Irish Sport Horse

Irish Sport Horse photo
Irish Sport Horse foal and mare
Photograph by Culnacreann. License: Public Domain.


The Irish Sport Horse, also known as Irish Horse and Irish Hunter, is a well-proportioned, athletic horse. It has a well set, alert head with large eyes and long ears. Its neck is long, muscular and slightly arched. It has a strong bone structure and robust back and loins. Its chest is deep and its shoulders sloped. Its overall appearance is athletic.

15.3-16.3 hands

Come in all solid colors, except skewbald and piebald. The mane and tail can be any color.

The Irish Sport are eager, enthusiastic horses, known for their stamina and endurance. They are brave and bold with exceptional jumping skills. They are intelligent and, generally, lively horses, yet calm and very easy to handle. Overall, the Irish Sport are very even-tempered.

Suitable for
As the name suggests, the Irish Sport Horse has an athletic nature. It has excellent running and jumping skills and is internationally renowned for show jumping and eventing. It is also one of the most suitable horse breeds for fox hunting. Its sensible temperament also makes it an excellent riding horse. In the past the Irish Sport was also used in agriculture and transportation.

Generally a robust, hardy horse breed, it is healthy and easy to feed. Due to its athletic nature it requires regular outdoors access where it can get plenty of exercise.

The Irish Sport Horse is of Irish origin. It is the outcome of the crossing of the Irish Draught and the Thoroughbred. While initially the market for the Irish Sport was limited to the UK, its athletic abilities have made it internationally popular. Ireland breeds great numbers of Irish Sports annually, many of which are exported in Europe and the United States.

Breeding occurs both between Irish Sport Horses and between the parent breeds (Thoroughbreds and Irish Draughts) to produce new foals. Some mares have Connemara blood in them. The lifespan of these horses is 25-30 years.