Horse and pony - site index.Horse chat message boards.Horse breeds, types and breeding gallery.Search for horse information on Equiworld.Horse information and equestrian news horse and pony magazine.Horse web links.  

Irish Draught Wins Open Jumper Championship

3/30/02 Albuquerque NM, New Mexicans, seeing the first Irish Draught Horse to ever jump in that state, were impressed when the Irish Draught Stallion O'Leary's Irish Diamond won the Open Jumper Championship at the New Mexico State fairgrounds. The King of Diamonds' Grandson won the championship in great form by competing in four classes winning three. "Irish" had one rail down in the four day competition. In his first ever Open competition rider Rob Gage held off the challenge of four horses in the jump off with a time six seconds faster than the second place horse. In the final open class, a speed class, Gage again had a clear round with a time too fast for the other horses in the class.

Above Gage, a former AGA rider of the year and winner of more than 25 grand prix, jumps clean and wins at Albuquerque. Though Irish is new to jumping, Gage is impressed and says he enjoys riding him. Irish is Gage's first Irish Horse.

"He jumped beautifully said Gage. Gage said he felt confident his mount would do well after giving him a rest after competing Irish at the Arizona circuit in February. "I felt he would step up to another level if he got some rest and he did," said Gage. Though, Gage said Irish is jumping 4'3" jumps there is no reason to believe he can't jump much bigger jumps. The Irish Stallion started his jump training in December of 2001. He jumped very successfully at Tucson. In more than twenty competitions has never had more than one rail down and never has refused.

Prior to this year, Irish competed in dressage winning four championships in competition through 3rd level. But, his career changed when Gage, one of the most highly regarded riders in the United States, asked to see him jump. Gage was impressed and told owner/groom Jim Leary that Irish had super jumping talent.

Like at Tucson, the "O'Leary's Irish Diamond fan club" seemed to grow at Albuquerque. Barbara Baris, who flew in from Florida to watch him jump, said she thinks he is the best Irish Draught Horse in the World. Baris, a breeder of Irish Horses, decided to breed her newly acquired Irish Draught mare to him. Many believe Baris has the best Irish Draught mare in the United States. Also a grand daughter of King of Diamonds, Baris consulted with Los Alamos National Laboratory Genetic expert Amy Potter about the breeding of a mare so close to O'Leary's Irish Diamond. Potter, who is also planning a breeding to the stallion, advised Baris such line breeding should produce an offspring with many of the desired traits of the famous King of Diamonds.

Many are constantly impressed with his great disposition. Joe Mannikko also of Florida said he has seen nothing like it. The stallion always has a heavy breeding schedule but never seems burdened with the extra load of breeding and competing at the same time. Two days before going to the show, he bred two mares belonging to Irish Horse enthusiast Connie Yost of California. Yost who recently imported two offspring by the stallion Cruising. spent several years in Ireland. She noted that it is rare to see an Irish Draught possess both talent for dressage and show jumping



Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.