The Irish Warmblood breed was established in 2009 through the Minister of Agriculture’s approval of the Warmblood Studbook of Ireland (WSI), and in 2014 the studbook became a Full Member of the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH).
Irish Warmblood youngsters already are making a big impression. Many have been exported to Germany, South America, Great Britain, and Northern Ireland, and the studbook’s 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old approved stallions and mares have dominated Ireland’s young horse showjumping championships for the last five years. For example, in 2012 over 80% of the newly approved stallions and mares qualified for the Dublin Horse Show. And since 2012 they have won many major championships and reserve championships (Dublin, Millstreet, Cavan, and National Showjumping Championship). And Irish Warmbloods and WSI approved stallions and mares have begun jumping internationally with successful riders such as Bertram Allen.
The breed is based on world-class warmblood genetics and a very strict inspection and approval regime for both stallions and mares that emphasizes outstanding showjumping genetics and athletic ability. All this is designed to achieve the mission of WSI: To collaborate with breeders to breed and produce international (CSI) showjumpers.
To be approved for breeding by WSI a stallion or mare must have a full 5-generation pedigree with no missing or unapproved ancestors, ideally no Irish Draught blood (although a maximum of 12.5% ID blood in the 9-generation pedigree may be accepted), and, except in the case of a Thoroughbred damline, the stallion or mare must descend from a damline that has produced international showjumpers. Only stallions and mares that meet these criteria are eligible to be inspected for approval. Once approved, mares and stallions may breed within the studbook but they are granted life-time approval only after they pass ten annual progeny evaluations. Every foal born into the Warmblood Studbook of Ireland is monitored as it matures to verify that a significant percentage becomes international showjumpers.
The number of Irish Warmblood foals will increase beginning in 2016 as WSI now allows all mares sired by an approved stallion to produce foals for the studbook. Foals must be sired by an approved stallion. These young Irish Warmbloods possess the best of two worlds: top-class warmblood genetics and rearing on Irish soil.
Sophisticated riders, owners, and breeders looking for very well bred athletes destined for international showjumping careers look for an Irish Warmblood.