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Happy March!  Spring has sprung and Equus Athletics is infusing everything with a splash of green and a little luck O’ the Irish!

We are shining the spotlight on the fabulous and talented Irish Sport Horse (ISH).  A

The Irish Sport Horse

cross between an Irish Draught and (typically) a thoroughbred, the ISH is a versatile, athletic, and sensible mount, offering up the best traits of both breeds.

The ISH cross is referred to as the Irish Draught Sport Horse in North America and the Irish Sport Horse in Europe.  The difference in names come about because the Irish Draught Sport Horse is recognized by North America as a cross with Registered Irish Draught blood, while  in Europe, the Irish Sport Horse is recognized by the Irish Horse Board as a horse which may or may not have Irish Draught blood in its pedigree.  For simplicity’s sake, we are going to refer to the cross as the ISH here.

While not technically its own breed, the ISH has become widely popular in competitive eventing, jumping, and dressage.  It’s athleticism and agility make it well suited for top notch performance, coupled with a sensible, reliable, and thoughtful temperament.

Gina Miles and McKinlaigh

The ISH is so well suited for top notch performance, it has become a regular at the Olympic games.  During the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, Irish Draught Sport Horse “McKinlaigh”, exemplified the exceptional athleticism the breed has become known for, helping rider Gina Miles bring home the individual silver in eventing.  To get inspired by Gina and “McKinlaigh”, read their story shared by the United States Equestrian Federation here.

As the 2012 Olympics (London) draw closer, many horse and rider teams are preparing for their Olympic trials,  including Irish Sport Horse stallion Flexible, and his rider Rich Fellers. Rich and Flexible will compete in the Olympic Trials and the US

Rich Fellers and Flexible

Show Jumping Championship in Wellington, Florida next week, March 24th-25th, 2012.

With the luck of the Irish on their side, here’s hoping that the talents of the ISH will help bring this team one step closer to their own pot of gold, while showing the world what an amazing athlete the ISH can be!

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