Changes at the top for equestrian federations

Horse Sport Ireland interim CEO Joe Reynolds.
Horse Sport Ireland interim CEO Joe Reynolds. © Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Changes to the management of several leading equestrian nations have been made in recent days, with Ireland, Canada and New Zealand announcing or seeking new leadership.


Horse Sport Ireland has announced that Joe Reynolds is to remain as interim CEO of Horse Sport Ireland for the year ahead.

Reynolds took up the role of interim CEO of Horse Sport Ireland in September 2020.

Horse Sport Ireland Chairperson Professor Mary Lambkin-Coyle said the HSI board felt it was important to have stability to enable the federation to deal with the demanding conditions the industry was facing as a result of the combined challenges of Covid, Brexit and the Olympics.

“We are also in the middle of an ambitious project to create a National Training Centre for the industry at Greenogue Equestrian and it is essential to keep the momentum going to deliver this successfully,” Lambkin-Coyle said.

“Joe Reynolds is doing an exceptional job as interim CEO in managing all of these demands and we feel that we are best served by keeping him in this role through this year, at least until after the Olympics. Thankfully, he is willing to do so and we believe that this is the best course of action right now.”

A permanent CEO was expected to be in the job by the end of 2021.

Reynolds said he was happy to remain in the role — for now. “I am not the long-term solution for this role but I have enjoyed each day of my work since I took over in September. This is such a huge industry with a wide variety of activities and there is a lot of scope for further improvements in terms of developing the industry. I am really excited about what we can achieve over the coming months.”

Equestrian Canada President Meg Krueger is moving to the role of CEO.
Equestrian Canada President Meg Krueger is moving to the role of CEO.

Equestrian Canada (EC) President Meg Krueger will take on the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the federation, after it was announced that Yves Hamelin will step down from his position of interim CEO on January 29, before the planned end of his term in November 2021. Hamelin has accepted the position of vice-president, Performance Services, at l’Institut national du sport du Québec.

According to EC bylaws, vice-president Chris Sorensen will become president until the Annual General Meeting in October 2021.

Krueger’s career in the equestrian industry spans 20 years, during which she managed equestrian venues and events, as well as developed programs from the grassroots to FEI level across several disciplines.

New Zealand

Equestrian Sports New Zealand chief executive Dana Kirkpatrick is to step down at the end of March after six years with the federation. The search for a replacement is under way.

Kirkpatrick said she loved the job but felt it was now time “for someone else to take up the mantle.”.

“It is time for a different perspective, for a new leader in this sport to build on the stable and sustainable platform that ESNZ has become.”

Kirkpatrick began with ESNZ in 2014 as jumping director, and in 2016 she was also named national operations manager, before taking on the chief executive role in November, 2016.

During Kirkpatrick’s time, a complete membership review started the rebuild of the central organisation, followed by a rewrite of the judicial section of the rules, interschools development with Australia, the instigation of drug and alcohol testing, and the Change the Rein champaign.

“I am proud to have made a difference with the Change the Rein campaign which has definitely changed how people behave in our sport and we have been delighted with the take up by other organisations who have come on board to share the principles and messaging,” Kirkpatrick said.

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