It is the second time the position has been held by Mr Hurley, who defeated Connacht’s Liam Murphy in a vote.
Murphy, however, will chair the influential management and finance committee.
Hurley’s biggest challenge will be the escalating cost of SJI’s insurance, which saw its premium almost quadruple to over €600,000 as a result of two pending claims, forcing the organisation to raise membership fees and horse registrations by 25% for 2013.
“I am happy to take up the role of chairman, but I recognise there are challenges facing the SJI, in particular the insurance issue, which I hope we can resolve. Increasing the membership is another task I hope to achieve,” said Mr Hurley last night.
The SJI vice-chairman for 2013 is Ulster Region chairman Ray Buchanan.
Meanwhile show jumper Billy Twomey is hoping for a bright return to competition when he travels to the Sunshine Tour in Valencia, Spain, next week.
The Nottinghamshire-based Corkman, a stalwart of the Irish team for many years, had surgery in Germany in early November on a prolapsed disc and had planned a return to competition in the second week of last month, but surgeons intervened.
In his blog, however, he revealed he had taken part in a local show recently and his back felt “brilliant”.
“I have taken things very slowly, with the back being such a critical area, I wanted to ensure I was fully healed before getting back into competition and realising I was not quite ready.
“Now that I have tested everything [and it] is working properly and my back is pain free, I have decided I will jump the first leg of the Spanish Sunshine Tour in Valencia, from the 14th of February, certainly for the first three weeks and then see how I go,” he said.
“I am really keen to get back out competing again, as it feels like I have been away for a while now, I can’t wait to get going.”