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.


Forward Fun Ex Eventer

For LWVTB, For Sale
£2,600 Kermit - Irish Sport Horse

Irish sports horse 16.2hh ex eventer at Queen Holme has an eventing record under the name of Mainsail he is a flea bitten grey with…

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16.2hGelding18 Years Old6 Years Owned

Smart Dressage / Riding Club ISH

For Sale
£2,500 Carly - Irish Sport Horse

Truly heartbreaking sale of a very sweet mare. Carly is an 12 year old, 16.1 Irish Sports Horse. Looking for a new home due to…

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16.1hMare12 Years Old1.5 Years Owned


For Sale
£4,950 Skippy - Irish Sport Horse

Handsome 16.1hh 13yo ISH Piebald by Cavalier Jump for Joy. This lovely horse has great movement, ability and temperament and is a real character. He…

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16.1hGelding13 Years Old2.5 Years Owned

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