Horseware Ireland makes high-level appointments as international growth plans gather pace

Horseware Ireland, the global and market leading producer of branded equestrian and pet products including rugs, clothing, therapies and accessories, has made two key senior management appointments from the branded sports apparel and financial services sectors.

Former EMEA Commercial Director of Under Armour, Shane Meharg, has joined Horseware as Chief Commercial Officer; while Louis O’Neill, most recently head of EY’s M&A team in Ireland, has joined Horseware as Chief Financial Officer. The appointments, announced by Horseware Ireland CEO Mark Saunders, will be instrumental in driving international growth, also following from a recent majority investment in the firm by London based private equity firm Lonsdale Capital Partners, which has strong Irish links.

Horseware Ireland employs over 500 people globally, with annual revenues in excess of €40m and facilities that are wholly and directly owned and managed by the company in Ireland, the USA, China and Cambodia. The group is currently in a programme to accelerate growth and further expand its market presence worldwide.

Mark Saunders, CEO of Horseware Ireland said, “I welcome Shane Meharg and Louis O’Neill to our senior management team. Both are highly skilled and experienced executives in areas of essential strategic importance to Horseware Ireland where they will contribute to our continuing growth and our further development in key markets including Europe, North America and Asia.

“Shane brings immense commercial acumen on a multi-market basis and Louis will drive our investment strategies and governance as we target further global expansion. I’m delighted to welcome each of them to Horseware Ireland. Both will contribute strongly to our ongoing progress where everything we do is centred on making life better for horse and rider, working closely with our industry and trade partners and customers throughout the world.”

Shane Meharg is a specialist in the EMEA sporting market across all elements of sales, distribution, competition, market entry and growth opportunity. He has most recently worked in consultancy across the sector, prior to which he was EMEA Commercial Director of Under Armour for over six years to 2019 and held several senior marketing and sales roles with Nike Europe across the Action Sports, Running and Footwear categories. He was also previously Country Manager of Nike Ireland. He holds a BA Degree from the University of Ulster.

Louis O’Neill has joined Horseware Ireland from EY where he has been head of the M&A team in Ireland since 2018. Prior to this he held the role of CFO to a group of growing entrepreneurial businesses. He began his career at BDO Ireland in 1992 ultimately becoming a Partner, leading the corporate finance practice and serving on the firm’s senior leadership team. He is a chartered accountant with a Masters of Accounting and BComm degrees from UCD and NUI Galway. In his career to date he has supported entrepreneurial companies in scaling their businesses, raising capital and realising value, across hundreds of transactions in multiple industry sectors.


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