'Artificial insemination was rejected as an idea at first'
Sport horse breeding has come a long way in the past decade with artificial insemination, and one woman who has ensured its ongoing development here is Emma-Rose Conroy, founder of Euro Stallions.
"It all came about when I was having difficulty sourcing a suitable stallion for my one warmblood mare," says the Tullamore-based veterinary surgeon.
"All the stallions I liked were standing abroad and it was working out so expensive. I figured I shouldn't have to spend 50pc of my budget on shipping."
In an effort to solve her own problem, she came up with the idea of offering an affordable service of sport horse semen to fellow breeders throughout Ireland, and beyond.
Established in 2013, with just a handful of foreign stallions on the books at that time, the EU-approved centre now offers semen for dozens of top performance stallions throughout Europe.
So impressive was her initial business plan that she received funding to the tune of €20,000 as a finalist in Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur competition.
Breeders can simply browse through the stallions available via the website eurostallions.ie, and then contact Emma-Rose, who takes over from there.
"Depending on whether the breeder needs chilled or frozen semen, we offer a direct service from the stallion's base to the breeder, or else through one of our five recommended vets.