article banner
Press release

Minister for Agriculture joins a top line-up of speakers for Equine Summit

How the Irish equine industry can work together for global excellence is the central theme the 2017 GAIN Equine Nutrition and Alltech Equine Summit which takes place on Thursday, November 9 in the Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge. Organised in association with Grant Thornton and The Irish Field this is the first time the thoroughbred and sporthorse sectors will come together for a series of presentations and interactive panel discussions with equine experts and industry leaders.

The purpose of the Equine Summit is to reinforce the importance of the equine industry to the overall Irish economy from an employment, export, marketing and education point of view. The exciting line-up of speakers and panellists includes high profile industry figures from the racing, bloodstock and sporthorse worlds. Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, will address attendees of the Equine Summit.

The central theme of the summit, “Striving for Global Excellence” will feature a plenary discussion titled “How can we evolve, compete and lead the global equine industry - can we collaborate to overcome the challenges?” This will be chaired by Leo Powell, Editor of The Irish Field and feature Brian Kavanagh, CEO Horse Racing Ireland; Ronan Murphy, CEO Horse Sport Ireland; Noel Cawley, Chairman Teagasc and Meta Osborne, Senior Steward of The Turf Club.

Attendees will then have the opportunity to attend a break-out session to explore topics specific to the thoroughbred or sporthorse sector. For the sporthorse session the discussion will focus on the theme “How can the Irish sporthorse sector position itself in a changing market?” and will be chaired by Suzanne Campbell, journalist, broadcaster and author. The panel includes Lucinda Creighton, CEO Vulcan Consulting; Cameron Hanley, International showjumper; Johann Knapp, Director KWPN Dutch Stud Book and Oliver Townend, international event rider.

The thoroughbred breakout session will be chaired by Lorna Fowler, thoroughbred breeder and trainer, Rahinstown Stud. It will discuss “What does success look like for thoroughbred breeders, an international viewpoint.” Participants in this session include Jim Bolger, racehorse trainers and breeder, Joe Foley, Ballyhane Stud; Richard Aston, Goldford Stud UK and Brendan Holland, Grove Stud.

Leo Powell, Editor of The Irish Field, who is chairing the plenary discussion commented:

The importance of both the thoroughbred and sporthorse sectors to Ireland’s economy is very significant. Together they are worth some €2.5 billion and provide huge direct and secondary employment throughout the island. This makes it a vital component of both theagricultural and agri-related sectors and this summit will highlight that importance to wider audience.”

Brian Kavanagh, CEO of Horse Racing Ireland, who will speak at the plenary session added: “I’m really looking forward to participating in the Equine Summit. It is through events like this that new ideas are exchanged and discussed and I’m sure it will be a very welcome addition to the equine calendar as we plot our way through the opportunities provided by globalisation and the challenges offered.”

The Equine Summit will kick off at 3pm on Thursday, November 9 with a welcome address from Glanbia Group Chairman Henry Corbally followed by a keynote address from Founder and President of Alltech, Dr. Pearse Lyons. Industry statistics will then be presented by Sasha Kerins, Partner, Head of Agri Food, Grant Thornton before the central plenary discussion commences. Dinner will be served following Minister Creed’s address and the breakout sessions will commence at 6.30pm. View the Equine Summit full agenda for this one-day event here.

Equine Summit Agenda   

Thursday, November 9th 2017

14:15   Registration Opens

15:00   Welcome Address: Henry Corbally, Chairman Glanbia Ireland and Glanbia plc

15:10   Keynote Address: Dr. Pearse Lyons, Founder and President, Alltech

15:40   Presentation of Industry Statistics: Sasha Kerins, Partner, Head of Agri Food, Grant Thornton

16:00   Plenary Discussion:

How can we evolve, compete and lead the global equine industry – Can we collaborate to overcome the challenges?

  • Brian Kavanagh, CEO, Horse Racing Ireland
  • Ronan Murphy, CEO, Horse Sport Ireland
  • Dr. Noel Cawley, Chairman, Teagasc
  • Meta Osborne, Senior Steward, The Turf Club
  • Leo Powell, Editor, The Irish Field (Chair)

17:10 Ministers Address

Michael Creed, Minister for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

17:30 Dinner

18:30 Breakout Sessions

Option 1: Sporthorse Breakout Session

How can the Irish Sporthorse sector position itself in a changing market?

  • Lucinda Creighton, Vulcan Consulting
  • Cameron Hanley, International Showjumper
  • Johann Knapp, Director KWPN Dutch Stud Book
  • Suzanne Campbell, Broadcaster and Journalist, (Chair)

Option 2: Thoroughbred Breakout Session

What does success look like for thoroughbred breeders, an international view point.

  • Jim Bolger, Racehorse Trainer and Breeder
  • Joe Foley, Ballyhane Stud
  • Richard Aston, Goldford Stud, UK
  • Brendan Holland, Grove Stud
  • Lorna Fowler, Thoroughbred Trainer and Breeder (Chair)

Supported by Grant Thornton and The Irish Field, the Equine Summit will take place on November 9th, 2017 in the Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge, Co. Kildare.

Tickets for the event cost €55 (including dinner, booking fee and VAT) and are now available to purchase online at

Avoid disappointment by booking your place now!