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Masterplan - Tianjin equine centre in China

A masterplan of the multi-billion dollar Tianjin equine centre in China

Boost for Irish breeders with Chinese venture

COOLMORE will play a key role in the establishment of a multi-billion dollar thoroughbred breeding and training facility in China after Ireland was named by the Chinese government as a partner in the project on Sunday.

With its booming economy China has gradually been developing a racing industry but the new project, which will occupy a 3.3 million square metre site in the country's fourth most populated city, Tianjin, is the biggest step it has taken.

The Tianjin Equine Culture City is slated to open in 2013.  The $2 billion facility will encompass two race tracks with a grandstand and clubhouse, five training tracks, 150 training bases, 4,000 horse stalls, a state-of-the-art horse clinic, an international equestrian college and an auction house.

Ireland will host seven agriculture graduates from various Chinese universities, who will spend two months at Coolmore learning the ropes of running a breeding operation.

Ireland's partnership in the project is the result of work by Simon Coveney TD, minister for agriculture, food and the marine, and his department. It marks the first Chinese government involvement with an overseas joint-venture in racing and breeding.

The launch of the breeding programme includes the agreement to import over 100 mares from Ireland in the next three years.  The project will also involve the acquisition of stallions.

Coolmore has been invited as the initial joint-venture partner and it is expected that there willbe opportunities for other Irish companies and individuals to participate in the project as it develops.

The racing venture will require between 600 and 800 horses for its inaugural year, which is targeted to have around 40 race days.  Discussions are ongoing with regard to where they will be sourced, but the partnership with Ireland means it will have favoured status as a supplier.

Coolmore's 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 €1.1bn 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."

Minister Coveney said: "Today's announcement of a partnership involving Ireland to develop a major racing and breeding operation in China 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. 

"Coolmore Stud is recognised as a world leader in thoroughbred breeding and is to be commended for their involvement in this major project."





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