Dr Sonja Egan has been appointed as the new Head of Breeding, Innovation and Development at Horse Sport Ireland (HSI).
Following an interview process, the board of directors for the national governing body of equestrian sport in Ireland unanimously approved appointing Dr Egan to the role, having held the position on an interim basis since January of this year.
Dr Egan graduated from UCD’s School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science with a PhD titled ‘Exploring the potential of wearable technology to impact equine movement analysis in the applied field’ and has been a member of the HSI team since 2019.
The appointment comes during an exciting period for the sport horse industry, having successfully navigated through the Covid-19 pandemic, and Dr Egan shared her vision for sport horse breeding in Ireland.
She said: “I am extremely passionate about supporting Irish breeders through open dialogue and evidence-based innovative breeding practice and I’m obviously delighted that the board of directors have shown faith in me and my vision for the industry in Ireland.
“I hope to combine my knowledge derived from academia and the equine industry to provide a unique skillset which brings added value in shaping the future direction and development of the Irish sport horse industry.”
HSI CEO Denis Duggan said: “We are delighted to appoint Sonja to the management team of Horse Sport Ireland. She has excelled in the role since stepping in on an interim basis and we are excited to see where her vision for the sector takes us.
“In conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as well as panel members from Mazars and UCD, we conducted a thorough search to fill the role on a permanent basis and Sonja was clearly the most suitable candidate to take our breeding department forward.”