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This post comes courtesy of Sarah McMullen, who is a super dedicated BOD member of the Irish Draught Horse Society of North America, a gutsy rider who can’t wait to get back in the saddle again after having her broken leg screwed back together and one who has served as a glowing example to reach toward for me in the way she handles difficult people with grace, accommodation and understanding.  Look her up. She’s worth getting to know.

Irish Draught Horse Society & the World Equestrian Games

By: Sarah McMullen

What’s WEG?

The World Equestrian Games (WEG) are comprised of the world championships for eight equestrian sports:  Dressage, Driving, Endurance, Eventing, Jumping, Para-Dressage, Reining, and Vaulting.  The Games are held every four years, two years prior to the Summer Olympic Games and are governed by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI). The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are being held in the United States for the first time ever in its 20 year history and are being hosted at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington from September 25 to October 10, 2010.  For more information, visit www.alltechfeigames.com.

First US presence brings new initiatives

Unique to the 2010 World Equestrian Games is the Equine Village, which will be a central site that houses both exhibits from various equine organizations and a number of world class equine demonstrations and special events. The Equine Village will showcase the depth and scope of the equine industry to spectators.  Within the Equine Village will be the Irish Village, an initiative that is the brainchild of horsewoman, Fleur Bryan, intended to showcase Irish horses and vendors.

The Irish Village will spotlight native horse breeds including the Irish Draught, Irish Draught Sport Horse, Gypsy Vanner, and Connemara.  Spectators will be able to see these breeds performing Demonstrations from September 29 through October 10, 2010.  Demonstrations will be performed in the disciplines of Dressage, Jumping, Eventing, Foxhunting, and Hunter, showcasing the versatility of the Irish breeds.

For more information on the Irish Village Demonstrations, visit http://irishvillageatweg2010.blogspot.com.

Yes, the Irish love their beer, but they have a bigger Draught to boast about

The purebred Irish Draught is classified as a breed in urgent need of conservation, with declining population and genetic erosion. In the early part of the 20th century, the Irish farmer needed a more versatile horse than the popular heavy draft. He needed an animal that could work the land throughout the week, go fox-hunting all day Saturday, jumping anything he faced, and then be ready to bring the family trap to church on Sunday morning. It was from this need that the Irish Draught (pronounced “draft”) was born.

Over a century of selection has produced a warm-blooded breed that is very sound and sensible with good bone, substance and quality. The Irish Draught is neither as massive nor as heavily feathered as its name implies and has movement that is smooth and free, without exaggeration, and not heavy nor ponderous. Standing over a lot of ground, the Draught has an exceptionally strong and sound constitution, great stamina and an uncanny jumping ability. In addition, this breed possesses a fabulous temperament that’s willing, intelligent, docile and driven by common sense.

Not only is the Irish Draught a perfect companion mount for riders of all ages, but it possesses the ability and versatility to participate in various levels of jumping, eventing, dressage, hunting and driving events. It is all these exceptional qualities that make the Irish Draught an invaluable and irreplaceable element in the production of the highly successful Irish Draught Sport Horse.

The even temperament, durability and power of the Irish Draught, mixed with the speed and athleticism of the Thoroughbred, creates a potent mix which is well up to the demands of modern day competition. World famous for jumping and cross-country ability, the Irish Draught/Thoroughbred magical cross is not only a top caliber international athlete, but can serve as a perfect novice mount, adeptly boosting the confidence of a lower level rider. Notable Irish Draught Sport Horses such as Cruising, Cagney, Ado Annie, Eezy, Carling King and Hopes are High have proven shinning stars of the Grand Prix circuit.  Custom Made, Supreme Rock, Giltedge, McKinlaigh, Headly Britannia, Connaught, and Sailing have thrilled us in the eventing world.

Come experience WEG

Being able to put the spotlight on the fantastic breeds of the Irish Draught and Irish Draught Sport Horse is one of the many fantastic aspects of the World Equestrian Games. Hopefully, the hundreds of thousands of spectators at WEG will leave more educated and aware of all the horse breeds and their many talents. To read more about the Irish Draught and Irish Draught Sport Horses, visit www.irishdraught.com

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