Invest NI helps Newry company gallop to export success

Jan 13, 2009

Newry company Horse First is on course to more than double its export turnover thanks to support from Invest Northern Ireland.

Horse First manufactures a range of mineral and vitamin supplements designed to promote the health, calmness and all-round wellbeing of horses. The products are already used by 18 of the world’s top 20 showjumpers and event riders.

Now, Horse First is implementing an ambitious export marketing plan designed to increase awareness and sales of its product range amongst the amateur and leisure riding communities in global markets such as Great Britain, USA, Belgium and the Netherlands. Invest NI is providing support towards the production of promotional material and the company’s attendance at prestigious horse shows and competitions.

Patrick Hughes, Managing Director of Horse First, said: “Our products are the result of over 30 years’ experience in the world of horse breeding and equestrian competitions. This has helped us secure endorsements from top riders, such as British Olympic horseman Michael Whitaker, for whom horse welfare and calmness is absolutely crucial. Such support, in turn, is invaluable in helping to promote our range to amateur riders.

“With the help of Invest NI, we are now getting our message out to the wider equestrian fraternity, reaching more potential new customers in a wider geographical area than ever before. Interest has soared recently and we now anticipate that we will achieve our ambitious sales targets in the next 18 months, with the majority generated outside Northern Ireland.”

Mark Bleakney, Manager of Invest NI’s Southern Regional Office, said: “Horse First is converting expertise in a specialised area into strong business performance in a premium niche market. Its current marketing campaign is helping the company to build a reputation amongst horse enthusiasts at all levels. Horse First is now set to add even more value to the local economy as its export turnover grows.”

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