This week President Higgins was on the first state visit to the UK by an Irish President to the United Kingdom by invitation of Her Royal Majesty, the Queen . Throughout our Islands history there is a particular passion shared between the two nations, that common passion is the horse in particular the Irish Horse. From the most regal of riders to the leisure rider, Irish horses have dominated the British equestrian scene through the centuries.
On the recent visit to Ireland in 2011, the Queen shared her passion for all things equestrian. Her grand-daughter Zara Philips is a frequent visitor to these shores to compete in the Tattersall’s Horse Trials on her Irish bred sports horse High Kingdom. Zara and High Kingdom were part of the Olympic Eventing TEAM GB in 2012, winning a silver medal.
The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment has a long tradition with Irish horses especially the Calvary blacks. Today, 98% of the beautiful black horses in the Queen’s Household Cavalry are sourced in Ireland and are of Irish Draught stock.
As well as Irish Horses having Royal favour they also play a key role in policing the UK’s streets. The Metropolitan Mounted Branch use Irish Sport Horses and Irish Draughts as part of active policing.
But aside from the Irish Horse royal connections, the Irish Horse is still a firm favourite across a wide spectrum of British equestrian disciplines. The versatility of the Irish horse and pony as well their wonderful temperaments and wiliness to work from the hunting field to Eventing to the UK’s show rings; the British have what can only be called an enduring love affair with the Irish horse making it as popular as ever.
Buying a horse from the UK has never been easier using the Irish Horse Gateway. As an initiative of Horse Sport Ireland all our registered sellers have signed a code of conduct. There are sample contracts for buyers as well as a wide range of horses for sale. All of these benefits offer buyers a greater sense of confidence and ease when buying a horse in Ireland.
The Irish Sport Horse export figures in 2011 amounted to €26m, with Britain as the major market. So it seems our equine links, our passion and common bond remains steadfast between Ireland and the UK when it comes to the Irish Horse.
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