New major championship final for Irish draughts to be held in 2024

  • A brand new showing championship for Irish draughts and Irish draught sport horses is to be held at the 2024 Royal International Horse Show (RIHS).

    This is the first time in history that Irish draughts will have their own separate final at one of the season’s main championships. 

    There will be 13 qualifying shows for the British Horse Feeds Irish Draught Horse Society (IDHS) (GB) ridden championship, which will take place on 27 July at the RIHS, at Hickstead.

    The final is the brainchild of British Horse Feeds, breed enthusiast Simon Reynolds and the IDHS and it has been created with the aim of nurturing and highlighting the breed.

    The opportunity is for pure-bred Irish draughts and Irish sport horses who have a minimum of 25% Irish draught blood.

    IDHS show director Jane Imbush said: “It is apparent that the Irish draught horse is a breed that has undeniably had a substantial influence in shaping equine sports. It is hard to believe that it has recently grappled with the possibility of becoming endangered, primarily because of crossbreeding and undue strain on its foundation stock, threatening its genetic diversity. This concern is most definitely at the forefront of this championship series.”

    Branca Gebbie, business and trade manager for British Horse Feeds, added: “We have extended the series to also include an Irish draught sport horse class as we believe that this promotes to a wider audience whilst underlining the urgency of preserving the true essence of the Irish draught breed, through the pure-bred class, an objective to which British Horse Feeds is committed to throughout this series sponsorship and collaboration.”

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