RDS Dublin Horse Show 2015 - Irish Draught Stallions

Bar the wet, horrible weather, this years Irish Draught Stallion class was really interesting to watch! It had a huge turnout, 15 to be exact. Safe to say the ring looked a little crowded! This year's class was judged by Holstein breeder Hanno Köhncke and Lincolnshire based judge Nicholas Locke, BHSI.

With the huge turnout spectators had a chance to see just the huge diversity of types within the Irish draught breed. Over the past few years, there has been more 'sporty' looking draughts getting approved so it was nice to see some of the more traditional types making a return. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks many of the lighter and finer draughts were morphing into Irish Sport Horses!

Cappa Casanova is one such stallion that I think is the epitome of a traditional Irish Draught. He is undoubtedly chunky (with 24cms of bone to be exact) but is still athletic! He has successfully competed at side-saddle, working hunter and has jumped 1.30 with SJI. He was also the RDS champion Irish draught stallion in 2012 and 2013 - so the pressure was on to see if he could bring the gold home a third time!

His main competition came in the form of Gortfree Hero - another favourite of mine! The grade A showjumper by Castana has also been an RDS Champion in both 2010 and 2014. This year he brought recently approved 3 year old son - Gortfree Lakeside Lad. You could really see Gortfree Hero's influence on him - he has inherited his head and big, cresty neck. He was gorgeous! I'd say he'll be one to watch for the future!

Moylough Bouncer is a lovely example of an athletic type draught. He currently has over 160 SJI points and has an impressive extended trot! Something which he seems to pass on to alot of his offspring. It's no surprise that he had 2 of his fully approved sons in the ring too - DS Ballagh Bouncer and Darragh Moylough Bouncer.

DS Ballagh Bouncer, a 3 year old by Moylough Bouncer out of a mare by Mount Diamond Flag made his first ever appearance in the ring. The first of many I reckon. His other son, Darragh Moylough Vision has undoubtedly inherited his sire's athleticism and was racked up over 140 SJI points in 3 years.

This year's Irish draughts were of high quality and it was great to see such a huge turnout for the class. This is the first year in a long time that the more traditional and chunkier type has been seen. These stallions prove that although they are not sporty looking, they are athletic and can compete in any sphere - and successfully too! Traditional doesn't have to mean talentless! We've still a way to go until we have our proper draughts back but we seem to be going in the right direction.

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  • 1st    Cappa Cassanova     (Cappa Stud)
  • 2nd   Cappa Aristocrat     (Cappa Stud)  
  • 3rd   Carrabawn Cross     (P.J. Fitzpatrick)  
  • 4th   Gortfree Lakeside Lad     (Sean Barker)  
  • 5th   Dunsandle Diamond     (Matt Loughnane)  
  • 6th   Moylough Bouncer     (Liam Lynskey)  
  • 7th   Gortfree Hero     (Sean Barker) 
  • 8th   Ballineen It's William     (Cappa Stud)

Gortfree Hero

Ballineen It's William

Cappa Aristocrat

Cappa Cassanova

Cappa Cochise

DS Ballagh Bouncer

Darragh Moylough Vision

Clewbay Bouncer

Carrabawn Cross

Kilcotton Cross
Gortfree Lakeside Lad

Moylough Bouncer

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