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Irish Draft Horse

Country of Origin: Ireland

Irish Draft Horse

Image from Benmar Farm


Originally built for work in Ireland, the Irish Draft / Draught or Irish Sport Horse bloodline was almost lost, however a revival movement managed to keep the breed alive. These horses are built in large part by the difficult climate, making them big and hearty.

Irish Draft Horse

Image from davidlkel


Derived from the horses of France and Flanders imported after the Anglo-Norman invasion in AD 1172. The Irish Draft breed was then improved with eastern and Andalusian blood.

Later refined with Thoroughbred blood which added spirit and stamina to the already hardy bloodlines.

In the Irish famine of 1847 the bloodline was sorely depleted and later efforts to revive the breed introduced Clydesdale and Shire crosses. The introduction of draft blood had a dampening effect on the Irish Draft blood.

By 1904 stallion subsidies had been dedicated to renewing the breed and in 1917 A Book for Horses of the Irish Draught Type was introduced which plugged along during WWII just keeping the bloodlines alive.

In 1976 the Irish Draught Society was formed and shortly after in 1979 the Irish Draught Horse Society was formed later becoming a progressive leader in the horse world.


Average height 16-17 hands
Strong jumper
Agreeable temperament
Thrive on smaller rations
Healthy, robust animals


Straight face
Long, arched neck
Deep chest, long back
Large legs with minimal feather
Big, round feet
Strong bones
Powerful hind legs muscled thighs and solid hock joints

Traditional Colors:

black | grey | chestnut | bay





Riding horses
Show horses
Competition horses

Irish Draft Products

Helpful Links

*All links open in a new window
Irish Draught
Irish Draught Horse Society

Where to Buy

Irish Sporthorse Sales

Irish Draft Studs

Bowland Irish Draught Horses
Indigo Irish Draught Horses


Do you have images or know more about the Irish Draft Horse breed? I’d love help completing this page, please contact me to get involved.

Country of Origin: Ireland | Colors: , , ,
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