Performance Irish Draught


  • When:
  • Where:

43. IRISH DRAUGHT, mare, gelding or stallion, 4 or 5 year old, 155cms and over.
To be ridden by riders who have attained their 16th birthday by 1 January 2017. Previous winners of this class are ineligible to compete. This rule applies to the same combination of horse and rider.

  • When: Wed 9 August, 08:30 - 11:20
  • Where: Ring 2

44. IRISH DRAUGHT, mare, gelding or stallion, 6 years old and over, 155cms and over.
To be ridden by riders who have attained their 16th birthday by 1 January 2017. Previous winners of this class are ineligible to compete. This rule applies to the same combination of horse and rider.


To demonstrate the ability, temperament and suitability of the Irish Draught horse for the amateur riding market.  The Irish Draught is the foundation of the Irish sport horse.  It should have good movement, rideability, bravery and be capable of participating competently in all equestrian activities.  It should be strong, intelligent, willing, sensible and have a kind deposition. A performance element has been included in these classes to demonstrate and showcase the performance potential of the Irish Draught.

Entry Fee

RDS Members: €230 each entry; Non-Members: €260 each entry


In the case of a rider who qualifies a number of horses for the class, with the potential for 2 of these horses to get through to the final evaluation, the owner / rider must nominate a second rider before Monday 7 August, at 5pm to ride one of the horses for the final judging. 


  • Protective headgear conforming to the current recommended kitemark standard - PAS 015, F1163 or Snell and fitted with an adjustable harness is compulsory for all riders. (Please note that (BS) EN 1384 hats will not be permitted unless the hat is dual stamped with another standard such as Snell or PAS 015).
  • A body protector must be worn by all riders.
  • Riders must dress according to the dress code.
  • Only snaffle bridles with any one of the following nosebands: cavesson, drop, flash or grackle are permitted.  This applies to all phases of the competition.
  • Crank nosebands are not permitted.
  • Martingales are not permitted.
  • Neckstraps and/or breastplates are permitted.
  • Only saddle contoured numnahs are permitted. No saddle cloths or visible logos are permitted. 
  • Only blunt metal spurs or ones with rubber rowels ≤ 2 1/2 cms (1") facing downwards are permitted.
  • Front boots of a plain colour may be worn during the Jumping Phase.
  • No hind boots or bandages permitted.
  • The same tack must be used in each phase.  No tack etc. may be worn that conceals the conformation of the horse.
  • No item of tack excluded from competition is allowed in the practice arena.

If for any reason, a competitor goes through the Start with incorrect tack, the Judge will have no option but to eliminate that competitor.


The top three horses in each category at each of the four qualifiers are eligible to enter for the DHS.  A change of rider may be permitted under exceptional circumstances and will only be allowed on written request and with the approval of the DHS Show Director.  In addition, the substitute rider will be required to be signed off by a Level 2 HSI accredited coach as capable of competing in the competition.

An athlete may qualify a maximum of two horses per Performance Irish Draught category.

Qualifier entry forms are available here.

Entries must reach the RDS before 5pm on the Monday preceding each qualifier.  Please note that 5pm is the close of entries and will be strictly adhered to.  All entries for the qualifiers must be sent to 'Performance Irish Draught Qualifier Entries, Equestrian Department, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4'.  Entries will also be accepted by email at (please ensure to include 'Performance Irish Draught Qualifier Entries' in the subject line of the email) or by fax at 01 6604014.  Entries will only be accepted on official entry forms.

A qualifier entry fee of €30 must be paid directly to the competition secretary on the day of the qualifier.

In the event that the age categories are split into two sections due to high numbers, the highest placed horse in each section will qualify for the Dublin Horse Show.  The third or final horse to qualify will come from that section where the next highest placed horse is closest to the category winner.  In the event of an equality of points, the horse with the highest total score in the jumping phase will be awarded the third qualifying place.  If there is still a tie the horse closest (under) to the optimum time will be awarded the third qualifying place.

Qualifier Startlists

Startlists for the Performance Irish Draught Qualifiers will be made available here on or before the Thursday preceding the qualifier. 

At each of the four qualifier venues, the Irish Draught 6 year old and over category will take place before the Irish Draught 4 - 5 year old category. The Irish Draught 6 year old and over competition will take place directly after the Connemara 8 - 15 year old category (approximately mid-afternoon).


Qualifiers Results

Scarteen 10th June 2017

Rincoola 17th June 2017

Forth Mountain 24th June 2017

Tullylish 1st July 2017

Competition Format

Class Format at the Qualifiers

The Flat Work Phase is followed directly by the Conformation Assessment which is followed by the Jumping Phase. 

Flat Work Phase (80 points)

Details of the Flat Work Phase can be found here.

Jumping Phase (170 points)

4 - 5 year olds - ≤ 95cm in height @ 325mpm
6 year olds or over - ≤ 105cm in height @ 350mpm

Exhibits will be required to jump a course of 16 fences, including natural and derby style fences.  Exhibitors are encouraged to show extended canter / gallop at the end of their jumping round.  Exhibitors are advised to ensure that their entry is presented by a competent rider.  Based on ground conditions, the RDS reserves the right to change the jumping course format on the day of competition.


  • For each fence down - 4 penalties
  • 1st refusal - 5 penalties
  • 2nd refusal at the same fence - 8 penalties
  • 2nd refusal on course - 10 penalties
  • 3rd refusal on course - Elimination
  • Fall of horse or rider - Elimination
  • For every 4 second interval over the optimum time - 1 penalty

A mark out of 10 will be awarded for Rhythm and Fluency of the Jumping Phase.

Conformation Assessment (10 points)

A mark out of 10 for Conformation will be awarded directly after the Ridden Flat Work Phase.  The judge(s) will observe the horses for obvious conformation defects.

Class Format at the Final

The Ridden Flat Work and Jumping Phases will be in the same format as the qualifiers.  In the Final, the jumping phase will be followed by a Conformation Assessment.  Exhibits will enter the Ring individually to complete their Ridden Flat Work, Jumping Phase and Conformation Assessments.

These classes will run as per a specific drawn order available from the Equestrian Office.

Conformation Assessment

Once the competitor has completed the Jumping Phase, he/she will proceed to strip the horse and present in-hand to the conformation judge.  The individual displays and conformation assessment will run consecutively.

Final Judging

When all exhibits have completed the Ridden Flat Work, Jumping Phase and Conformation Assessment the top five horses, as identified by the judges, will be invited back into the arena for the final judging.  The judges will ride the exhibits during the final judging.


Marking System at the Qualifiers
Flat Work Phase 80 points
Conformation Assessment 10 points
Jumping Phase 170 points
16 fences @ 10 points each 160
Rhythm & Fluency 10
TOTAL 260 points

In the event of a tie, the horse with the highest marks for the jumping phase will be the winner.  If there is still a tie, the horse closest (under) to the optimum time will be the winner.

Marking System at the Final
Flat Work Phase 80 points
Jumping Phase 190 points 
16 fences @ 10 points each 160
Rhythm & Fluency 10
Technique 10
Balance & Harmony of rider with horse 10
Conformation Phase 30 points
Ride 40 points
TOTAL 340 points

At the DHS Final, rhythm and fluency along with jumping technique and the balance and harmony of the rider will be taken into consideration when judging the jumping phase

In the event of a tie, the horse with the highest mark for the jumping phase will be the winner.  If there is still a tie, the horse with the highest ride marks will be the winner.


At the qualifiers, horses will be expected to jump a track similar to those used in the Young Event-Horse Series competition.

At the Final, the course will be derby in style with a number of cross country / young event horse style fences including a water tray, banks and natural obstacles

Course Designer

Mr Dereck Hamilton

Awards & Prizes

The number of prizes awarded is based on the number of animals catalogued. For more information please click here 

  • 1st €1,650
  • 2nd €1,150
  • 3rd €900
  • 4th €800
  • 5th €500

Cups & Trophies

Cup No. 169 – Perpetual Challenge Trophy presented to the winner of the Performance Irish Draught Championship


Champion and Reserve Champion are required to participate in the Parade of Champions on Friday 11 August.  Further details are available here.

View Qualifier Details