A complete package in its purist form, the Irish Draught must also be acknowledged for its potent and unparalleled contribution in the creation of the magical cross; the Irish Draught Sport Horse.
The even temperament, durability and power of the Irish Draught, mixed with the speed and athleticism of the Thoroughbred, creates a potent mix which is well up to the demands of modern day competition. World famous for jumping and cross-country ability, this Irish Draught/Thoroughbred cross is not only a top caliber international athlete, but can serve as a perfect novice mount, adeptly boosting the confidence of a lower level rider.
Although we have recently seen the introduction of crosses with other bloodlines such as top quality Warmbloods, Arabians and Quarter horses, which are showing great promise, it is still the RIDxTB cross that has achieve world wide status. Cruising, Cagney, Ado Annie, Eezy, Carling King and Hopes are High are some of the shinning stars of the Grand Prix circuit, and Custom Made, Supreme Rock, Giltedge and Sailing have thrilled us in the eventing world.
This magical cross is referred to as the Irish Draught Sport Horse in North America and the Irish Sport Horse in Europe. While it may seem confusing, there is a reason for the difference in names.
The Irish Draught Sport Horse is recognized by North America (IDHS-NA and IDHS-Can) as a crossbred animal with a portion of RID (Registered Irish Draught) blood.
The Irish Sport Horse is recognized by the Irish Horse Board, as an animal of ANY breeding, which MAY OR MAY NOT have Irish Draught blood in its pedigree.
For example, an ArabxTB, TBxConnemara, Pure TB or RIDxTB may all be classified as an Irish Sport Horse. But in North America, only the cross with RID blood is classified as an Irish Draught Sport Horse.
It should be understood that the IDSH is not a special breed, nor a product of an "American" breeding program. It is just a new moniker aimed at educating the public about the Irish Draught blood that is so prevalent in many of the top performance animals.
Whether the cross is known as an Irish Draught Sport Horse, an Irish Sport Horse or even as an Irish Hunter, if there is Irish Draught blood running in those veins, you have one great horse!