DEVINE Equestrian, Co Longford held a very successful open day last Friday at which details of their unique cob genotyping project were unveiled.

Brigid Devine said: “The Irish Cob is a native Irish breed of horse. They are sturdy, hardworking horses and for hundreds of years, were part of Ireland’s agricultural heritage and also pulled wagons and carts all around the Irish roadside by the travelling community. Today they excel in many aspects of equestrian sport and are found all over the world. Sadly with dwindling numbers, this native breed is now at a critical stage.

“Our stud farm exclusively breeds traditional Irish Cobs in our native piebald colour. As an Irish Cob Centre of Excellence, Devine Equestrian is currently working with multiple agencies in an effort to genotype this rare breed of horse. By genotyping the breed, not only will the breed standard be protected, but it will also help to preserve our remaining pedigree bloodlines.

“Prior to the studbook being officially founded in 1998, linages were passed down verbally from gereration to gereration.

“Our open day event involved members from all agencies involved in the project, as well as the local Longford community, who came together to meet each other and see this magnificent breed of horse.

“The agencies involved in the genotyping project are Horse Sport Ireland, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Teagasc, Weatherbys Ireland, Heritage Council of Ireland, the Irish Native Rare Breed Society, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands Failte Ireland, Longford Tourism and Longford County Council. Many thanks to all for their support.”