TIHA Newsletter – Winter 2014


January 2015


Dear Member,

2014 was a very busy year for the TIHA Council.

We are delighted to report that we have made huge progress in advancing the aims of the Association.

A considerable amount of time has been spent working behind the scenes, as well as in Public. This is largely due to the voluntary efforts of a great many people, particularly the tireless energy of your Chairman Hugh Leonard aided by your National Council, who have given their time and put their hands far into their own pockets on your behalf.   This work will only continue if you renew your subscription and play your own part to bringing in new members and sponsorship to support the activities of your Association. Renewal facilities are now available on-line.


  • Official Recognition of the TIH in the Irish Sport Horse Studbook.

Although still a work in progress over the details, an impressive turnout at the IHB AGM passed motions to establish that:

ALL foals registered as ISH which also meet the Traditional criteria, will be automatically registered as such.

Traditionally-bred horses will be managed and developed as a specific sub-section of the ISH register. HSI will continue to work back through the data-base of the register to identify live horses and their ancestors, particularly females.

As well as on the Passports, identification as being in the TIH sub-group will be added to the ISH breed designation on all HSI publications, publicity, including electronic media (such as Capalloir).

  • TIHA Think-Tank in Kilkenny Jan 2014.

A great cross section of breeders, producers and people generally involved in the industry were invited to attend a meeting to discuss topics such as breeding, production, marketing, promotion, problems facing traditionally bred animals and possible solutions to the afore mentioned. The results of this ‘Think Tank’ provided the basis for the TIHA submission to the strategic planning board.

  • TIHA’s contribution to National Strategic Plan (“Reaching New Heights”)

The Council spent many long nights preparing a substantial and wide-ranging submission as befits the role of the TIH in the Irish Sport Horse Industry. This document was submitted to the strategic planning board on your behalf.  You will be aware from the press that an edition of the Plan was submitted to Minister Coveney shortly before Christmas.

The Council is pleased that many of our suggestions appeared to be reflected in the presentation made at Teagasc, Grange, before the plan went to the Minister.   The good news is that TIH has been given official recognition in the Plan. The bad news is that there would appear to be a potentially divisive and retrograde interpretation of the PURPOSE and Market for the TIH as set down in the plan’s breeding goals. Of course the Plan is not officially published as yet, so hopefully there is time to correct a couple of potential controversies.   This is sure to be a hot topic at the AGM .

  • The TIHA National Locator

We continued to host a web site and face book site – providing a platform for the promotion of traditional Irish breeding and celebrating the successes of those performing on TIH.

The development this year was to established the ‘ TIH National Locator ‘ with a view to compiling a data base of breeders & producers of traditionally bred animals. Enclosed please find a consent form for you to complete and return giving us your permission to put up your details on our web site advertising your yard as a place to source traditionally bred animals in Ireland. The idea of the ‘locator’ is that it is a point of contact for buyers who wish to source traditionally bred animals in Ireland. Go to the TIHA website and click on DIRECTORY on the headline title bar or follow:

  • Promoting Traditional Breeding:

Mighty work continued throughout 2015:

  • Four members of the council travelled to Peterborough Hound Show in July 2014 for a very successful marketing and promotional trip, where TIHA had a stand. We were delighted and enthused by the level of interest and demand for traditionally bred animals in the UK.
  • Organised two displays at the RDS to promote, demonstrate and explain the importance and value of the traditionally bred horse.
  • Secured a slot for traditionally bred foals at Cavan Sales, pre-selected by TIHA selectors .
  • A Traditional Mare and Foal Championship was organized by the Connacht Branch with a 1000 euro prize fund. Our thanks to the Louisburgh Show Committee for hosting this very well supported event.
  • Awarded presentations to the breeder of ‘Bay My Hero’ Bryan Mc Guire and buyer/producer Katie Jerram at the RDS
  • Constant presence in the media, papers etc. throughout the year. Thanks to our Media friends.


  • Festival of Traditional Irish Breeding at Limerick Show

2014 introduced several new classes for young horses, performance classes and a stallion parade – all of which were very well supported and appreciated by breeders and owners.

  • T.I.H.A. “Show and Go”

This promotion and market of traditionally bred animals, goes from strength to strength.

  • In 2014, Two selection centres were used - Barnadown Equestrian Centre and Scarteen.
  • In excess of 90 animals presented leading to selection of 45 High Quality traditionally-bred hunters. These performed over typical cross country fences where they were viewed with ease by big crowd of potential buyers: A massive credit to the work put in by the organising team.
  • Thanks to H.S.I. who supported this venture by allowing the buyers to avail of the inward buyers programme, accommodation was sourced locally for our foreign guests.
  • As a result of this event , very valuable contacts have been established with foreign buyers in particular. (Hence the need for the locator!)
  • Many new members joined on the day, especially from overseas, who recognise and support the need for our Association
  • Stallion Nomination Auction:

  • Connacht Chairman Kevin Noone  organised a very successful auction of Stallion nominations in 2014. This raised substantial and much needed funds for the association. Many thanks to Stallion Owners who supported this venture and got great publicity for Traditional Sires in the process.
  • Kevin’s 2015 version is out of the start gate  NB Closing BIDS by end of FEBRUARY 2015.
  • See our website for details
  • SJI Gifted Points

  • We are very pleased that, following very strong representations from the TIHA, the SJI has agreed to stop the practice of gifting points to imported show jumpers unless they have the necessary paper trail of proven performance. Reported abuses of the system were causing potentially unfair competition for a number of breeder members. Your National Council will be keeping a close watch on how this is implemented. Our thanks to Seamus Healy for alerting us to this situation.
  • Summary:

No doubt you are aware that all work carried out in TIHA is done so on a voluntary basis. We need more specialists: PLEASE, If you have any spare time and expertise in areas such as social media, marketing etc., a small amount of expert help will do great things to hit the goals for the year ahead. We would greatly welcome your support.


It is vital that we continue to grow our membership – from a financial point of view but also with a view to establishing a strong and influential association. We strongly appeal to you not only renew your own membership but to try and encourage new members to join.


Membership Renewal facilities are now available on-line.

Alternatively, €25 membership can be posted to:

Mr. Jim Cooke, Treasurer,



Co. Mayo.

(Please include your details for the ‘Locator’, if you wish to avail of this facility)



If you wish to make any suggestions / proposals to the TIHA National Council, please feel free to do so, as we value your ideas and opinions.







We look forward to meeting you there. May I take this opportunity to wish you good health & happiness for 2015 and to thank you for your continued support.


Joan Bateman

Secretary T.I.H.A.

TIHA Newsletter – Winter 2013

TIHA_290512_03It is that time of the year when we in the TIHA are reminding you that your membership of the Traditional Irish Horse Association of €25 is due for renewal (unless previously paid). We are happy to report that we have had a busy year and have had some success in relation to promoting and marketing the traditionally bred. We are appealing to you as an existing member to not only continue to support us, but to actively help us in growing the membership of the association.

In terms of what has been achieved to date, TIHA is proud to have progressed the following:

  •  Established a new National association – The Traditional Irish Horse Association
  • Set up a web site and face book site – providing a platform for the promotion of traditional Irish Breeding and celebrating the successes of those performing on Irish Horses
  • Established a TIHA National Locator with a view to compiling a data base of producers & breeders of traditionally bred animals
  • Successfully organised a series of regional meetings around the country
  • Awarded sashes to the highest placed traditionally bred Irish horses at Tattersalls International Eventing Championships- Highlighting their success
  • Series of meetings with HSI and the Department of Agriculture in order to secure the recognition and clear identification of traditionally bred animals in the Irish Passport
  • Press Launch in Adare, Co. Limerick to announce the successful outcome of the above negotiations and the T.I.H.A.’s Programme of Events for 2013
  • Actively involved in the election of David Mc Cann and the re-election of Pat Mc Carthy to the Breeding Sub-Board of HSI
  • Took a stand at the RDS to further promote the Irish Horse
  • Organised displays in the RDS to promote, demonstrate and explain the importance and the value to the Irish economy of the traditionally bred horse
  • A Festival of Traditional Irish Breeding at Limerick Show – introduced several new classes for young horses, for performance horses and a stallion parade - all of which were very well supported and appreciated by the breeders & owners
  • Secured a slot in the Goresbridge Horse Sales for Traditionally bred foals, the latter were pre-selected by TIHA selectors who travelled around Ireland to inspect and select the foals for the sale
  • In an attempt to promote and market the progeny of traditionally bred animals, the TIHA organised the Hunter Show & Go. This involved the inspection (in excess of 80 animals presented) and subsequent selection of 45 Quality traditionally bred hunters. These animals were given the opportunity to perform over typical Irish cross country fences, where they could be viewed with ease by potential buyers. Invitations were issued to foreign and Irish buyers by the TIHA to attend the Show & Go. Buyers were delighted to avail of this unique opportunity and turned up in large numbers to support this initiative. Thanks to HSI who backed this event and allowed the foreign buyers avail of the inward buyers programme. Accommodation was sourced locally for our foreign guests who supported the venture
  • Constant presence in the media, papers etc. throughout the year
  • Seen membership numbers continue to grow and the profile of Traditional Breeding gain increased recognition and acceptance
  • Organised a stand at Punchestown Equus Event to further promote the Traditionally Bred
  • In the process of organising an Auction of Stallion Nominations as a source of much needed funding for the Association.

The Stallion Nomination Auction is up and running. Please support this fundraiser in any way you can. All details are on the website.

If you wish to make any suggestions/proposals to the TIHA National Council please feel free to do so, as we value your ideas and your input. Suggestions/proposals should be submitted to any member of the National Council or returned with your membership renewal of €25 to Mr Jim Cooke at Legan, Louisburgh, Co Mayo on or before January 8th. 2014. The National Council will be meeting in January 2014 to draft a five year plan and to discuss in detail the way forward for the TIHA.

We do realise that we have a long road ahead of us and no doubt many more fences to jump before we restore the Traditional Irish Horse to its’ rightful place , but with your help and support it can be done.

The TIHA will be holding its’ Annual General Meeting on Sunday February 16th 2014 in the Hudson Bay Hotel, Athlone at 2pm. We look forward to meeting you there.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year,

Hugh Leonard, Chairman , TIHA.

TIHA Newsletter – December 2012

Dear Member,

After long gestation, the Traditional Irish Horse Association was finally placed on a sound legal footing on 7th December 2012. Your association is now a legal entity, a company limited by guarantee. We wish to thank you for your subscription of €25 which is valid until December 2013.

We in the Traditional Irish Horse Association (T.I.H.A) would like to acknowledge and thank the members of the former Traditional Irish Horse Breeding Society for their years of dedication and contribution to the promotion and preservation of traditional horse breeding in Ireland. Over half a century ago two distinguished horsemen Thady Ryan and Major Jed O’Dwyer recognised the threat to the traditionally bred mare and through the Limerick Lady and Matron Championships tried to arrest that decline. The Committee of the Traditional Irish Horse Breeding Society inherited this project and were the only body that continued to draw attention to the problem but they were “ a voice crying in the wilderness”. Realising that to make the industry recognise the seriousness of the situation it required a national effort through a revamped organisation to be led by a younger and more influential group of people the Committee called a meeting at Goresbridge in October 2011. From this meeting the present Association was conceived.

We would be grateful if our members would enrol one new member and explain that the current market demand is for Traditional Irish-bred horses, whether they are Eventers, Jumpers or Leisure horses. Once again through the good offices of the “Cruising” bred “Mr. Medicott”, we are the leading Event horse breeders of the world. The 16 y.o show jumper “ Flexible ”, also by Cruising became world champion show jumper and we are one of the biggest players in the Thoroughbred world. Traditional bred horses topped many of the autumn sales with the Go FOR GOLD sale averaging €18,000.

To qualify for Traditional Irish status, all animals that have only the constituent breeds (I.D, C.P, T.B) in the Parent, Grandparent and Great grandparent sections of their recorded pedigree shall be considered as Traditional Irish. The first cross between these breeds provides us with an Irish Sport Horse/ I.S.H.

I.S.H. can be crossed by a T.B sire or by an out cross I.S.H. sire to give us a further Irish Sport Horse.

The TIHA organised the following during the year:

• Set up a web site for the new association (Please check for updates)

• Had a stand at the Three Day Event in Tattersalls to promote the traditionally bred.

• A Pre-Olympic night in July in Adare, Co Limerick. The topic for the evening was the “Olympic Dream – Behind the scenes”. Speakers on the night included Michael and Patricia Ryan, Paul Beecher, Tommy Brennan, William Micklem, John Watson and Damian McDonald.

• Organised the Limerick Lady/ the Matron Championships & Foal Championships showcasing the quality available.

• Stallion parade, which attracted a line up of quality stallions giving a spectacular show.

• A sample foal sale for Traditionally Bred Foals which averaged €1,500. This is the first step in the Association’s efforts at promotion & marketing.

• A group of our members attended the AGM of Horse Board Ireland.

• A series of meetings with Horse Sport Ireland & The Horse Board in order to prevent the Traditional Irish Horse becoming an endangered species. At these meetings we requested the following:

1. Identify Traditional Irish mares (3 generations Irish)

2. Put them in a separate section of the Herd Book

3. Put a “T” after ISH, thus; ISH-T

4. Stamp a Shamrock Emblem on the cover of the passport

The first A.G.M of TIHA will take place on Sunday 20th January 2013 @ 2.30pm in the Hodson Bay Hotel. The Agenda and proposed rules will be posted on our website shortly.

Local parochial-type meetings will be held all over the country in January to familiarize ourselves with your problems and suggestions and to canvas new members. All relevant details will be available on our web site.


Yours faithfully,

Hugh Leonard,

Chairman T.I.H.A.