The area around Dublin was once known as “The Pale,” a fenced region that was under first Norman and later English control. Today, County Kildare is Ireland’s primary recipient of direct foreign investment and contains the European headquarters of companies such as Intel and Hewlett-Packard. Kildare is the center of the Irish horse industry and has more stud farms than any other county in Ireland. There are important racecourses at Punchestown, near the affluent town of Naas, and at The Curragh near Newbridge. County Kildare is also home to the national stud farm and the International Equestrian Centre in Kill.