PLENTY of roles changed hands this week throughout the various facets of the Irish sport horse industry.

The most significant departure was that of Director of Breeding at Horse Sport Ireland Alison Corbally, who left the Naas-based organisation after 15 years at the helm of this exceptionally busy department.

Her oft-stated wish was to try to put as much money into the pockets of Irish breeders as possible via Horse Sport Ireland sponsorship or various supportive breeding schemes. But perhaps one of Corbally’s biggest contributions, certainly of our Covid-troubled recent years, was her work with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to help ensure that the Irish sport horse breeding industry could continue to operate during lockdown.

Breeders are, of course, the backbone of the ever colourful Irish sport horse industry as industry stalwarts such as Goresbridge’s Martin Donohoe or Cavan’s Stuart Clarke will readily attest. Trade for Irish-bred horses hit new heights in 2021.

We wish Alison the very best in her next chapter and equally, wish all in Horse Sport Ireland well in this new era. Forwarding the cause of Irish sport horse breeding and breeders, big and small, must take centre stage at HQ.

Turning a new page

There was change too with hardworking Laois farmer and avid hunting man David Lalor replaced in his chairmanship role of the IMFHA by Lord Waterford. David did a sterling job in what became very challenging times for hunting in Ireland and did not shirk from it.

A new page has been turned for hunting insurance and we wish every success to Lord Waterford in his new role.

Meanwhile, Dr Linsey Mason replaces Dr Mary Flannery as HSI’s new Anti-Doping Officer in the crucial ‘Clean Sport’ role.