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Ireland to share horse breeding knowledge with China

But the tips won’t come cheap.

Coolmore Stud
Coolmore Stud
Image: Coolmore Stud

THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT has handpicked Ireland as its horse racing and breeding partner as part of a multi-billion dollar project.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney announced the significant deal today, which is believed will be worth about €40 million in exports to the Irish economy over the next three years.

As part of the agreement, Ireland will help China to establish its first national equine facility at Tianjin as it hopes to develop a successful horse breeding industry. The initial phases of the €2 billion Tianjin Equine Culture City are due to open next year.

It will boast 4,000 horse stalls, a horse clinic, 150 trainers’ offices, 5 training tracks, two international standard race tracks, a grandstand and clubhouse, as well as an International Equestrian College and a horse auction house.

The announcement coincides with Coveney’s trade mission to China which began today. He is leading the largest ever Irish delegation from the meat, dairy, seafood, beverages, bloodstock and agri-services sector as they travel across the country for the next seven days.

As it stands, Ireland’s horse breeding industry is already hugely export-oriented as it produces more than 40 per cent of all thoroughbred foals in Europe.

The sector’s involvement in the Chinese project will include the establishment of a Stud farm stocked with bloodmares sourced from Ireland. At least 100 mares will be imported in the next three years with Coolmore Stud invited to be the initial joint venture partner.

The stud will host seven of China’s agriculture graduates who will spend two months at Coolmore to learn the industry.

Talks are also underway for up to 800 horses for the racing venture and racecourse to be sourced from Ireland.

“This initiative should facilitate the development of a major export market for horses from Ireland and has the potential to provide a range of business opportunities for companies and individuals in Ireland who can bring a wide range of expertise to the project,” Coveney said.

Speaking for Coolmore Stud, JP Magnier said:

“The sector plays a huge part in the Irish economy, currently generating €1.1 billion annually. This industry is something we are good at, and today one of the biggest markets in the world has recognised that and has chosen to partner with Ireland.”

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