By Judie Framan
Every year, the Irish Draught Horse Society of America (IDHSNA) hosts its Annual Horseshow. On September 6th through 9th, 2007, the Central Region of the Irish Draught Horse Society of America hosted the Society's Annual Horseshow and Inspections at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois.
"This was the first time our Annual Horseshow is being held in a Midwestern venue," said Susan Jensen, show chairperson. "We were excited because the location gave more of our members nationwide a chance to attend and participate in the classes, inspections, and social activities."
The annual shows feature a full compliment of horseshow classes including in-hand (halter), hunter under saddle, hunter over fences, stadium jumping, dressage, combined training, and an eventer's derby to name a few.
One of the most exciting features of the show in Illinois was that it was the largest gatherings of RID stallions in North America. They participated in the stallion parade on Saturday and Sunday, and competed for top honors in the stallion class.
The show features both Irish and American hunter classes. The Irish hunter class is not often seen in America outside the IDHSNA Annual Show. The class, which is common in Ireland and England, is designed to select horses that are suitable to take hunting. Two judges evaluate the performances in the class which begins with the traditional walk, trot and canter both directions. The ride judge then rides each horse at the walk, trot, canter, and sometimes jumps the horse. The horses are returned to their respective riders and saddles are stripped for the conformation portion of the class. In the grand finale the horses walk, trot, canter once again, and then gallop. The winner of the class emerges as the best physical specimen and the best ride. Annual Inspection of stallions and mares, and colt advisories take place on Thursday morning.
A Bit About the Irish Draught
The Irish Draught is the native horse of Ireland, and a very rare breed with less than 3000 purebred horses in the world today. Some of the best horsemen in the world have testified to the outstanding qualities of the Irish horse. The unique qualities of temperament, soundness and uncanny jumping ability have been bred into the Irish Draught over hundreds of years of galloping across the Irish countryside. This makes them capable of doing anything you want them to do. The latest trend in the show jumping world has been towards warmbloods, and European and German breeds are indeed the most recognizable. However, the Irish Draught, which is a true warmblood in its own right, has not enjoyed the notoriety of the mainland breeds. In spite of this, they compete in every aspect of equestrian sport worldwide: show jumping, eventing, dressage, driving, Le Trek and endurance riding, and yet they're quiet, people-oriented temperament make them an ideal family horse for leisure riding. They are intelligent, quick to learn, safe, reliable, and they take care of their riders. People who own Irish Draughts agree that these traits are unequaled by any other breed of horse in the world.
The Irish Draught must also be acknowledged for its potent and unparalleled contribution in the creation of the magical cross, The Irish Draught Sport Horse when bred to a Thoroughbred. The Irish Draught contributes temperament, stamina, strong bones and the courage to get the job done, while the Thoroughbred adds speed, grace and fineness. This Irish breeding program of hybrid vigor produces some of the most spectacular offspring, and it was this genius that gave Ireland a worldwide reputation for producing the finest sport horses. The Irish Draught/Thoroughbred cross is not only a top caliber international athlete, but is also a perfect novice mount, adeptly boosting the confidence of lower level riders.
The Irish Draught Horse Society
The Irish Draught Horse Society was established in 1993, and is dedicated to fostering an appreciation and understanding of the rare Irish Draught Horse and its successful crossbred, the Irish Draught Sport Horse. The IDHSNA is a not-for-profit corporation that strives to assist in the conservation of the breed throughout the world and maintains the studbooks for qualified Irish and part Irish Draught horses in North America. The IDHSNA is recognized by the IDHS-Ireland and The Irish Horse Board. For further information on the Irish Draught horse and the Annual Show visit Irish Draught's website.
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