Irish horses are China bound
The first consignment of Irish horses arriving in China last week under a new importation protocol between the countries
Last week saw the arrival of the first consignment of horses under the new protocol signed last July by the Department of Agriculture and the Chinese government’s importation agency, AQSIQ.
This new protocol allows Irish horses complete 30 days quarantine in Ireland before departing to China where they complete a further 30 days in quarantine.
Before the new protocol, horses had to complete quarantine in the Netherlands, an expensive and complicated process.
The consignment was organised by Michael and Josephine O’Hagan and included two show jumpers and four ponies, which were quarantined at Paul and Eilidh Hyland’s Milland House Stud, outside Monasterevin, Co Kildare, which has been approved as a quarantine centre by the Department of Agriculture.
“The approval of a pre-export quarantine centre in Ireland will make trade with China easier and hopefully these horses will be the first of many to be dispatched there. Ireland is one of the few countries that can supply horses for all levels of riders,” said Horse Sport Ireland’s chairman Prof Patrick Wall. ‘Important step’
Ireland’s ambassador to China Paul Kavanagh said the horses’ safe arrival was “a very important step in developing the market in this country for Irish horses across all categories
“The highly professional cooperation of the Chinese authorities is much appreciated,” he said.
The consignment included Castlefield Maximus, who was bred by Jim O’Neill for his son Ger near Bennetsbridge, Co Kilkenny, to contest Nations Cup classes.
Michael O’Hagan said it had taken a lot of patience and understanding on both sides to bring the process this far.
“We look forward to following the progress of both show jumpers in China as they are ambassadors for Irish horses and their success will lead to more exports. Their new owners are true horseman, are already involved in the equestrian industry and are very happy with their new acquisitions and currently we are sourcing our next order for China,” he added.