Horse Sport Ireland International Marketing Symposium – SOLD OUT

  • 28 February 2017, 09:35

**Update – This event is now sold out, no more tickets are available

Horse Sport Ireland is hosting an International Marketing Symposium on Thursday 9th March 2017. This event is aimed at equestrian industry professionals looking to grow their business and tap into the potential of international markets.

Horse Sport Ireland’s International Marketing Symposium will host an array of speakers from the international equine industry to discuss topics such as digital marketing, equestrian sports technology, event management, equine tourism, breeding for a specific market, marketing your products and reaching the global market.

Our speakers come from all sectors of the equine community and will be able to offer an exceptional insight to their specialised markets and give a take-home message to all participants.

For breeders, many of these speakers are the future owners, producers and riders of your foals. Others organise the events at which they will compete. Then we have those that offer the tools to research bloodlines, analyse competition data for the betterment of breeding and sport, and tools with which you can better market your breeding produce.

Based on the theme, “Knowledge is Power”, you will learn how to move the industry forward through marketing and how to build a strong foundation for your business. These progressive techniques will help you to stay ahead of the global market and keep up to date with current trends.

**This event is a Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine approved Knowledge Transfer Equine Event and HSI coaches will also be eligible for 1 CDP point**

Event Details

Where:                       The Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone

When:                          Thursday, 9th March 2017

Tickets:                       SOLD OUT



 1:45 pm Welcome Refreshments & Registration

Master of Ceremonies: Brendan McArdle, The Irish Field

2.15 pm Welcome Address: Elaine Hatton, Director of International Marketing, Horse Sport Ireland

2.30pm Session 1: Moving Our Industry Forward through Marketing.

Chair – Suzanne Campbell, Award Winning Journalist, Television and Radio Reporter RTE
Nina Barbour – President of Bolesworth International CSI4* and Liverpool International CSI4*, owner and competitor.
Diarmuid Byrne – Managing Director of EquiRatings.
Aisling Byrne – Managing Director or Journey Through Ireland and Showjumper.
Erin Gilmore – Senior Editor of and journalist.
Ben Hobday – British International event rider

4.15pm **Fork Buffet Supper**

5.45pm Session 2: Reaching the Global Market Place.

Chair – Barry O’Connor, Agent, Producer and Coach.
Jim Bolger – International Owner and Thoroughbred Racehorse Trainer.
Tim Bourke – Irish International Event Rider
Marion Hughes – International Showjumper, Breeder, Producer and Team Z7 rider.
Enda Carroll – Managing Director of Ashford Farm.
Koen Terryn – CEO and founder of Hippomundo

7.30pm Ends

Horse Sport Ireland’s International Marketing Symposium 2017 speaker information:

Mr. Brendan McArdle – Master of Ceremonies

Brendan bio

Brendan McArdle, originally from Co. Monaghan, is a former Grand Prix showjumper and the current Advertising Sales and Marketing Manager with The Irish Field.

Brendan’s Master of Ceremonies skills are second to none, having been MC of events such as the Showjumpers ball, Irish Horse World Awards and Jumping In The City to name a few.

His voice is familiar to almost every equestrian as a showjumping and horse racing commentator with RTE as well as a number of other broadcasters.


Suzanne Campbell – Chair Panel 1: Moving Our Industry Forward through Marketing

Award Winning Journalist, Television and Radio Reporter RTE

Suzanne Campbell

Award winning journalist, television and radio reporter, Suzanne Campbell reports on farming and equestrian issues for RTE radio and television and writes for publications such as Irish Times, The Irish Independent and The Gloss magazine.

Suzanne is a former series producer of RTE’s farming television series Ear To The Ground and continues to work in RTE. She has won two Guild of Agricultural Journalists awards and has lectured in PR and marketing for the Public Relations Institute of Ireland. She has chaired events for the Department of Agriculture, National Dairy Council and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. She is a BHSAI, a hunt member and a keen follower of national hunt racing.


 Ms. Nina Barbour –Panel 1

President of Bolesworth International CSI4* and Liverpool International CSI4*, owner and competitor


Nina Barbour is Managing Director of the Bolesworth Estate, Show President of Liverpool International Horse Show & Bolesworth International. Event rider turned showjumper, Nina continues her father Anthony’s legacy at the Bolesworth Estate by exploring endless opportunities.

In 2008 Nina put on a leading national show at Bolesworth Estate, which has since to grown to be a 4* International competition and in 2015, launched the Bolesworth Elite Auction at the show. It was the first time that an auction has been combined with an International Showjumping competition in the UK, and the unique concept proved to be an exciting new development to promote international trade.

Nina set up Harthill Stud with business partner Oliver Townend in 2009. Their primary objective is producing top-class event horses for both national and international markets, with emphasis on traditional Irish and thoroughbred bloodlines.

In the year of 2016, Nina ran the first Liverpool International Horse Show. This new venture attracted 30,000 visitors over 3 days with sell-out performances. The CSI4* show has gone from strength to strength in sport and entertainment in 2017.

Mr. Diarmuid Byrne – Panel 1

Managing Director of EquiRatings

Diarm Bio

Diarmuid Byrne and his business partner Sam Watson launched EquiRatings in 2015, a data and content company for equestrian sport, with a strong focus on eventing. Once a commercial lawyer, Diarmuid has turned his full attention to EquiRatings.

EquiRatings provide in-depth data, statistics and content to meet the needs of event organisers, media and governing bodies around the world. They have also designed a data driven analysis tool known as the ERQI (EquiRatings Quality Index) which is revolutionising how safety is analysed in the cross country phase of eventing.

In their first year, EquiRatings were shortlisted as ‘Ireland’s Best Young     Entrepreneurs 2015’ and won ‘Best Start Up’ and ‘Best Overall’ at the Carlow  IBYE2015. In 2016, they were voted ‘Best Overall Business’ in Carlow at the  Local Enterprise Awards and ‘Best Regional Business’ at the Irish National Enterprise Awards.

EquiRatings is ever expanding and is currently beta testing a platform for   Showjumping as well as working with Endurance data to discover new trends and indicators both in High Performance and Horse Welfare.

Ms. Aisling Byrne – Panel 1

Managing Director or Journey Through Ireland and Showjumper

Aisling Bio

Aisling Byrne, Co. Longford, is the Managing Director of Journey Through Ireland. Aisling has put Ireland on the global tourism map, bringing in clients from all over the world. Journey Through Ireland offers an authentic and enhanced travel experience that you won’t find anywhere else. From off the beaten track experiences to high end luxury, Aisling takes pride in her ability to provide quality tours, a first class level of service and unique experiences to all their customers.

Aisling is also a showjumper and competes at venues all over Europe. In 2016 she started off the year with winning the Grand Prix and Leading Rider Prize at Liverpool International CSI4* in the CSI AM A Final and drove away with a brand new Mini Cooper car as a result. She then flew to WEF at Palm Beach Florida USA where she picked up Champion of the Week prize on a home-bred and produced Irish sport horse before returning to Europe picking up ribbons at International shows such as Luxembourg, Windsor, Bolesworth, Vilamoura, Oliva, Knokke, Opglabbeek to name but a few.  She kick started the 2017 season off at Liverpool International CSI4*, securing runner up position in the CSI Am A Final. Aisling still finds time in her busy schedule to pursue a modelling career. She works with the Holman Lee Agency.

Erin Gilmore – Panel 1

Senior Editor of & Journalist

Erin Gilmore

Erin Gilmore is the Senior Editor & Content Director at Her thriving career in equestrian journalism and media began in 2001, and since then she has been heavily published throughout the equestrian industry. Her work has appeared in The Chronicle of the Horse, Horse Sport International and on

Erin’s lifelong passion for all things equestrian is reflected in the lines of work she pursues. As editor of the equestrian lifestyle publication Horse & Style Magazine from 2011 – 2015, Erin built H&S from an unknown, grassroots magazine to a nationally recognized and internationally respected media source. Her years as an assistant trainer with top national and international show jumpers, not to mention a lifetime of riding experience, has given her a deep personal connection with the industry and the people it serves. is an online source for news, results, interviews and features with respect to the sport of international show jumping. The site provides up-to-date news and results as well as exclusive interviews and features on top ranking riders, horses, and major personalities within the sport.

Ben Hobday – Panel 1

British International Event Rider


Ben Hobday is a successful British event rider. He began riding at 4 years old and joined the Lancashire’s Holcombe Hunt pony club. His talent soon became visible, as he qualified for the Pony Club championships in all three phases; the first to do so in his pony club for 25 years.

He became a working pupil for top showjumper William Funnell and with his and Pippa’s encouragement, Ben went on to win the under-21 national championships, followed by selection for Britain’s young rider squad. In 2008, he won team gold and individual bronze medals at the European Championships at Krueth, Germany. Since then, Ben has jumped clear at some of the biggest three and four star events in the world.

Ben has a huge following on social media with over 18,000 Twitter followers, 50,000 Facebook fans and 60,000 Instagram followers as well as connecting with fans through Snapchat. He has one of the largest followings in British eventing.

Ben was diagnosed with cancer in June 2015 and completed chemotherapy treatment in September. He returned to the saddle shortly afterwards as a patron of Wilberry Wonderpony, even carrying the soft toy around the cross country phase of Badminton Horse Trials.

Mr. Barry O’Connor – Chair Panel 2

Agent, Producer and Coach

Barry bio

Barry O’Connor is well known in the sport of showjumping as an agent, producer and coach. Conducting business across Europe and America, he has developed a deep understanding of the global equestrian marketplace and its requirements. Blackwood Lane in Malahide has been Barry’s base for the last 20 years, 10 of which he spent in partnership with international showjumper Conor Swail.

Barry started out in a riding school at the age of 11 before attending the Pony Club. As he moved up the ranks, he travelled to yards in Switzerland and Holland to gain valuable experience in the international scene. Barry still holds a strong emphasis on education, demonstrated in his work with the Young Breeder programme.

Acting as an agent for the record breaking public auction €1.4m sale of showjumper Dougie Douglas (ISH) at Goresbridge in 2015, he continues to remain active on the international scene, working closely with riders and other agents.


Mr. Jim Bolger- Panel 2

International Owner and Thoroughbred Racehorse Trainer

Jim Bio

Jim Bolger is a thoroughbred racehorse trainer and breeder based in Coolcullen, Co. Kilkenny. In a remarkable career that has spanned five decades, Jim has become more self-sufficient than any other top trainer around the world, with his world-class breeding programme producing the vast majority of the horses that he trains. This breeding programme has produced top-class performers such as Teofilo and Dawn Approach that Jim trained to win multiple Group 1 races.

A self-made and inherently autonomous entrepreneur, he has developed one of the world’s most sophisticated private training centres since moving to Glebe House, Co Kilkenny in 1982. Jim possesses an insatiable work ethic, a trait that he instils in his horses.

In addition to his impeccable CV in the Thoroughbred sector, Jim is an avid supporter of the Sport Horse Sector. Once a showjumper himself, Jim has owned many Showjumpers and Eventers competing at the highest level with riders such as two time Olympic Event Rider Niall Griffin &, Olympic Bronze medallist Cian O’Connor, as well as being a loyal supporter of the Irish Breeders Classic since its inception.

Tim Bourke – Panel 2

Irish International Event Rider
Tim Bourke (002)Tim Bourke grew up in Co. Mayo and spent his early childhood days at his grandmother’s riding school. He went on to join the Clew Bay Pony Club and achieved his A test.
He followed his passion for horses and enrolled in Gurteen Agricultural College, working for John Craig alongside his studies. Tim then headed stateside in search of a job and began work on Bruce Davidson’s farm, where he learned the inner workings of producing event horses to the top level of Eventing. While travelling to the biggest competitions with Bruce, Tim realized this is where he wanted to be!

Tim has established himself in Berryville, Virginia, as a top rider and sought-after trainer. Tim was named to the Irish High Performance list and is looking forward to the development and future success of Bourke Eventing. In 2015, Tim and Luckaun Quality (ISH) completed their first CCI4* at Rolex, finishing in 18th place and further improved on this in 2016, finishing 11th. He is great supporter of the Irish Sports Horse and sources many of his mounts from Ireland.

Marion Hughes – Panel 2

Irish International Showjumper, Breeder & Producer

9 December 2016; Brendan Hackett presents a Level 3 Coaches Certificate to Marion Hughes during the Horse Sport Ireland presentation ceremony at the Palmerstown House Estate in Co. Kildare. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

Marion Hughes showed a passion for horses from an early age. She grew up through the Pony Club, learning the thrills & spills of riding, hunting and hunter trials before focusing on the showjumping circuit with 12.2, 13.2 and 14.2 ponies. She competed internationally and ended her pony career by winning team gold in Hannover, Germany.

Marion established herself on the senior international stage with her mount Flo Jo by winning the Queens Cup at Hickstead in 1995 and 1996. She also had several successful outings on the Iberian Show Circuit and was a member of the Irish show jumping team who finished second in the Nations Cup at the Dublin Horse Show, where she jumped a double clear with Heritage Charlton. This was also the year she finished in 10th place with Heritage Charlton in the European Championships at Hickstead.

Marion devotes her time to breeding, producing and competing her horses in Kilkenny, Portugal, England and Dubai. She is part of Team Z7, founded by HH Sheikh Maitha Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Mr. Enda Carroll – Panel 2

Managing Director of Ashford Farm

Enda bio

Enda Carroll is the Managing Director at Ashford Farm in Bocholt, Belgium, one of Europe’s most successful trading stables, offering world-class facilities for horses and riders alike.

Enda began his equestrian career working as a groom for Cian O’Connor. Enda was a focused on a sports career and worked his way up the ranks, which resulted in him being given the opportunity to compete in the European Championships in 2006 and 2007. He then took a keen interest in scouting young horses that had the potential of being top showjumpers and began trading across Europe and America.

Ben Maher, Bertram Allen, Penelope Leprevost, Kevin Staut, Cameron Hanley and Geir Gulliksen are all on the list of riders that have found their mounts at Ashford Farm.

Enda has developed a strong trademark based on respect and trust, driven by his bold ambition. He holds a strong emphasis on professionalism and attention to detail which results in a huge level of customer satisfaction.

Mr. Koen Terryn – Panel 2

CEO and founder of Hippomundo


Konrad (Koen) Terryn from Ostend, Belgium started his career as a freelance bloodstock agent in 1980 at 21 years old and founded “Horse Racing Magazine” in 1987.

In 1997 he founded which became a market leader in Belgium and the Benelux.  In 2005 he sold the company to found Quality Stud in 2007, where he still breeds approximately12 showjumping foals a year from broodmares with black type pedigree.

Koen noticed a lack of correct information on where his home bred horses participated in various competitions around the world. He sought a solution similar to that in the thoroughbred world and founded, an on-line platform where the data of the warmblood world meets the sport results, producing performance or black type pedigrees. Hippomundo receives more than 75,000 visits a month and more and more studbooks are collaborating with them.

Koen’s latest project is, a platform where the different warmblood auctions from all over the world meet new potential buyers.  At, potential buyers only need to go through the registration procedure once, rather than at each individual auction, and can buy at every connected auction throughout the world.


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