Ronan Murphy (IRL), an equestrian aficionado with an impressive and wide-ranging track record in the horse and sporting sector, has been appointed as Dressage, Para Dressage and Vaulting Director for the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the global governing body for equestrian sports.
Murphy’s equestrian and sports management background is as diverse as it is far reaching, having held different positions and roles at the National, Regional and associate level of membership from breeding to governmental policy around horse movement, high performance pathways and administration, to name a few.
He will be best known within the FEI Family for his recent tenure at Horse Sport Ireland from 2017 to 2020, where as CEO he implemented a complete restructuring of the Irish National Equestrian Federation, both strategically and operationally, and with a strong focus on governance principles and developing the sport from grass roots to the world stage. This includes the historic qualification and participation of Irish Teams across all four disciplines at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“I am so excited to be taking on this role and to have the opportunity to positively impact a sport and a community which I am deeply connected to.
“The future of equestrian sport is very close to my heart. As a parent of very passionate equestrians, and a lifelong horseman myself, my ambition for this role is very much about securing the future for Dressage, Para Dressage and Vaulting, and creating that level of dialogue and understanding amongst the different stakeholders so that we are all working in the same direction and with the same goals.
“I am an advocate for change, where and when it can create those opportunities and pathways in order to successfully adapt to new environments, and I look forward to supporting this process within the FEI, and doing so collectively with my new colleagues and peers in the community.”
Murphy will be taking up the role at the FEI on 10 July 2023, where he will join the team at FEI Headquarters who have been valiantly holding the fort since the departure of former Director Bettina De Rham in December 2022. The disciplines of Dressage, Para Dressage and Vaulting have experienced exponential growth in recent years, and while not the largest disciplines at the FEI, they are the fastest growing in terms of numbers of Events since 2007. Vaulting leads the FEI tally board, seeing the greatest percentage increase since 2007 at +614% Events, followed by Para Dressage with +278% and Dressage on +195%.
Alongside his most recent role at Hockey Ireland where he held the position of CEO, Murphy also currently serves as Vice Chairman and Director of Dressage Ireland, and has previously served as Chair of the European Equestrian Federation (EEF) EU Committee; Chair of the EEF working group on equine identification traceability and digital passports; Member of the International Horse Sport Confederation (IHSC) Taskforce on Brexit and EU Animal Health Law; and, Board Member of the European Horse Network (EHN) and EEF representative to the EHN.
“We are delighted Ronan Murphy will be joining the team at FEI Headquarters,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “We have had the pleasure of crossing paths for many years, and it’s great that we will now be working closely together and towards a shared vision for Dressage, Para Dressage and Vaulting. Ronan has tremendous experience in the equestrian industry, is hugely passionate and forward thinking, and he brings an invaluable level of insight from different stakeholder perspectives. We are very much looking forward to welcoming him to Headquarters this summer.”