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Ireland to help China develop horse breeding industry

Categories: Government, Sport
Ireland to help China develop horse breeding industry

Ireland to help China develop horse breeding industry

The Tianjin project representatives

Ireland is to help China establish its first billion dollar national equine facility in a deal that is expected to be worth US$50m to the Irish economy within next three years.

The project to develop a Tianjin-based horse racing and breeding industry was announced by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, who is in China on a trade mission.

It will be the first Chinese Government involvement with an overseas joint venture in horse racing and breeding.

Phased opening of the Tianjin Equine Culture City (TECC facility is due to start in 2013. The project, which is estimated to be valued at US$2bn dollars includes: 4,000 horse stalls; state-of-the-art horse clinic; 150 trainers’ offices; five training tracks; two international standard race tracks; grandstand; clubhouse; international equestrian college; and horse auction house.

The joint venture partners involved in developing the operation are the Tianjin State Farms Agribusiness Group; the TAK Group, a Malaysian development organisation; and Coolmore Stud. Tianjin State Farms Agribusiness Group and the TAK Group are the overall partners for the project.

Ireland’s involvement in the project includes the initial establishment of a stud farm, stocked with broodmares sourced in this country. The beginning of the breeding programme will involve importing over 100 mares in the next three years, as well as the acquisition of stallions over the period.  

Coolmore Stud was invited as the initial joint venture partner, but there will, according to the Department of Agriculture, be opportunities for many other Irish companies and individuals to participate in the project as it develops.

Ireland will also host seven of China’s top agriculture graduates, who will spend two months at Coolmore learning about the industry and what is required to establish a top class equine operation.

Speaking in Tianjin, Minister Coveney, said the partnership agreement arises from the preeminent position that Ireland holds in the thoroughbred breeding world. “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,” he said. “Coolmore Stud is recognised as a world leader in thoroughbred breeding and is to be commended for their involvement in this major project”.

“I hope we could quickly enter into a strategic partnership with captains of the horse industries,” said Bai Zhisheng, chairman of the Chinese Government owned, Tianjin State Farm Agribusiness Group. “Ireland is a world leader when it comes to best in class trainers and breeders, and we are delighted to be partnering with Coolmore, as it helps ensure our new national TECC project is firmly established in Tianjin. We would like to accelerate the progress of the development of TECC to get it completed, and with high level partners this will help us achieve it”

"Today’s announcement marks the culmination of huge efforts by the Irish Government and Department of Agriculture, led by Minister Coveney who have been trying to develop new Irish trade links with China,” said JP Magnier, speaking on behalf of Coolmore Stud. “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.”

Categories: Government, Sport