Damian McDonald grew up on a dairy, beef and pig farm in Crossabeg, Co Wexford. He is a son of Albert and Angela McDonald and he currently lives in Stradbally, Co Laois, with his wife Siobhan (O Dowd, who also formerly worked with Macra) and his three children Mark (17), Kate (15) and Sean (13).

Irish Field reporter Isabel Hurley said that as as the first CEO of Horse Sport Ireland, a job he began in 2007, McDonald had the “unenviable task of trying to bring together the disparate multi-faceted strands of the €700m Irish sport horse industry during his years in the hot seat”.