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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Irish Sport Horse (ISH)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Irish Sport Horse is an Irish sport warmblood breed that is famous for being a splendid eventing and hunting horse.

The breed was first developed 300 years ago in Ireland, when Irish Draughts, who have good stamina and jumping abilities, were crossed with Thoroughbreds, who have elite speed and an athletic built. The Irish Sport Horse inherited all of these qualities. Connemara Ponies were also crossed with these breeds, adding their jumping prowess and level-headed disposition. That quality of mind is important to the Irish Sport Horse, which is commonly good-natured, sensible, and brave.

Originally, only crosses between the Irish Sport Horse, an Irish Draught, a Thoroughbred, or a Connemara could be registered as an Irish Sport Horse. This changed in the 1980s, when Horse Sport Ireland began to register horses with of other sport horse ancestry as Irish Sport Horses as well. Most notably, offspring of Arabian horses and European Warmbloods crossed with the Irish Draught, Irish Sport Horse, or Irish Thoroughbred began to be registered as Irish Sport Horses.

In 2012, it was decided that Irish Sport Horses whose ancestors are crosses of only the originally accepted breeds (Irish Draught, Thoroughbred, and Connemara) will be regarded as "traditional" Irish Sport Horses. The registry designates these as "TIH", Traditional Irish Horse, in order to recognize their breeding as true to the original development of the breed. However, regardless of the parents chosen, when it comes to breeding an Irish Sport Horse, the objective is always the same: to create an athletic and well-tempered horse that can win in the top levels in FEI disciplines.

Coats & Height:

Colors: bay, black, brown, chestnut, grey, dun, cream-dilutes, and, more rarely, dominant white.
Dominant black can be bred into this breed.
Additionals: flaxen, linebacked, rabicano, roan, sooty, all rare patterns.
The coat is usually solid or tobiano.
Frame-overo, manchado, splashed-white, and white-spotted can be bred into this breed.
Breeding notes: Pearl, silver, and sabino-1 each carry a different penalty when bred into the ISH.
Height: 15hh to 17.3hh.

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