Irish Draught Sport Horses (IDSH)
If you are looking for a versatile horse with a great personality, excellent movement, and incredible jumping ability, the Irish Draught Sport Horse is for you. This highly successful breed is a product of crossing Thoroughbreds with Irish Draught Horses. For Eventing, the most common cross is 1/4 Irish Draught and 3/4 Thoroughbred. The IDSH has a tremendous gallop with plenty of speed, exceptional jumping talent, and has been bred for centuries to run and jump and go across the countryside. They have the heart and keen intelligence of a Thoroughbred, matched with the calm and sensible temperament from their Irish Draught blood. They are known for their great durability, soundness and stamina.
In the early part of the 20th century, the Irish farmer needed a more versatile horse than the popular heavy draft. He needed an animal that could work the land throughout the week, go fox-hunting all day Saturday, jumping anything he faced and then be ready to bring the family trap to church on Sunday morning. It was from this need that the Irish Draught (pronounced draft') was born.
While having the strength and quiet temperament of a working horse, the Irish Draught is not a draught horse in the usual application of that word; the name may be misleading in that the breed is a lighter, freer-moving animal than the traditional image of the heavy horse. The Irish Draught is sought after for its breeding qualities, being used to get extra bone and substance in the progeny of lighter type mares. It is the foundation in the breeding of the great 'Irish Hunter'.
In modern times, the IDSH has excelled at International level competition in Eventing, Show Jumping and Dressage. The even temperament, durability and athleticism of the Irish Draught, when crossed with the Thoroughbred, has created the type of horse that has the qualities to excel in many different disciplines. The IDSH tends to have the loose free movement often associated with warmbloods and the intelligence, speed and heart of a Thoroughbred. They are a versatile, athletic, and remarkably sound breed of horse with a wonderful temperament. Whether you are interested in Eventing, Show Jumping, Foxhunting, Dressage, and Driving or just want a pleasant horse to ride and enjoy, the wonderful thing about the IDSH is that it can do any of the above; or ALL of the them!! Once you have ridden a good Irish horse, you won't want to ride anything else!
Irish Horses are well known for competing at the top international level of several sports. Star Appeal, Cruising, McKinley, Custom Made, Giltedge, Flexible, and Mr. Medicott are just a few prime examples, and the list goes on and on. The IDSH is sought after by those competitors looking for a horse to take them to the top of their sport, but they also make fabulous mounts for riders of every level.
In the past, it was necessary to travel to Ireland to search for quality Irish Draught Sport Horses, and import them at considerable trouble and expense. Now however, it is possible to breed or purchase top class young Irish horses with impeccable bloodlines here in Canada and the US.