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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Traditional Irish Horse (TIH)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Irish Sport Horse (also known as the Irish Hunter and the Irish Draught Sport Horse) is an Irish warmblood breed which is famous for being a splendid eventing horse.

The breed was first created 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. In addition, in some cases, Connemara Ponies were also crossed with Irish Draughts to form Irish Sport Horses.

Originally, only a cross between an Irish Sport Horse, an Irish Draught, a Thoroughbred, or a Connemara with any another breed of these four breeds, or a cross between two Irish Sport Horses, could generate an Irish Sport Horse. This changed in the 1980s, when Irish Sport Horses were allowed to be crossed with other horse breeds, most notably Arabian horses and European Warmbloods, and still have their offspring 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, and will be marked with "TIH", in order to differentiate them from the newer forms of Irish Sport Horses. However, regardless of the breeds chosen, when it comes to breeding an Irish Sport Horse, the objective is always the same: to create an athletic and well-tempered horse which can win in the top levels in FEI disciplines.

Traditional Irish Horses come in all coat colors except for champagne, dominant black, mushroom, silver, pangare, and pearl. The coat is always solid, though the patterns of frame-overo, splash, and sabino can be bred to this breed (with a penalty). Traditional Irish Horses stand between 15hh and 17.3hh, with mares usually being between 15hh and 15.3hh, and stallions taller than 15.3hhh.


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