There was what I believe to be excellent news for breeders and equestrians alike on Friday, with the appointment of Alison Corbally to the role of Irish Horse Board (IHB) director general.

The IHB is a co-operative society with over 30,000 shareholders. It is the representative Co-operative Society for breeders in Ireland and is a member of The Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1893-1978 (as amended) and is an affiliate of Horse Sport Ireland (HSI).

In 2022 The IHB won the tender to deliver sport horse marketing services to the industry from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM). This enables the IHB to re-establish its former role in marketing the Irish Horse for the breeders in Ireland.

As a breeder and producer of sport horses herself, Alison understands the challenges that all breeders face and this practical understanding is an enormous benefit in her interactions with all stakeholders.


Speaking after her appointment, Alison said “Passion is the driver of success. The IHB chairman and board are passionate in their ambition to reignite the voice and impact of breeders in Ireland.

Being like-minded, I am delighted to be appointed to the role of director general of the Irish Horse Board.

I look forward to the challenge of reactivating the IHB Co-op’s role, as well as developing existing and identifying new markets for Irish horses, and to raising the profile of Irish bred horses worldwide.

Together with the breeders, producers, studbooks and sales companies we will work to achieve deserved recognition for breeders and producers for their endless hard work and success. Working together, we will inject fresh vigour in the sector and enhance returns for all.”

Demanding role

With over 25 years’ experience in senior management positions in the Irish sport horse sector, Alison holds formal qualifications in equine, economics, accounting, corporate governance, marketing and communications, so has all the necessary credentials for this demanding role.

Through her strong academic achievements, and as author of a series of economic reports, Alison has provided evidence-based metrics to benchmark the industry and justify increased government support in recent years.

Alison has also built up a wealth of leadership experience and technical expertise throughout her career in the sport horse sector and her influence has left a positive imprint in the industry over the years.

Alison will now head up the IHB executive team, as the co-operative sets about their exciting work on behalf of the thousands of breeders and producers in Ireland.

Alison’s experience should encourage confidence amongst our equine farmers that the IHB will forge ahead to promote our Irish horses across the world and the benfits of that will no doubt follow.