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 www.tiha.ie (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.

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