Irish Hunter


PetMD Editorial

Updated Aug. 11, 2022

The Irish Hunter comes from Ireland. This breed is common, and it is mainly used for riding and in sporting events.


Physical Characteristics


The Irish Hunter stands between 16 and 17 hands high (64-68 inches, 163-173 centimeters). Irish Hunters come in a variety of colors including piebald and skewbald. The profile of the Irish Hunter’s head is well-proportioned. The eyes are noticeably animated.  The ears are straight and have an acute angle. The neck is elongated, the withers are high and sloping downward towards the croup, and the limbs are firmly attached to the body. It is also important to note that the Irish Hunter has the frame of the Irish Draft Horse.


The Irish Hunter has remarkable jumping ability. It can clear fences and other obstacles easily. It is highly adaptable and can be used in any type of terrain. It also has a great sense of balance. For these reasons, the Irish Hunter is often used for show jumping competitions and eventing.


Personality and Temperament


The Irish Hunter is a spirited and feisty mount. However, it can be handled easily by someone who’s had lots of experience with the breed. It is keen and intelligent, and it shows great aptitude for learning and heeding commands.




The Irish Hunter is a highly-prized breed. It requires a lot of care and attention.


History and Background


This horse breed is a result of crossing the Irish Draft with the English Thoroughbred. Technically, this is a half-breed. Nevertheless, it is still part of breed books because it exhibits uniform physical characteristics and conformation.


The Irish Hunter is highly in demand.  It is a favorite among equestrians due to its impressive jumping abilities. England is one of the biggest buyers of these horses.  However, the Irish Hunter is also exported to other parts of the world. The Irish Hunter is very expensive.

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