The following is courtesy of Christy Lovegrove, Dry Creek Sporthorses, of Billings, Montana, owner and breeder of the wonderful RIDSH stallion, Dry Creek Macha, aka Cody.


Dry Creek Macha (Cody) was inspected and approved for registration in the Irish Draught Sport Horse (IDSH) Stud Book on October 15, 1999, in Texas. He was the first IDSH stallion bred in the United States to be approved.

About the inspectors:

Mr. Vincent Faughnan, County Leitrim, Ireland

  • Inspector and judge of Irish Draughts (ID) for 24 years.
  • Judge of every major show in Ireland and England, and presently Senior Judge and Inspector in Ireland.
  • Past President of the Irish Draught Horse Society (IDHS).
  • Past Director of the Irish Horse Board.

Mr. Miceal Casey, County Leitrim, Ireland

  • ID Judge of long standing, approximately 45 years.
  • Considered the foremost authority on ID stallions.
  • Official Judge of the IDHS.
  • Breeder of a number of outstanding ID stallions.


Selecting a breeding stallion from pictures and videos can be challenging, but with an approved stallion, you have the added assurance that your pick has met the required breed standards for:

  • Conformation
  • Movement
  • Soundness (vet certified)
  • Temperament
  • Jumping ability

The following comments from the judges themselves help to illustrate why some stallions are passed and others are failed:

"The inspection of stallions involves a lot of thought and we take much longer looking at them than mares. You must insist on a stallion from a good family, whose members were consistent and held on to substance and quality. Conformation should be as near perfect as possible in a stallion," Vincent Faughnan. Mr. Faughnan goes on to comment on specific points:


  • we desire a nice head, characteristic of the ID
  • neck should show good length of rein, set high into withers
  • shoulder well-defined and sloping
  • withers well-defined, not flat
  • depth of girth
  • back should be compact, more so in a stallion than a mare
  • there should be an impression of strength
  • loins should not have a long gap between the last rib and the hip, indicative of weakness
  • quarters must be strong and there should be adequate slope from croup to tail
  • second thigh strong and sloping into powerful hocks
  • strong, long forearms going into prominent, broad, flat knees
  • cannon bone should be short going into short pasterns at proper angle
  • hooves well-shaped and not small as in the TB, but not big and flat as in in the Clyde/Shire
  • hind limbs should have well defined hocks and be straight without sickle hocks
  • hind limbs should balance the forelegs
  • the angle of the hoof on the hind leg is more upright than that on the foreleg
  • obvious conformation faults/unsoundness unacceptable, ie., curbs, spavin, ringbone, parrot mouth, wall eye, etc.


  • action should be straight, not extravagant
  • average knee action required
  • no dishing, daisy-cutting, pigeon toes
  • both sides must match each other in movement
  • hind legs must not be too close together, no cow hocks, no plaiting on front or back
  • at trot, the shoulder and hock flexion is essential, horse must spring from one diagonal pair to the other


  • no lashers (kickers), sulkers (unwilling workers) or runaways


Only the sport horse stallions are required to jump and must demonstrate natural talent. Stallions are judged on willingness to jump, "tidiness", ie., tucking of knees and hindquarters and arriving at correct take-off point.

In Cody's case, as a 3 year old, he was asked to free jump a triple (2 stride to a 3 stride). Jumps were raised in ascending order of height, the last jump being an oxer at training level.


--Christy Lovegrove, Dry Creek Sporthorses, Billings, MT