Irish Draught Horse Studbook

Irish Draught mare & foal

Irish Draught mare & foal

The Irish Draught Horse developed as a working horse on Irish farms with references to the breed dating as far back as the 18th century. Due to the small size of farm holdings in Ireland at the time most farmers could not afford to keep more than one horse and as a result Irish breeders developed an adaptable draught horse capable of carrying out all of the work on the farm as well as being used for riding, hunting and driving. Consequently the breed developed to be extremely versatile and intelligent with an excellent temperament and willing nature.

The characteristics of the breed make them an ideal leisure and riding horses and their wonderful temperament makes them easy to work with in any discipline. Irish Draughts are often used for crossing with other breeder to produce all types of leisure and performance horses.

The Garda Siochana rely exclusively on Irish Draught Horses for their Garda Mounted Unit. Their mounts need to be brave, obedient and able to cope with confrontational situations and they consider the Irish Draught breed to be ideally suited for this role.

Today the Irish Draught Horse is classified as an endangered breed and approximately 600 foals being registered in Ireland annually. Genetic diversity information for Irish Draught horses can be found on HSI’s online database CapallOir or by contacting

There are a number of Irish Draught Societies throughout the world, three of which are official daughter studbooks of the studbook of origin in Ireland, the Irish Draught Horse Society of Great Britain (IDHSGB) the Irish Draught Horse Society of Canada (IDHSC) and the Irish Draught Horse Society of North Americia (IDHSNA).

Breeding Advice / Stud Service Contract

As part of our commitment to assist our breeders, Horse Sport Ireland is providing members with some Breeding Advice to be considered when breeding their horses. We have also included a sample Stud Service Contract, which should help to avoid any confusion in relation to the desired stallion for the mare, the stud, keep and veterinary fees and the dates upon which these fees are to be paid.

The importance of recording covering dates is also included and also to ensure that the mare owner receives a ‘Record of Service Certificate’ and a commitment from the stallion owner to submit the ‘Covering Certificate’ at the appropriate time.  ‘Click here’ for sample Stud Service Contract.