If you are thinking of buying a horse in Ireland, don’t go anywhere until you have read our experts’ tips.
Try before you buy: “The best thing is to visit Ireland and go hunting to try the horse out,” says Charlie Gundry. “Remember, big yards will always take the horse back.”
Lost in translation: “Don’t assume you’ll duplicate what you saw in Ireland with a horse,” cautions English horse dealer Sally Wrigley. “Irish riders are very good – they can hide all sorts of problems.”
Thorough checks: “More and more horses are being given calmers,” suggests Irishman Oliver Walsh, an international sports horse dealer. “Get the horse on trial and get a vet to check the blood.”
Think about feeding: “Watch out when your Irish horse tastes English grub for the first time, as they often go doolally,” says Jane Hall.
Over the water: by paying cash and being flexible about the delivery date, it’s possible to cut shipping costs from £1,050 to £250.
Passports: all Irish horses need them – visit www.horsepassportagency.ie
For more expert advice on buying Irish horses don’t miss Horse & Hound’s special feature in the current issue (17 April, ’08), on sale now.
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Buying a new horse? Compare insurance prices at horseandhound.co.uk/insurance