LONG-STANDING chair of the Association of Irish Riding Clubs (AIRC), Tony Ennis, has stood down from his role at the helm of the body.

Ennis has given a huge amount to the equestrian world through many different avenues. He is ever-present on the front line, as a coach, trainer, dressage judge, show jumping judge and course designer, to name just a few.

He has worked tirelessly on various committees within various equestrian organisations, including Horse Sport Ireland, the Irish Pony Society and the AIRC.

In a statement, the AIRC said: “It is with profound gratitude and heartfelt appreciation that the Board of AIRC wishes to extend their sincerest thanks to Tony Ennis, who has recently stepped down as the Chair of the Board of Directors.

“Tony’s remarkable tenure spanning two decades has been marked by his leadership, dedication and guidance.

“While we bid farewell to Tony in his role as Chair, we are immensely pleased to announce that he will continue to serve on our Board of Directors. His continued presence will undoubtedly provide invaluable insight and continuity as we embark on the next phase of our journey.

“The Board thanks Tony for his extraordinary service and dedication to the Association.”

Ennis officially became the longest-serving chairman of the Association in 2018 after he was re-elected, having first been elected to the post in 2003.

In February 2016, he was the recipient of the Irish Riding Clubs Lancelot Award for his outstanding contribution to the Irish Sport Horse industry.

At that time, he said: “I grew up with the Association. I’ve been part of it for quite a long time and, while lots of other people have come and gone, I’ve kind of stuck with it through thick and thin.

“I’m really there at heart for the ordinary person, who thinks they don’t have a say, but I’m there rooting for them all the way.”