Photo provided by Daniel Pearson Photography
The Irish Draught horse, sometimes spelt Irish Draft, is the national breed of Ireland which developed primarily for farm use. Today, they are especially popular for crossing with Thoroughbreds, producing the popular Irish Sport Horses (or Irish Horses) that excel at the highest levels of eventing and show jumping. The traditional breed was bred to be docile, yet strong. They were required not only to perform the farm work of pulling carts and ploughing, but they were also used as riding horses, for fox hunting. They were also bred to be economical to keep, in the winter surviving on gorse, boiled turnips, and bran that was left over from the cow feed.