Irish Sport Horse: Breed Profile

The Irish sport horse, also described as the Irish hunter, is a standard horse breed out of Ireland. It is the item of crossing Irish draft equines with thoroughbreds to highlight the best of both those preferred steed types. Irish sport horses are renowned for their speed, athleticism, and well-balanced temperament. And also they are renowned competitors in steed showing off occasions.

irish sport horse

Breed Overview

WEIGHT: 1,200 to 1,500 pounds

HEIGHT: 15 hands (60 inches) to 17 hands (68 inches)

BODY TYPE: Well-proportioned, muscular body; specified bone framework; long neck as well as ears; muzzle with a convex account

BEST FOR: All proprietors and also riders who can manage a high-energy steed

LIFESPAN: 30 years


Irish Sport Horse Background and Origins

irish sport horse

The Irish sporting horse is the result of several centuries of organized reproduction in between thoroughbreds and Irish draught equines, a type popular in Ireland as both a farming companion and also a show steed. The objective was to produce a breed with the speed as well as strength of a thoroughbred as well as the intelligence, stamina, and also the friendly temperament of an Irish draught horse. In recent years, Irish sport steeds have actually been more bred to consist of the bloodlines of well-muscled warmblood steeds.

The breed’s impressive athleticism and hospitable personality made it a prominent program horse around the globe, with many Irish sport steeds being exported to contend in program circuits around Europe as well as North America. They have additionally ended up being preferred family members’ horses, as their temperament makes them ideal for bikers of all ages and also skill degrees.

In spite of their worldwide appeal, Irish sport horses are really rather an uncommon type, with an approximated 2,000 purebreds around. The Irish Draft Horse Culture and also Horse Sporting activity Ireland preserve registries of Irish sport steeds.


Irish Sport Horse Size

Irish sporting activity steeds vary in size from around 15 hands (60 inches) to 17 hands (68 inches), with an ordinary weight of around 1,200 to 1,500 pounds. Both the stallions and also mares have well-defined, muscular bodies. They are about the same dimension as the Irish draft equines as well as thoroughbreds that entered into developing them.


Irish Sport Horse Breeding and Uses

When breeders went across the mild as well as durable Irish draught equine with the energetic and effective thoroughbred, they produced a quality showing off equine. The Irish sport equine is an extremely functional breed that excels in many situations. It is frequently made use of for eventing, dressage, reveal jumping, fox searching, and also recreation riding. It is additionally appropriate to live on a ranch, thanks to its Irish draught equine lineage. The type is very energetic and also eager to discover new activities, making it available to usages beyond what it is known for.


Colors and Markings

Irish sporting activity horses can be found in a variety of solid coat shades, with the exception of skewbald (white spots on a nonblack base) and also piebald (colored patches– normally black– on a white base). Typical layer shades include: black, white, grey, brown, buckskin, sparkling wine, cremello, palomino, perlino, dun, chestnut, grullo, and also roan. This vast shade array results from the type’s genetic variety from draught horses and thoroughbreds.


One-of-a-kind Characteristics of the Irish Sport Horse

The qualities that define the Irish sporting activity horse have actually made it a precious steed in both the show circuit and amongst horse-loving family members. These equines are normally anxious to please, friendly, intelligent, as well as courageous. They tend to enjoy the business of people. Physically, Irish sport equines are recognized for being strong, quick, and also versatile. And also they have exceptionally powerful hindquarters that assist provide their extraordinary balance and also jumping capacity.


Diet plan and also Nutrition

A basic horse diet regimen that includes hay, lawn, grains, fruits, and veggies is right for Irish sporting activity steeds. Since they are an energetic type, they could require a high-energy feed. But that depends upon just how much exercise the specific equine gets.


Common Health And Behavior Problems

Irish sport equines are typically healthy without breed-specific wellness concerns. This makes them rather easy to keep. Yet since they have so much power, they call for a dedicated owner who can spend enough time exercising them, or their overall wellness and happiness might decline. As well as even though they are friendly horses, that energized spirit may be excessive for some people to manage.



Basic equine grooming is appropriate for this breed. Along with normal bathrooms, utilize a curry comb and also body brush to eliminate debris and also loosened hair, particularly after the steed has actually worked out. And also consistently check the unguis for dirt, debris, and injuries.



      • Friendly
      • Sports
      • Easy to train


  • Demands a dedicated proprietor to maintain it exercised
  • Can be also energetic for some novices



Champion and also Celebrity Irish Sport Horse

irish sport horse

There have actually been numerous remarkable Irish sporting activity horses throughout history, with a few of the most popular coming in the past few years. They consist of:

  • Traveling: Probably one of the most popular of all Irish sport horses, Travelling was a leader in competitive eventing and also reveal jumping, racking up lots of successes. He is the sire of 2 other horses on this listing: Mr. Medicott and Flexible.
  • Mr. Medicott: In 2008, Mr. Medicott was ridden by German equestrian Frank Ostholt in the Beijing Olympics, at which Germany rated initially in eventing. In 2012, he was ridden in the London Olympics by U.S. equestrian Karen O’Connor, where he helped her rank nine independently. Mr. Medicott was retired in 2018.
  • Versatile: Called the 2012 USA Rider Federation International Equine of the Year, Flexible was a leading force in eventing up until his retirement at age 21. When he was 19, Versatile as well as his trainer won the SmartPak Grand Prix.
  • Ballynoe Castle RM: Nicknamed “Reggie,” Ballynoe Castle RM has actually been a strong leader in eventing competitors given that the very early 2000s. Most notably, he made history as the United States Eventing Organization’s highest possible scoring event horse of perpetuity.


Is the Irish Sport Horse Right for You?

Due to its gentle nature and friendly character, the Irish sport steed is considered a great breed choice for all types of owners. But Irish sport equines do require a great deal of individual time. The right proprietor must have the ability to supply them with sufficient workout and attention.


Just how to Adopt or Buy the Irish Sport Horse

Irish sporting activity equines can be challenging to locate, relying on where you live. As well as they typically cost $10,000 or more. Study respectable breeders as well as rescue teams to locate horses that can be carried to your location. Purpose to hang out with an equine prior to you choose to bring it home and also keep an eye out for red flags. The company ought to be clear regarding the equine’s history, health condition, as well as personality. If you feel your inquiries are being overlooked or otherwise completely addressed, consider taking a look at another company.


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