Why is the Irish Sports Horse So Popular?

The Irish Sports Horse has become a very popular breed indeed, taking its superb temperament of honesty and docility from the Irish Draught coupled with its athleticism, speed and endurance from the Thoroughbred.  Irish Sport Horses are divided into three types; light weight, middle weight and heavy weight.  The type wanted often depends not only on the weight of the rider but also the activity to be pursued, be it hunting, showjumping or dressage.

Irish Sport Horses with 3/4 to 7/8 TB are popular prospects for the highest levels of Eventing and Show Jumping. In addition to exceptional jumping ability they are lovely, loose movers with plenty of gallop and stamina, which is why they are so highly sought after by top event riders around the world.  There have been some incredibly famous and successful Irish Sports Horses over the years

Traditionally Irish Sports Horses take longer to mature than most other breeds and sadly this has had an impact on sales and thus many Irish breeders have responded to market demands and instead of sending their Irish Draught mares to quality Thoroughbred stallions are sending them to Warmbloods.  The horses can still be registered as Irish Sport Horses as the only requirement is that the sire of the foal is approved by the Irish studbook.  Therefore anyone can breed a warmblood mare to a warmblood stallion, and as long as the foal is born in Ireland, it can be fully registered as an Irish Sport Horse and receive a green registration book. Consequently, the average buyer is often unaware they are not getting a true Irish Sport Horse.  There is an argument that the Warmblood part breeds should be registered in their respective stud books and those registered as Irish Sport Horses should only be those which are of true Irish Draught and Thoroughbred decent or there is potentially a risk of losing sight of the true identity of the breed altogether. We would recommend researching the lineage of the horse to ascertain its breed make up prior to purchase.  It is also strongly advisable to give young horses the time to develop and mature irrespective of their breed.

Below is a selection of the Irish Sport Horses currently listed for sale and loan with Right Horse Right Home.


Super temperament Sports Horse Stallion

For Sale
£6,000 Bandantic - Irish Sport Horse

Bandantic (Archie) is an 8 year old 16.1 hh sports horse who has been life graded at West Wilts EQ Centre with a score of…

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16.1hStallion8 Years Old3 Years Owned

Sensible, Handsome, Happy Hacker

For Sale
£600 Carrot - Irish Sport Horse

Carrot is a 7 year old, Irish sports horse standing at around 16 hands. Carrot is a lovely, cheeky chappy who thrives off attention. He…

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16hGelding7 Years Old2.5 Years Owned

Beautiful Irish Sports Horse Mare

For Sale
£5,950 Luna - Irish Sport Horse

Luna’s Story 💓 I’ve had her since 2 she’s now 5. 16hh ISH with Clover Hill Lines. This girl is an angel, here’s her story……

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16hMare5 Years Old3 Years Owned

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