Tuesday April 17, 2012

China Picks Ireland For $2bn Horse Project

Speaking on behalf of Coolmore Stud, JP Magnier said that he was delighted with the deal (Photocall)

Ireland has been chosen by China to be a partner in a massive multi-billion dollar equine project, which has the potential to generate up to €40 million in exports for Ireland in the next three years.

China will build its first ever multibillion dollar national equine facility, at Tianjin, China's fourth biggest city.

It's the first time the Chinese government has become involved in an overseas joint venture in horse racing and breeding.

Ireland was chosen because of its massive reputation for quality horse breeding and training.

Ireland produces over 40% of all thoroughbred foals in Europe.

The Tianjin Equine Culture City project will start in 2013 and its valued at over two billion dollars.

It will include 4,000 horse stalls, a State-of-the-art Horse Clinic; 150 trainers' offices, 5 training tracks and two international standard race tracks.

There will also be a International Equestrian College and a horse auction house on the 3.3 million square metre site.

Ireland's involvement in the project includes the initial establishment of a Stud Farm, stocked with broodmares which will be sourced in Ireland.

The beginning of the breeding program will involve the agreement to import over 100 mares in the next three years.

The project will also involve the acquisition of stallions over the period.

The world famous Coolmore Stud in Co. Tipperary was invited as the initial joint venture partner but there will be huge opportunities for many other Irish companies and individuals to participate in the project as it develops.

Ireland will host seven of China's top agriculture graduates from various universities throughout China, who will spend two months at Coolmore learning the industry and what is required to establish a top class equine operation.

The announcement was made by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney during a visit to Tianjin

"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".

On behalf of the Chinese Government owned, Tianjin State Farm Agribusiness Group, Chairman, Mr. Bai Zhisheng, said: "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."

Speaking on behalf of Coolmore Stud, Mr JP Magnier, said: "We are delighted to be one of the first Irish companies to kick-start this partnership and represent Ireland's hugely successful horse breeding and racing industries.

"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.

"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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