Marty Irby is the Executive Director of Animal Wellness Action in Washington, D.C.
Irby worked in the U.S. House of Representatives for Congressman Ed Whitfield as Press Secretary, Communications Director and Science, Nasa, and Agriculture Policy Advisor. In August of 2020, Irby was recognized by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, II, with an Award for his extraordinary efforts to reduce violence in the training of horses, only the second occasion in history the British Crown has given such a presentation.
Irby served as president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association from 2010-2012, where he led a campaign to end “soring” in walking horses. Before becoming the president of an international business organization, Irby was an 8-time World Champion equestrian rider and Director of Sales & Marketing at one of America’s largest walking horse breeding farms.
A native of South Alabama, Irby spent his formative years on a horse and cattle farm.
As a young adult, he immersed himself into the study of equine issues including pedigrees and breeding techniques. He became an expert on reproduction by studying it both scientifically but also through extensive personal experience with horses at his family’s farm.
As head of equine protection for the Humane Society from 2016 to 2018, he has seen first-hand how horses are treated inhumanely by some people who perceive nothing about it.
He attended the University of South Alabama, graduating with a degree in Communications. After that, he went on to attend Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and now resides there today.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from The University of South Alabama in 2003, Mr. Irby served four years as Director of Sales & Marketing at Waterfall Farms in Shelbyville, Tenn. There he promoted and expanded the farm’s cattle production program and worked with more than 2000 equine breeders from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, Poland, and Israel.
From 2003 to 2009, Irby won 7 World Championships and 1 Grand Championship. He also holds 4 Reserve titles in the worlds’ largest competition for high-level horses.
Irby was named by The Hill as one of the nation’s Top Lobbyists for 2019 and 2020. He was recognized by President Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office on national television in November of 2019 at the singing of the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act that Irby helped usher to passage.
Marty Irby currently serves on the board of directors of the American Horse Protection Society, Equine Collaborative International, and the Organization for Competitive Markets.
His Written works have been published in USA Today, The Hill, The Daily Caller, Horse Nation, The Washington Examiner, Chicago Daily Tribune, New Haven Register, The Tennessean, One Great Planet, and numerous other publications across America.
He is currently partnered with the director of Disney’s Black Beauty film, Ashley Avis, to produce a documentary on the plight of our iconic American Wild Horses: Wild beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West.
To find out more about his life, you can follow him on his Instagram account, where he has about 132K followers.