Huge bloodstock expo at Kildare's Goffs this Friday and Saturday

85 equine exhibitors, Dragon's Den competition and educational establishments at Goffs this weekend

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Huge bloodstock expo at Kildare's Goffs this Friday and Saturday

The free, two-day equine expo at Goffs this weekend is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the Kildare venue

A massive equine expo will be held at Goffs this Friday and Saturday, January 26 and 27.

It will be hosted by the Irish Thorougbred Breeders Association, (ITBA) the representative body for 6,777 breeders, in partnership with Connolly’s Redmills.

The trade fair will see exhibits from over 85 exhibitors, from stud farms to veterinary products to nutrition companies. Third level equine colleges will also be represented, and over one-quarter of the stands will be from organisations based in Kildare.

In addition to the trade fair, an extensive event programme will take place over the two days and will include a Dragons’ Den-type business competition to recognise entrepreneurialism and talent in the equine industry.

There will also be educational presentations and an interactive forum titled ‘ What if – A Vision for 2028’, mapping a blueprint for the industry.

The Irish Equine Centre will host a seminar on bio security and the ITBA Next Generation will have a key involvement by hosting a number of events, including an intervarsity challenge and a seminar featuring key up and coming next-generation trailblazers.

This free event is open to the public and will attract circa 3,500 attendees over the two days.

ITBA CEO Shane O’ Dwyer said: “The Irish thoroughbred breeding and racing industry has long being renowned throughout the world for its excellence.

“Kildare is known throughout the world as being the equine capital of the world. It plays a huge role in the economy and EXPO ‘18 will showcase the importance and reach of this indigenous industry.

“The wide range of activities throughout the two days will capture the imagination and the main forum on Friday night at 7pm will look at how we can maintain our competitive edge as a world leader into the next decade.

“I am delighted that the next generation are taking an active role and the innovative Dragons Den, sponsored by AIB, on Saturday morning is going to be very popular. I encourage anybody with an interest in the bloodstock industry to attend this free event.”

County Kildare is the largest producer of thoroughbred foals in Ireland with 801 breeders in the Lilywhite county owning 1,868 mares and producing 1,144 foals in 2016.