Thoroughbred racehorses join pig semen on the list of British-Chinese trade deals

 

It’s not cars, trains, or even planes which are set to boost Britain’s fortunes abroad. There’s no manufacturing involved, and forget any notions of ‘Made in the UK’ factory-produced goods.

Instead, the salvation of Britain’s struggling economy could be on four feet, rather than four wheels. For thoroughbred racehorses are leading the charge for the millions to be made from exports to China.

A new bilateral agreement between Britain and China, announced this week will open the door to the export of some of Newmarket’s finest – seeing some of the best British racehorses ending up in the hands of investors in China. While the export of horses to far flung destinations is not new, with the market for thoroughbreds from Britain worth £118 million each year, this marks the first attempt to get a foothold in China.

The announcement was made during a visit to Newmarket racecourses, in Suffolk, by Zhi Shuping, China's minister for import controls. "Riding, breeding and training horses is increasingly popular in China, so this deal will ensure we can make the most of Britain's world-famous thoroughbreds in boosting our burgeoning equine industry," he said.

The Chinese government delegation saw one of Britain’s most valuable equines, Frankel. The retired racehorse, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, and owned by Prince Khalid Abdulla, ended an unbeaten career by winning the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October 2012. He is now in stud, where a single one of his foals costs around £125,000.

The trip to the home of British racing was arranged after a visit to China by environment secretary Owen Paterson last year, as part of a trade delegation led by Prime Minister David Cameron.

"This deal will boost the UK economy by up to £10 million, and once again demonstrates the value of our global reputation for high-quality exports," said Mr Paterson. "Through working in partnership with industry on export deals, we can secure great results for the British economy," he added.

But the true value could be far greater, with Britain’s reputation for breeding world-class thoroughbreds likely to prove attractive to rich Chinese horse enthusiasts.

Carter Carnegie, international executive, Great British Racing International, which promotes investment in the sport, commented: “It is no secret that China is an emerging market for thoroughbred racing, and could form a valuable export market for British racing in the future.”

And the new agreement will help other horse-related businesses looking to expand in the Far East, according to Claire Williams, executive director, British Equestrian Trade Association. “It will give a real boost to those companies developing markets in China for other related equestrian products,” she said.

The racehorse export agreement means that horses have joined pigs in adding to the country’s coffers. For one of the deals struck during the trade visit to China led by the Prime Minister in December will see Britain export pig semen in an agreement worth £45 million a year.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Guru Careers: In-House / Internal Recruiter

£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy