Irish Sport Horse

Irish Sport Horse

Like its forbear the Irish Draught, the Irish Sport Horse is renowned for its capabilities in sporting and competition circuits. Lighter than the Irish Draught, the breed is held in high esteem amongst equestrians and is considered a top athlete and all-round competition horse.

Developed from crossing the spirited Thoroughbred with scope and speed, and the original Irish Draught with conformation and an easy disposition, the Irish Sport of today is a strong contender in the show ring, despite only being classed a ‘half-bred’ by some.

Naturally athletic, well balanced and adept at many sporting disciplines, the Irish Sport is suitable for both amateur and experienced riders, giving confidence through its sure-footed and steadfast gait. The Irish Sport was originally used in fox hunting due to its speed and enthusiasm, although since the sport has been done away with it can now be observed in leisure riding, show jumping and light draught work.

Typically 15-17 hands, the Irish Sport is characterised by a sculpted, muscular structure with well conformed legs and a strong head. All colours are permissible in the breed but skewbald and piebald types are rarely seen.

Did you know..?

The Irish Sport is quite often referred to as the ‘Irish Hunter’ because of its early usage as a fox hunting horse.

Our Irish Sport Horse owners have uploaded 409 photos

Our Irish Sport Horse owners' thoughts

Added on 28/01/2018
Joined 27/01/2018
From Somerset, United Kingdom

Lively personality never get the same ride twice but then she is a mare. Moody at times

Added on 19/07/2018
Joined 19/07/2018
From Isle of Man

My boy 'Lordy' is 16h and 3/4 TB, 1/4 ID. We've been together for 20 years and I love him with all my heart. He is the most kind, gentle soul. I rode him throughout my pregnancy and and looked after me every step of the way. Not that he's particularly a novice ride even at 24 years old! He still hacks out and 'power walks', as "slow" has never been his strong suit. Blindingly fast in his younger days - owing to the majority of his breeding being TB.
In my experience, ISH's are very intelligent and extremely quick to learn. Naturally athletic, they can dominate in almost all disciplines. I'm sure I lucked-out with Lordy, as his temperament is is to die for, but I'd recommend an ISH to anyone 7 days a week and twice on Sundays. If you want a fast, athletic horse with a quick brain but a level, trainable temperament, this is the breed for you.

Added on 18/04/2019
Joined 18/04/2019
From Midlothian, United Kingdom

Opinionated, and stand-offish, but intelligent with the heart of a lion. Will constantly push your buttons if you're not consistent, but has a fantastic work ethic.

Biggest ears I've ever seen in my life!!

Added on 02/07/2019
Joined 08/08/2014
From Staffordshire, United Kingdom

had my boy for 16 years so far and would not change him for the world. Very quick learners, bolshy, and strong headed but look after you all day in the saddle. Hard as nails, brave and enthusiastic. Every ISH iv met has that confident come on lets get on with it attitude.

Added on 29/08/2019
Joined 07/07/2017
From Hampshire, United Kingdom

Bold as brass but sensitive. Brave and a friend for life! Perfect Poppy is 17hh and coming up 17 years old. I've owned her 14 years and competed in affiliated SJ & XC. I hve for the breed to be sensible and very loyal.

Added on 23/05/2020
Joined 01/09/2019
From United Kingdom

ISH all round great athlete my first one 16.2 hunter looked more ID than TB but was ISH on both sides,strong bone and came from old Irish bloodline Clover Hill was the best horse ever, amazing temperament and only lame once in 12 years with bruised soles. Present ISH 16.3hh 3/4 Tb 1/4 ISH Ghareeb bloodline again amazing temperament for a youngster, nice smooth gait,not silly or spooky easy to train, does have his moments,but so much more high maintenance so prefer less T.b more ID for me.

Added on 16/06/2020
Joined 14/10/2018
From County Antrim, United Kingdom

My ISH x KWPN mare is the biggest sweetheart. Can be highly strung and stubborn but in other ways as good as gold. Need to be one step ahead of her in the saddle, very intelligent. Quick to learn new things. Always challenging but she has made me a better rider.