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Initiative to Increase Irish Earnings in Bloodstock Trade with France

At the Irish Embassy in Paris today, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, praised a joint initiative by Enterprise Ireland, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and the Embassy to increase Ireland's share of the horse-breeding, equine and related markets in France.

Minister Coveney who has responsibility for developing the bloodstock industry in Ireland was attending a trade event hosted by the Embassy and the state agencies. The event showcases some of Ireland's most innovative equine companies and their products and services while highlighting the attractiveness of Ireland as a world leading location for equine breeding. Targeted presentations in workshop and other formats will enable exporting Irish companies to further develop relationships with current and potential French clients.

Leading figures of the French equine sector will be present, including Baron Edouard de Rothschild, President of France Galop, as well as a large number of French breeders, sales administrators, bloodstock agents, trainers and other representatives of the French thoroughbred community. Speaking ahead of the event, Minister Coveney said:

"On the weekend of the Prix de L'Arc when the who's who and the hands-on practitioners of the thoroughbred world descend on Paris we have a unique opportunity to showcase all that is best in the Irish bloodstock sector. The small and medium sized Irish companies presenting here are making significant inroads in France where racing and other related activities enjoy massive popularity.

The event is a great opportunity for Irish Thoroughbred Marketing to attract further French owners and breeders to Ireland, as well as increasing our horse exports to France. I am delighted to see a significant number of Irish companies participating here with the support of Enterprise Ireland. They include makers of equine equipment, manufacturers of horse feed, stud and stable requisites and veterinary companies.

This is an area in which Ireland is truly one of the world leaders with an industry worth approximately €1 billion and employing in excess of 17,300 people mainly in rural Ireland."

During his visit to France Minister Coveney had a bilateral meeting with his counterpart Bruno le Maire, Minister for Agriculture and also hosted a forum on behalf of Bord Bia for key French customers of Irish beef. (See press releases from earlier today)

Note to editors:

Ireland has one of the strongest thoroughbred clusters in the world. The country is the third largest breeder of thoroughbreds globally and consistently produces some of the finest horses, jockeys and trainers. The industry is a leading foreign-exchange earner for Ireland. It is estimated that it employs some 17,300 people in Ireland, directly and in ancillary businesses and services.

This is the second year in which the Irish Embassy, Enterprise Ireland, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing together with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine have staged an event in Paris to mark the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and promote the Irish equine industry.

Irish companies showcased at the event include Horseware, JFC Manufacturing, Epona Biotech, Equinome, Connolly's Redmills, the Irish Equine Centre and Automated Feeding Systems.

Press contact points:

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine - Martina Kearney 00353 6072802

Enterprise Ireland - Karen Hallez or Eimear O'Rourke 00331 53 43 1200

ITM - Caroline Kennedy +353 (0)45 44 3060

Embassy of Ireland, Paris - Owen Feeney +33 (0)1 44 17 67 20


Date Released: 30 September 2011