Irish Draught Horse/Irish Sport Horse
The Irish Draught Stud Book contains Irish Draught purebreds as well as near purebreds, as the Stud Book has a breed back component. This allows the infusion of a small percentage of registered Thoroughbred blood.
The Irish Sport Horse (ISH) Register allows Irish Draughts crossed with other breeds, which may include Australian Stock Horse, Arab, Quarter Horse, Warmblood, and Thoroughbred or other breeds.
In the last 30 years, there have been approximately 33 purebred Irish Draught horses in Australia. These include imported mares and stallions, as well as horses bred in Australia. There are approximately 20 purebreds currently in Australia, with approximately 6 or 7 breeders with purebreds.
There are many more breeders who breed Irish Sport Horses with quite a number of studs standing Irish Sport Horse stallions or breeding using Irish Sport Horse mares.
Type and Character
The Irish Draught Horse is an active, short-shinned, powerful horse with substance and quality. It is proud of bearing, deep of girth and strong of back and quarters. Standing over a lot of ground, it has an exceptionally strong and sound constitution. It has an intelligent and gentle nature and is noted for its docility and common sense.
Stallions 15.3hh to 16.3hh approx.
Mares 15.1hh to 16.1hh approx.
Good, strong, clean bone.
Good, bold eyes set well apart, wide forehead and long, well-set ears. Head should be generous and pleasant, not coarse or hatchet headed, though a slight roman nose is permissible. The jawbones should have enough room to take the gullet and allow for ease of breathing.
Shoulders, Neck and Front
Shoulders should be clean-cut and not loaded, withers well defined, not coarse; the neck set in high and carried proudly, showing a good length of rein. The chest should not be too broad and beefy. The forearms should be long and muscular, not caught in at the elbows; the knee large and generous, set near the ground, and the cannon bone straight and short, with plenty of flat clean bone, and never back at the knee (calf-kneed) i.e. not sloping forward from knee to fetlock. The bone must not be round or coarse. The legs should be clean and hard with a little hair permissible at the back of the fetlock, as a necessary protection; the pasterns strong and in proportion, not short and upright nor long and weak. The hoof should be generous and sound, not boxy or contracted and there should be plenty of room at the heel.
Back, Hindquarters, Body and Hind Legs
The back is to be powerful, the girth very deep. The loins must not be weak but the mares must have enough room to carry a foal. The croup to buttocks is to be long and sloping, not short and rounded or flat-topped; hips not wide and plain. Thighs are strong and powerful and at least as wide from the back view as the hips, with the second thighs long and well-developed. The hocks are near the ground and generous, points not too close together or wide apart but straight; they should not be out behind the horse but should be in line from the back of the quarters to the heel to the ground; they should not be over bent or in any way weak. The cannon bone, etc. as for the foreleg should be short and strong.
Smooth and free but without exaggeration and not heavy or ponderous. Walk and trot to be straight and true with good flexion of the hocks and freedom of the shoulders.
Any strong whole colour, including greys.
Information courtesy of the Irish Draught Horse Society of North America (IDHSNA)