Horses destined for China have left Coolmore in a move by the bloodstock giant to kick start a new multi-million business in the Far East.
It was the first consignment of horses to leave Coolmore, Fethard as part of the deal secured with the Chinese authorities last year to set up a horse breeding centre in Tianjin, China’s fourth largest city.
It will be the first of its kind in the country when it opens later this year.
The contract to supply over one hundred Irish thoroughbreds over the next three years is reputed to be worth more than €38.5m to Coolmore.
Coolmore’s input will be just one part of a €1.5bn plan to construct a 870 acre horse training and breeding complex in eastern China to rival similar set ups in Kentucky, France and Australia.
It will include two international standard racetracks, five training tracks, an international equestrian college, auction house, 4,000 horse stalls and 150 trainers offices.
The Department of Agriculture has been pushing hard to progress opportunities in China.
This week it announced that it had secured approval from Chinese veterinary authorities to quarantine horses destined for China. Previously horses had to be quarantined for up to six weeks in Holland before travelling to China.
By moving the quarantining requirements to Ireland those owners will be able to save thousands of euro per horse on feed, bedding accommodation and transport.
Welcoming the agreement Minister Tom Hayes said- “This is an example of how this agreement is a huge step forward for the industry and will bring substantial benefits to the Irish horse business,”