The Irish Draught Horse Society (GB) is celebrating its silver jubilee with a new hunter showing series for the breed, in association with Blue Chip Feeds.

The Blue Chip £2,000 Challenge is open to horses which are registered with the Irish Draught or Irish Draught Sport Horse Register, or have 25% Irish Draught blood and are eligible for registration.

The highest-placed eligible horses in ridden hunter weights, working hunter and small hunter classes at affiliated SHB(GB) shows, as well as ridden Irish Draught classes at affiliated IDHS(GB) shows, will receive a rosette and Blue Chip £10 feed voucher.

Qualified horses must be registered with the society to be eligible to compete at the IDHS(GB) annual breed show at the Lincolnshire Showground (18-19 September 2004) for a £1,000 first prize, plus a commemorative Blue Chip rug. The reserve champion will be awarded £500 and third to seventh inclusive will be awarded £100 each.

Mark Fitton, IDHS(GB) council member and the brainchild behind the series, says: “The new series has been developed as a way of highlighting the popularity of the Irish Draught horse, in conjunction with the society’s anniversary.

“Many horses taking part in ridden hunter classes have Irish Draught bloodlines and we hope the new series will encourage owners and riders to recognise and highlight this fact.”

The series has already received considerable support from shows around the country, including The Royal, Cheshire County, Stafford County and the Royal Bath & West, so Mark is hopeful that large numbers will come forward to the final.

Mr Fitton continues: “The final will be a very prestigious event where the best pure- and part-bred Irish Draught horses do battle for a considerable prize fund. With significant prize money going down the line to seventh place, we hope that amateur owner/riders will take their fair share of the spoils.”

If successful, the IDHS(GB) may expand the series to include cobs with Irish Draught breeding next year.

Show secretaries interested in holding qualifiers should contact: Mandy Pope, The Laurels, Holly Lane, Styal, Cheshire, SK9 4JL

For more information about the IDHS(GB) visit: www.irishdraughthorsesociety.com