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EQUINE SUMMIT: Striving for global excellence
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EQUINE SUMMIT: Striving for global excellence
on 27 October 2017
Four industry leaders from the thoroughbred and sport horse sectors will share their thoughts at the Equine Summit's main discussion

THE main part of the day will be a discussion headed ‘How can we evolve, compete and lead the global equine industry, and can we collaborate to overcome the challenges?’

This will be chaired by Leo Powell of The Irish Field and it will feature contributions from four industry leaders. Here we profile these five participants.


Chairman, Teagasc

Noel is a native of Gurteen, Co Sligo. He was educated at St Nathy’s College Ballaghderreen, University College Galway and University College Dublin. After UCD he completed a post-doctoral programme in Biochemistry/Food Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

He spent three years in the UK with the Guinness organisation. He joined the research team in the Irish Dairy Board in 1974 and served as managing director from 1989 to 2006.

He was chairman of the Irish Horse Board and had been a non-executive director of One51 Plc, IBRC and a number of private companies.

Noel is an honorary life member of the RDS and produces and competes horses from his farm in Co Kildare.


CEO, Horse Racing Ireland

Brian was chief executive of the Turf Club for two years and manager of the Curragh Racecourse and training centre for five years.

Previously he was employed as financial controller of the Turf Club from 1985 to 1989.

He also spent four years working as an accountant for KPMG, after graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting and Finance and a Diploma in Professional Accountancy from UCD.

Since 2008, Brian has acted as vice-chairman on the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. He was also appointed chairman of the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation in 2011.

Brian is married with four children, is an avid racing fan and has a general interest in all sports.


CEO, Horse Sport Ireland

Ronan has worked in the global animal breeding industry for over 20 years. He holds first class honours degrees (B.Agr.Sc. and M.Agr.Sc (An.Sc.)) from University College Dublin where he completed his post graduate masters degree in Animal Science, specialising in equine (stallion) reproductive physiology.

His research on stallion semen preservation has been published in the Journal of Reproduction and Fertility.

Following graduation, he joined Hermitage Genetics in 1997 as managing director and coordinated the strategic growth and development of the Hermitage genetic business in 36 countries or more around the world.

He also was responsible for the research and development programmes which focussed on assisted reproductive technologies, nutrition, genomics and nutrigenomic technologies.

In 2014, Ronan was employed as the CEO and director of Weatherbys operations in Ireland. Ronan joined Horse Sport Ireland as CEO in August of 2017.


Senior Steward, Turf Club

Meta qualified as a veterinary surgeon from UCD in 1983 and now works as an equine vet based in Naas, Co Kildare and her professional focus is mare reproduction.

She and her husband Dermot Cantillon established their own thoroughbred stud in Co Laois in 2002 from which they have produced three Group 1 winners in the past 12 years.

They have a band of approximately 45 broodmares, producing foals and yearlings that are sold at all the major sales in Ireland, the UK and France. She is responsible for the overall veterinary and medical management of the stock on the farm, and for maintaining the farm website.

Meta was president of the Irish Veterinary Association in 1996-’97 and of the Veterinary Council of Ireland in 2005-’06. She also served as chair of the VCI Practice Premises Committee and Legislation & Ethics Committee. Meta is a member of the external advisory board for the School of Veterinary Medicine in UCD.


Editor, The Irish Field (chair)

Leo has a wealth of experience in bloodstock sales and the media. In 2003 he joined The Irish Field, Ireland’s leading equine publication.

He worked for Goffs in a variety of roles and was a member of the board. Leo commenced his professional working life at Tattersalls Ireland.

He has been active in many aspects of the industry, including being a council member of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association and serving as National Hunt chairman; member of the European Sub-Committee of the International Cataloguing Standards Committee, member of the Tote Committee, and board member of Naas Race Company plc. On three occasions Leo has been honoured within the industry. The Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association gave him the Contribution to the Industry Award. The Northern Region of the ITBA honoured him with the Denis Stothers Award, and in 2015 the Association of Irish Riding Clubs presented him with the Lancelot Award.

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