the move to the new IHB offices in Goffs, and plans for the IHB to facilitate sales videos for private sales, equine businesses and promotion on the IHB website. IHB will also be facilitating horse buying trips for overseas purchasers, to assist increasing sales, along with Increased collaboration with other government agencies and stakeholders. 

The IHB AGM concluded with a sense that the past 12 months has seen the dawn of a new era for the Irish Horse Board and it’s members, with a Board and executive team who are fully committed to ensuring that as the breeders and producers’ representative body, the IHB Co-operative will continue to work to represent the best interests of it’s member shareholders and the overall sport horse industry.