Irish Draught




Irish Draught photo
Irish Draught stallion taken at BenMar Farm, Goshen, Kentucky, USA.
Photograph by Sabu Varghese. Some rights reserved.




FACTS

Other Names
Irish Draft

Description
The Irish Draught horse has an alert head with bold eyes set well apart, a wide forehead and long ears. Its neck is arched, long and carried proudly, its shoulders are clean-cut and its forearms long and muscular. It has a deep chest and a long back, big round feet with strong bones and powerful hind legs.

Size
15.3-16.3 hands high for stallions and 15.1-16.1 hands high for mares.

Colours
The most common colors are black, grey, chestnut and bay.

Temperament
The Irish Draught has a docile, gentle nature. It an intelligent, sensible horse, very active and powerful and a quick learner. This is a horse that is willing, safe to ride and takes care of its rider.

Suitable for
The horse is mainly used for riding and hunting. It also participates in jumping, eventing, dressage and driving events. Cross-breeding the Irish Draught with Thoroughbred horses, leads to first rate competition horses.

Care
Generally not known to have any special care requirements or health problems.

History
The Irish Draught is the national horse breed of Ireland. The crossbreeding of Thoroughbreds with Irish mares, produced the Irish Draught breed. The breed was initially used for agricultural purposes as well as carriage driving and hunting. The breed was led to the brink of extinction several times e.g. during the Irish famine of 1847 and the two world wars. Despite the efforts of the Irish Draught Horse Society the breed is still considered endangered with almost 2,000 purebred individuals worldwide.

Breeding
Breeders try to ensure that the genetic diversity currently existing among Irish Draughts is maintained without damaging the quality and standards of the breed. Irish Draughts have a lifespan of 25-30 years like most horse breeds.