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Irish Draught Stallion will compete at Orlando Dressage show

To the left, Stephany Fish rides Irish in Santa Fe, NM. Fish was impressed with Irish and decided he could compete with Florida's top dressage horses. The purebred Irish Draught has adjusted well to Florida's Winter Climate. Irish was accustomed to working at an elevation of 7,000 feet. When he reached sea level Fish discovered the stallion had amazing stamina. Irish has impressed many since arriving in Florida. Several top dressage riders/clinicians have worked with Fish and Irish. Recently, Marion Green of Ireland visited his training facility. Green told Fish she was very impressed. Green worked to improve his canter pirouettes. Irish is at the Irish Horse Farm owned by breeder Barbara Baris.

O'Leary's Irish Diamond will make his Prix St. George debut at the Orlando Dressage show Friday, January 30th. How many other if any Irish Draughts have actually competed at the international level of competition is not known. Some make claims that it has happened in England. But, no one has produced the show results to prove such an accomplishment. As Fish points out, "it isn't that he going to compete that is important, but instead that he is going to be very competitive at Prix St. George." Fish hopes Irish can compete at Intermediare 1 before the show season ends and the stallion returns to New Mexico for the breeding season. He will be competing in several shows in Wellington during the month of February. Fish says clinicians are always impressed with his movement and the lightness of his gaits. How far can he go in Dressage is not known. His piaffe has been improving daily and his one tempe changes don't seem to be a problem. He has difficulty doing passage. "This is the real deal, this isn't a case of someone making a claim their horse is a Prix St. George horse that has never proven it in a show ring. There are thousands of persons who claim their horse is a Prix St. George horse, but only a few that can prove it", said his owner Jim Leary.

Is jumping a possibiliy yet? Jump rider Rob Gage still maintains that the closest grandson to King of Diamonds has the ability to jump the grand prix. Gage who was once ranked as America's Top Grand Prix Rider and five times in the top five, rode Irish to an open championship and an open modified championship in less than six months of jump training. Gage recently commented that he feels with a year of jump training Irish could do Grand Prix.


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