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Irish Sport Horse for Dressage

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  • Irish Sport Horse for Dressage

    Kind of a broad generalization but, does anybody have any experience and/or opinions on the ISH for pure dressage? I know they are generally thought of as superb eventers and jumpers but I'm curious about their potential for pure dressage. I currently show at 3d level and may be in the market for a new horse soon (a sad story about why). Anyway, all thoughts and opinions welcomed. Thanks.

  • #2
    Some lines seem very well set up for dressage, some less so. A local dressage judge I've scribed for is in the market for an IDSH for her students because she likes the forward rideablitity and feels that the ones suited for dressage are competitive.

    Snowford Bellman and his get tend to be good for dressage.


    • #3
      Also, more and more ISH's have WB or half WB mothers.
      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


      • #4
        ID blood for dressage

        I know of both pure bred and part breds that are or have comepted at the upper levels. Ditto to Snowford Bellman and his son Harkaway Lionhawk I bet throws some potential dressage superstars (hes a gorgeous mover). KEC Double Diamond was showing 4th and I believe was going to be moved up and O'Learys Irish Diamond I believe went to PSG. Moorpark Image and Steeped in Luck are out competing, but not sure of current level.

        Another gorgeous stallion is Bridon Belfrey who is going to Fl to train this winter. My pure bred 09 colt was the prefect dressage prospect. I also have a yearling gelding by Dandelion Diamond Rebel that I think would make a great dressage horse someday. As Foxtrot said more WB x ID crosses are out there - I have a 1/2 Holsteiner, 1/2 RID and am using Gatsby (1/2 Hanno, 1/2 TB) with either my RID mare or my IDSH in 2010

        The IDSH definitely can give you the forwardness, talent and sanity to enjoy dressage.
        Epona Farm
        Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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        • Original Poster

          That's encouraging to hear. My current partner is a very successful preliminary and training level eventer who also scores low to mid 60s at 3d level dressage (those darn 4s for the late behind changes are a killer). She may have to retire and I am considering my future. I suspect I'll event for a few more years and then probably ease on over to showing only dressage. So, what I might be looking for is a made event horse that will be a good, solid "pure" 3d or 4th level dressage horse in a few years. Warmbloods could do the job since I'll be at a lower level for eventing but I'm intrigued by the ISH. Also, I have a homebred Danish/TB going 2d level. He might work but at my age I'm thinking a "made" event horse since I don't bounce like I used to. I never see Irish horses at dressage shows unless it is an event horse out for a bit of practice so I was just curious. Thanks for the input.


          • #6
            I forgot to add that this year at Dressage at Devon there is a class for Irish horses. Eventing has brought them into the spotlight and people are realizing that they can do well in other arenas. I think more of them will be seen in dressage venues in the coming years.
            Epona Farm
            Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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            • #7
              I have seen several ISH go to the mid- and upper levels of dressage in style. They seem to have to build and temperament to do well in the sport. The ISHs I have had the pleasure to work with have had excellent work ethics, good learning curves, intelligence, and nice gaits. I do like the slightly 'heavier' look as well; I had a Cleveland Bay cross who was the same way - large boned and looked like a warhorse. The presence those horses bring into the ring is amazing!
              Fire Girl Photography


              • Original Poster

                MG7: My current "girl" is a CB/Eng TB cross who has evented at intermediate (in England) and shown very competitively at 3d level dressage here. I may have to retire her and thought the ISH might be something similar. I'm heartbroken and just love my CB and don't think I could ever find another like her.


                • #9
                  I watched the RID stallion Steeped in Luck and Canadian Team rider Tom Dvorak win the Third Level Open Ontario Dressage Championship title this past weekend.
                  A link to his website:



                  • #10
                    I think Heather Mason's Glen Emeril is an Irish Sport Horse. He is awesome! Doing well in the CDIs at PSG/Int-1. I think he won the Int-1 Freestyle at the Saugerties CDI last month. very cool.