The further development of Irish and French Equine research will stand the Equine industry in Kildare and across Ireland in good stead, according to Kildare South Fine Gael TD and Minister Martin Heydon.

Minister Heydon welcomed the official twinning arrangement between the Johnstown based Irish Equine Centre and the LABEO Animal Health Unit, located in Normandy, France, following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement on Wednesday last at the IEC Centre in Johnstown, Co. Kildare.

“The commercial twinning arrangement between both the IEC and LABEO has been a long time in the making and I am delighted to see it come to fruition. Both the IEC and LABEO have worked together on numerous projects, research papers and continued inter-laboratory comparisons.”

“The objectives of LABEO closely match those of the IEC, providing professionals, individuals, amateurs, vets, breeders, riders and health authorities with the most effective tools to ensure the consistent high levels of development and research which the centre has become renowned for.”

The LABEO Animal Health Unit is based in Saint Contest, Normandy, which is already twinned with the town of Kilcullen, with this partnership a natural step in further strengthening the ties, economically and culturally between both regions.

The ties between Irish and French bloodstock, breeding and racing are ever increasing and a formal acknowledgement of this by both parties is welcome. The Normandy region is recognised as second only to Ireland in the breeding and development of bloodstock.

Concluding, Minister Heydon stated “as TD for Kildare South, I know of the importance of the Equine industry to our economy both locally and nationally, and as Minister in the Department of Agriculture I have seen first-hand the high regard for our industry on the World stage and I will continue to promote and support the industry so that it maintains its status as a World leader in both performance and breeding.”