About the Irish Horse

History about the Irish Draught and the Irish Sport Horse

Ever since show jumping had it's birth in Ireland and went on to become an International sport at the end of the 19th century, the Irish Draught Horse has played a major role. The temperament, durability and athleticism of the Irish Draught, so important in crosses with the Thoroughbred, and has created a potent mix which is suitable for the demands of modern day show jumping.

The name Irish Draught can be misleading. When people hear the word "draft" (or the English spelling, "Draught") in reference to a horse, they picture a heavy work horse with feathers flowing down his legs that's pulling a plow. The "Irish Draught", although strong enough to do the farm work, was bred for adaptability. They had a mild enough temperament to be used as the general family riding horse and were light and athletic enough to fly over the hunt fields. Most farmers could only afford to keep one horse, usually a mare. This one horse would work the land during the week and pull the family to church on Sunday. On Saturday, however, she would be expected to take the sporting farmer for a full day's fox-hunting or to pick up some ribbons at the local show. Geldings were popular with the Army as cavalry mounts, and many were sold to Britain in huge numbers as fox-hunters and jumpers.

The Irish Sport Horse. A potent mix of the Irish Draught and the Thoroughbred, the perfect combination of athleticism, movement, power and temperament. The best of both worlds, these horses are superior athletes and have proven themselves constantly on the world stage. Famous ISH's like Cagney, Special Envoy, Murphy Himself, Coolcorron Cool Diamond, Cruising and Flexible are just a few of the many who have competed at the International level. Despite relatively small numbers of breeding stock around the world, these animals have made their presence known as some of the top competitors in equestrian sport today. However, the Irish Draught and Irish Sport Horse is not all about top level competition! The sensible, intelligent nature of the breed also makes them wonderfully "user friendly" horses for the amateur and novice rider. Their people orientated temperaments make them a delight to work with and their work ethic makes them a pleasure to train.