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McEntee points to Ireland's World Leadership in Thoroughbred Horse Industry

- acknowledges the contribution of all those involved in the thoroughbred industry-

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Shane McEntee TD, speaking today at the Annual Awards of the Western region of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association said "Ireland can claim genuine leadership in the thoroughbred horse industry on the global stage. This has been consistently proven time and again in the marketplace and on the racetracks of the world."

The Minister of State went on to acknowledge the contribution of everyone who has contributed to the growth of the horse industry over the last number of years. He said he would like to congratulate all of those involved in the industry.  "The enduring strength and depth of the sport in Ireland is testament to the tireless efforts and skill of the remarkable men and women involved in the sector", the Minister of State said.

The Minister of State noted in particular the commitment successive Governments have shown to the development of the Horse Industry. He continued "Since the establishment of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund in 2001, successive Governments have shown an unprecedented commitment to the development of the horse racing industry in Ireland. This commitment to investment has enabled Ireland to develop into a world centre of excellence for horseracing and breeding"

The Minister of State highlighted the enormous economic benefit of the Irish bloodstock industry in creating 17,000 jobs throughout the country and generating exports worth around €150m to thirty-six countries last year.

In conclusion, the Minister said "I wish to congratulate the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association on another year of great achievement and I wish all those associated with the horseracing industry continued success in the future".

Date Released: 27 July 2011