The Irish Draught is one of the most prized and widely distributed horses in the world. It is also the foundation stock for breeding the Irish Sport Horse, which has proved successful in a variety of competition capacities.
The bloodline of the Irish Draught has been influenced by many a breed, including the Thoroughbred, the Clydesdale (although this produced qualities that were unfavourable), and several other Warmbloods.
The program of breeding was begun in the late 19th century and continued through the 20th century as farmers desired a more versatile equine capable of disciplines besides draught and agricultural work.
Today, the Irish Draught is the horse of choice for police forces across England and Ireland and is also seen in army artillery work, hunting, ploughing and as an everyday riding horse.
The breed boasts a height of 15-16.5 hands with well conformed legs, a strong head and solid constitution, and a thick mane and tail that is glossy like the coat. Generally speaking, the temperament of the Irish Draught is gentle, sensible and confident, making for a mount that is easily handled and trained.
It is likely the Irish Draught descended from Spanish horses that made their way ashore following the shipwreck of the Armada in 1588.