March 12, 2013, Boston, Massachusetts — Sai Ma Sports Co-Founders and Managing Directors, Emmett F. Ryan and Stephen P. Columbia, are pleased to announce the appointment of Eric L. Straus, a leader in international equestrian sport and current President of Equine Sport Group, as Managing Director. Equine Sport Group provides equine counsel and assistance to a number of international clients with emphasis on China.
Drawing upon the expertise, leadership, and vast experience of Mr. Straus will further Sai Ma Sports’ ability to help drive the advancement of Chinese equestrian sport and the equine industry. Mr. Straus will contribute to Sai Ma Sports’ equestrian events operations and horse show administrative consulting, while playing a significant role in marketing the firm’s services.
Mr. Straus has a wide array of achievements within equine sports, influencing the growth and quality of equestrian competitions in the United States and internationally. Mr. Straus has served as the Secretary General of the American Horse Shows Association now known as the United States Equestrian Federation [USEF], the national governing body for equestrian sport (28 breeds and disciplines) in the United States. His responsibilities included representing USEF to the international governing body, Federation Equestre Internationale, and to the United States Olympic Committee.
Additionally, as Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Straus successfully managed the Washington International Horse Show Association, 2009 – 2011. Mr. Straus has been selected by the USEF as Chair for all three Olympic discipline Chef d’ Equipe search committees. Currently, he is a director on the USA Reining and National Horse Show Boards, Trustee/Executive Committee member of the American Horse Council and the United States Equestrian Team Foundation, serving as Secretary for the latter.
Over the last three years, Messrs. Ryan and Columbia have developed strong working relationships with the key decision-makers shaping and directing the China equestrian sports industry. Sai Ma Sports’ focus has been to bring international expertise to the China Equestrian Association [CEA], which is principally responsible for Chinese equestrian sports – across all disciplines. Equine Sport Group provides advice, counsel and delivery of services to the highest standards for equestrian sport, care, training, competition and governance.
“Eric is a natural fit for Sai Ma Sports and provides us with a dynamic synergy to address the needs of the Chinese equestrian marketplace,” observed Mr. Ryan.
“We are a more comprehensive and compelling service provider with Eric on board,” Mr. Columbia noted. “Eric’s ethos is ‘guided by the principles of open communication and respect’ and his interests align with our own – helping CEA’s leaders to recognize and follow international, best practices in building a ‘world-class’ equine sport industry and a high-quality brand,” Mr. Columbia added.
Mr. Ryan pointed out, “Eric’s breadth of knowledge was most evident recently during a week of meetings with CEA Secretary General, Li Nian Xi, in Beijing. He streamlined the process for and quickly identified the challenges of organizing and administering FEI sanctioned events.”
“The pace of growth for a domestic equine sports industry in China is hastening, and Sai Ma Sports will play a vital role in that development,” offered Mr. Straus. “We look forward to working with the leadership of the CEA and building China’s equestrian sport to the highest international standards.”