Hopefully Meath onto a winner with new sponsor

The link between sport and farming has often been articulated in this space. Primarily because they are – or at least were – central tenets of life for the occupant of this seat. Then, there’s the fact Horse Racing comes under the remit of the Department Of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Why such is the case is another debate entirely and one for a different day.

Meath GAA have been lucky with farm-related sponsors in the past (and present) with both Kepak and Devenish. Indeed, those of us of a superstitious nature couldn’t but wonder has there been a connection between Kepak taking over sponsorship of the Meath Ladies team and All Ireland glory returning to the county.

Going forward now, though, it will be a case of sport and farming which will be combining as Meath football attempts to even head back in the direction of the mountain top. Yes, equine operations are farms too.

Consider that, aside from the fact bloodstock (horses) are one of this country’s greatest and most sought after exports, the amount of by-product ‘other’ farmers get markets for because of stud farms is incalculable. Not to mention the windful it can be for contractors doing work for the horsey set.

If you’ve a few minutes to spare, search Coolmore Hay or Coolmore Harvest on Youtube, it will be eye opening for many to see the amount of work afforded to contractors and/or farmers from the global giants in horse racing and breeding.

Hollow Games scoring in the Bective Stud silks at Navan on Sunday last

Now, the Bective Stud operation owned by Noel and Valerie Moran may not be on the same scale as John Magnier’s equine empire just yet, but this punter wouldn’t be sure that, given time, it won’t end up as such.

Especially given that Mr and Mrs Moran have branched out with their horses and – as well as being principal patrons of the Gordon Elliott yard – now have stock with Olly Murphy in the UK along with other local trainers Joe Fox and possibly Matthew Smith.

Their backing of the latter pair, in particular, because, with respect, they wouldn’t have the same profile as the other trainers on the Moran’s roster but that the couple have sent horses to them speaks of the Morans’ humility and decency.

Besides the horse business, the Moran family are steeped in the history and traditions of Bective GFC. Noel’s late father, John, was immersed in the life of the club and, along with the other legend of the white and green, Mick Morris, God be good to him, was somebody I was blessed to cross paths with several times over the years.

Valerie and Noel Moran have given Meath GAA their backing for the next two seasons

In his own right, Noel Moran and his brother Sean were part of the Bective team when, somewhat sensationally, they beat Skryne’s second team in the Meath JFC Final of 1997, so GAA lineage is very much to the fore with the incoming benefactors.

As, also, is their commitment to same. Through their other company, EComm Merchant Solutions, Noel and Valerie given valuable and much needed sponsorship to the burgeoning Meath Camogie team.

Of course, Bective Stud (Tearooms and Apartments) have already been sponsoring the county underage and academy football teams as well as having the logo also displayed on the senior jerseys, alongside outgoing backers Devenish Nutrition.

Ratoath’s Liam Kelly in action for the Meath U-20 footballers last Spring in the Bective Stud jersey

Horses such as American Mike, Zanahiyr, Hollow Games (above) and Riviere D’atele have already cemented the stud’s place as a genuine bigtime players on the National Hunt racing scene. Here’s hoping Meath football is now on a winner too!

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