Equilume makes a break for lucrative US horse-breeding market

15 Oct 2015

UCD spinout Equilume has expanded its team to accelerate sales of its Equilume Light Mask for horses in the lucrative US thoroughbred and quarter horse market.

Headquartered in Kildare, Equilume now employs nine people in Ireland, including two new sales and marketing executives who will focus on the US market. In addition, the company engages more than 15 sales agents and representatives at locations around the world.

The Equilume Light Mask has been developed as a result of groundbreaking research carried out by Dr Barbara Murphy in UCD’s School of Agriculture and Food Science, in collaboration with Professor John Sheridan, an optoelectronics researcher in UCD’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Last year, the company announced that it had secured €550,000 in seed funding from Enterprise Ireland and a number of angel investors based in Ireland, the UK and in the USA.

Horses for courses


The Equilume light mask on a bay mare


Breeders around the world are using the Equilume Light Mask to eliminate the requirement to maintain their non-pregnant mares indoors under artificial lighting and thereby save at least €1,000 per mare per season while at the same meeting crucial industry timelines. The technology is also being successfully used globally to help pregnant mares foal on time while optimising foal birth weights.

The Equilume Light Mask, which is manufactured entirely in Ireland, is a novel automated mobile lighting device that fits comfortably under a horse’s head collar. The mask has been scientifically proven to provide the optimum level of blue light to a single eye of a mare to successfully advance her breeding season, prevent long gestations and ensure reproductive activity in early foaling mares.

“Following a very successful sales season in the Southern hemisphere, notably in Australia where we doubled customer numbers and had double-digit growth in unit sales, I am delighted to announce that Equilume is expanding its team to accelerate sales in the US equine market,” said Peter Brady, CEO of Equilume.

“Our new sales and marketing executives, Christopher Farrell and Avril Dunne, both UCD Animal Science (Equine) graduates, will focus on the thoroughbred market in the Kentucky Bluegrass and the American Quarter Horse market in Texas, Oklahoma and California, respectively.”

“I am also delighted to announce that Jean Scally has also joined the team to help build our brand and commercial marketing expertise as we expand our international sales.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years