Europe's most successful trainer, Aidan O'Brien, has threatened to leave Ireland and train in America if a plan for an incinerator near his stables at Ballydoyle is approved.
"It's proven that the emissions and dioxins that can emitted from these incinerators are health hazards," O'Brien said. "Horses take in 40 times as many dioxins as human beings, so that would be a big worry. If the pollution that could be caused by this incinerator causes even a fraction of a percentage difference in the horses' performance. it is too much. You win and lose races by short heads, by the tiniest of margins."
How much is brinkmanship in order to get Ireland's national planning board to turn the incinerator down after local permission was given is not clear, but the whole team at Coolmore, which would also be affected, is vehemently against the facility.
"I wouldn't in any circumstances consider raising our family within a 40-kilometer radius of such a plant, and nor could I ask people to work that close to one," O'Brien said. "It is frightening stuff and a big worry. Hopefully, everybody will get together and ensure it doesn't happen.
"There are a lot of options. Coolmore has a big operation in America, and
that is definitely an option."