Ireland’s team veterinarian for showjumping and eventing is to step down after 10 years in the role.
Horse Sport Ireland said Marcus Swail had indicated in October that he had decided to step down due to family and work commitments.
Swail, who has been Team Vet since 2003, was Team Vet at three Olympic Games, including last year’s London Games, two World Equestrian Games and several European Championships.
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Damian McDonald said Swail did an outstanding job for the Irish teams and for Horse Sport Ireland. “We had hoped he might reconsider but he had his mind made up. On behalf of Horse Sport Ireland I want to thank Marcus for the contribution he has made.”
Swail said he and his wife, Niamh, have three young children and the role meant he was often away. “While I have thoroughly enjoyed the role it is a huge commitment and requires being away from home a lot. It was a difficult decision to make.
“I have enjoyed working with all the riders, Team Managers Robert Splaine and Nick Turner, and Ginny Elliot before Nick.
“I want to thank all the staff at Horse Sport Ireland. A new professionalism has been brought to the sport in recent years which has already paid great dividends.”
Hugh Suffern will take over as Senior Eventing team vet while Pat Meagher will take over as Show Jumping team vet.
Suffern, who is based in Banbridge Co. Down, acted as team vet in recent years when Swail was unavailable and has been team vet at three previous Olympics.
Meagher, from Tipperary, was team vet at last year’s Paralympics in London. He is a senior FEI veterinarian and has acted as FEI Veterinary Delegate at several international shows, including the Royal International CSIO5* show in Hickstead.