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Horse Breeds
First Posted: July 2, 2009
Sep 24, 2010

Irish Hunter/Irish Sport Horse


Warmblood


Country of Origin: Ireland

Overview

Ireland is a country known the world over for its outstanding horses, and the Irish Hunter is no exception. Excellent over fences, the solidly built Irish Hunter is a combination of Irish Draft horses and Thoroughbred. As the name implies, this horse is a popular hunting horse and is known as a horse suited to one and even two days of hunting per week during the hunting season. The general characteristics of Hunters call for a bold, intelligent horse with great stamina and jumping ability. Good conformation is also desirable due to the long hours endured by both horse and rider.

Physical Description

The Irish Hunter can be found in all colors except skewbald and piebald. The head is well proportioned, the eyes are large and expressive, ears are nicely shaped and long and the neck is lengthy and muscular with a slight arch. The classic Hunter is well-proportioned with a sloping shoulder, strong back and loins. A well-set head allows the horse to keep balance in all paces. Depending on the classification, Hunters stand at varying heights. There are five categories for the horses depending on weight of the rider and height of the horse: up to 175 lb., up to 196 lb., over 196 lb., small (14.2-15.2 hh), and lady's. In addition, there are sub-categories for show horses that are also used in the field: lightweight working Hunter, heavyweight working Hunter, and child's working Hunter.

Origin

The Irish Hunter is the result of crossing good weight-carrying mares, the Irish Draft and the Cleveland Bay, with Thoroughbred stallions.

Interesting Facts

Because the Thoroughbreds needed to breed quality Hunters are too expensive for the average breeder, the Hunters' Improvement and National Light Horse Breeding Society has for years matched selected Thoroughbred stallions for those members with the correct type of mare.

Influences

1. Irish Draft 2. Cleveland Bay 3. Thoroughbred

For More Information:

Irish Hunter/Irish Sport Horse
Encyclopedia of Historic and Endangered Livestock
http://www.irishsporthorse.com/Irish Sport Horse Board

Sources:
Permission given by my dear friend, Cowboy Frank, to use his breeds section.
Oklahoma State University list of livestock breeds


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