Noble Life

Breed Spotlight: The Irish Draught

Bridon Beale Street (Liam) and Joe McKinley at Shepherd Ranch, Santa Ynez, California in June of 2012 qualifying for Preliminary Championships.

Ireland is known for Guinness, Shamrocks, and St. Patrick but it is the Irish Draught that is the real pot o’ gold at the end of the equestrian rainbow! Developed in the early part of the 20th century as a versatile farm horse, the Irish Draught (pronounced “draft”) has since become a warm-blooded breed that is very sound with a sensible nature, good bone, substance and quality.

The Irish Draught is lighter than its name implies with less feathering on its legs and has movement that is smooth and free, not heavy or lumbering. This breed has a strong constitution, great stamina and an uncanny jumping ability. Furthermore, the Irish Draught has a temperament that demonstrates willingness, intelligence, docility and common sense.

Irish Draughts excel in many disciplines like Show Jumping.  Desert Pearl (Wyatt) demonstrates his abilities over fences.

Irish Draughts excel in many disciplines like Show Jumping. Desert Pearl (Wyatt) demonstrates his abilities over fences.

The Irish Draught is powerfully built with good bone and stands between 15.1hh and 16.3hh. This breed comes in any solid color like black, bay, or chestnut and also includes grey. It is this breed’s ability, versatility, and temperament that make it an ideal mount for all ages and a super star in various levels of jumping, eventing, dressage, hunting and driving events.

“The Irish Draught is a full package deal,” explains Connie Arthur of Lone Tree Farm in Waterford, California. “They are well known for their ability and desire to jump and their soundness. These horses are brave and uncomplicated when jumping which makes them an ideal mount for amateurs.” She fell in love with the breed after a friend suggested they purchase Irish Draught stallion, Bridon Beale Street, together. Connie has been producing top quality Irish Draughts and Irish Sport Horses ever since.

Born in 2000, Bridon Beale Street (Liam) is 17hh and an outstanding example of an Irish Draught stallion. Liam has evented successfully at the Intermediate level after qualifying for the 2012 championships at the Preliminary level. Liam and Connie were invited to participate as exhibitors at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. He is currently pursuing a dressage career and competing at the Prix St. Georges level.

Irish Draughts, Meghan and Kilkea, win “Get of Sire” for Liam at the Irish Draught Annual Show in 2013.

Irish Draughts, Meghan and Kilkea, win “Get of Sire” for Liam at the Irish Draught Annual Show in 2013.

Typical of Irish Draughts, Liam is sleek with supple conformation, a great temperament, and an unbelievably powerful jumping ability. These traits make him an ideal sire for crossing with thoroughbreds, warmbloods and grade mares to make beautiful Irish Sport Horses. His offspring have been very successful at the Future Event Horse classes held by USEA, taking the highest placings every year for the last five years. Some of his older offspring are competing and winning at the Prelim and Training levels in eventing.

Irish Sport Horse foals in the field at Lone Tree Farm in Waterford, Ca.

Irish Sport Horse foals in the field at Lone Tree Farm in Waterford, Ca.

Liam is a graceful and sweet horse who is easy to be around and his offspring are following in his footsteps. “The Irish Draught breed is truly exceptional. All of Liam’s babies are easy to start and natural jumpers,” explains Connie. “They are fun, happy horses who love their job and they do it very well.”

Irish Draughts are all the things you want in an athletic horse: powerful, brave, uncomplicated, and versatile.  So, if you are looking for a little bit of Irish charm this year, try your luck with an Irish Draught!

 

 

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Alek Majtenyi’s love of horses began at a very young age with pony rides and reading endless horse stories. She started riding English at age 10 and joined The United States Pony Club at age 18 where she earned her C1 Level Rating. While earning her B.A. in English at the University of California, Davis, Alek worked at the UC Davis Equestrian Center giving beginning riding lessons to horse crazy girls and riding horses. She has worked closely with all ages and levels of riders in the last 10 years as the manager of The Tack Room, a small retail shop in Modesto, CA. She currently lives in Oakdale, CA with her German Shepherd Dog, Kyra, and lovely Thoroughbred mare, Miss Vesta.

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