Horse Sport Ireland shortlisted for two Irish Sport Industry awards

  • 8 April 2019, 18:16

Horse Sport Ireland, The Governing Body for Equestrian Sport in Ireland, has been shortlisted in two categories as finalists for the 2019 Sport Industry Awards which are organised by the Federation of Irish Sport.

The Irish Sport Industry awards were set up in 2015 to highlight the contribution that sport makes to Ireland’s economy both directly and indirectly. The Awards recognise and reward excellence in the business of sport, whilst simultaneously highlighting the contribution of sport to Ireland.

Horse Sport Ireland has been shortlisted in two categories: ‘National Governing Body of the Year’ and ‘Best use of Social media by an Organisation‘.

The ‘National Governing Body of the Year’ award recognises the national governing body – be it small, medium or large – for outstanding performance over the course of the last 12 months, be it from a good governance perspective or promotion of the sport and it’s benefits. The judging criteria for the National Governing Body of the Year award included:

  • Evidence of progress on the sporting front
  • Evidence of carrying out successful campaigns
  • Evidence of good governance
  • Evidence of contributing to the promotion of sport as a whole and its benefits in Ireland

The Silver medal winning Irish Eventing team and manager Sally Corscadden, pictured on the podium at the 2018 World Equestrian Games where they became the first Irish team in any sport to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games

Ireland’s Equestrian athletes have had phenomenal success over the past 12 months, with a total of 12 medals being secured by Ireland’s senior and youth athletes at World and European Championship level. Ireland’s most notable success was undoubtedly that of the senior eventing team who won team silver and individual silver at the World Equestrian Games and in doing so became the first Irish team to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

In 2017, Indecon International Consultants published a review of Horse Sport Ireland. The aim of this review was to ensure that Horse Sport Ireland was best placed to lead the continued development of the Irish Sport Horse sector. Several recommendations were made in order for Horse Sport Ireland to build on existing good practices. Over the course of the last 12 months, the team at Horse Sport Ireland have implemented the primary recommendations and restructured the organisation.

The Irish Sport Horse industry contributes more than €816 million per annum to the Irish Economy. The competition sector accounts for €168 million expenditure and a total of €103 million is spent within the leisure sector. Last year Horse Sport Ireland established a new initiative called the ‘International Eventing and Show Jumping Bonus Challenge’ with the aim of encouraging more athletes, both national and international, to compete at Ireland’s international competitions.

The ‘Best Use of Social Media by an Organisation’ award recognises a consumer facing organisation or a sporting body which has sport at the heart of its content, and which utilises commercial partnerships and activations, where relevant, to drive forward the reach and achieve business objectives. The judging criteria for the Best Use of Social Media by an Organisation award included:

  • Evidence that it has created its own audience, forming a digital community of sport fans in the process
  • Differentiation from their competitors / other sports
  • Demonstrate measurable impact for the organisation, members / partners / consumers
  • Digital community is present/managed in Ireland, or was created in Ireland. However, information submitted does not necessarily have to relate to work undertaken within Ireland.

Horse Sport Ireland established the ‘Team Ireland Equestrian’ brand in 2009 to unify all FEI equestrian sports under the one brand and ultimately to help increase the profile of Ireland’s equestrian sports teams. Team Ireland Equestrian’s social media following has grown exponentially year-on-year since its inception and now has an active following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Horse Sport Ireland provides followers of Team Ireland Equestrian with the latest results of Irish athletes competing around the world, up-to-date industry news and exclusive interviews and content relating to Ireland’s high performance athletes. Horse Sport Ireland’s Facebook pages (Horse Sport Ireland, Team Ireland Equestrian and Irish Horse Gateway) have a combined following of over 115,250 people.

Horse Sport Ireland CEO, Ronan Murphy, commented: “We are honoured to have been short-listed for the Federation of Irish Sport 2019 Sport Industry Awards which focus on excellence in the business of sport. These nominations reflect the dedication, enthusiasm and hard work of all the Horse Sport Ireland team, Board, Affiliate Organisations and Stakeholders. While Horse Sport Ireland has undergone an intensive programme of change over the past year, we are looking forward to leading a new strategic focus for Irish equestrianism into the future. We are particularly pleased that the important and hugely significant contribution which the Irish Sport Horse Sector makes to the Irish economy has been recognised”.

A group of Horse Sport Ireland staff pictured with HSI CEO Ronan Murphy (centre) at Millennium Park, Naas, Co Kildare (Photo:  Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile)

Speaking at the announcement of the short-list, Mary O’Connor, CEO, Federation of Irish Sport, said: “The awards were set up to highlight the importance of the business of sport in Ireland and the value of sport to the Irish economy.  Today sport supports almost 40,000 jobs, represents almost €2.4 billion in household expenditure and has been estimated to contribute almost €1.9 billion in tourism revenue.  And that is beyond all of the other contributions sport makes in areas such as health, inclusivity, diversity and reputation both at home and abroad.”

In all a total of 14 awards will be distributed at the 2019 Sport Industry Awards, which take place Monday April 15th, reflecting the diverse nature of Irish sport. The winners will be determined by a judging panel drawn from both the business and sporting community.

  • Tags: