The 2024 Irish Draught Division is sponsored by OCH Conservation Foundation & Piedmont Foxhounds Conservation Fund. Questions should be directed to Rae Stone or Brandy Greenwell
The ring for the Irish Draught Division classes has been built on the Polo Field behind the Hunter rings. Enter through Gate 3 (closest to the Village of Upperville on the South side of Route 50). Proceed straight through the hunter side into the polo field where trailer parking will be indicated.
The following information is provided by the Irish Judge. The Steward will be available for any questions prior to the classes.  The most important thing is for everyone to have fun celebrating the Irish Horse!
In Hand Classes for Irish Draughts & Irish Draught Sport Horses
Turnout for the Horse: To be shown in hand the horse requires a neat show or hunt bridle, properly fitted which enhances the look of the animal. Either reins or a Newmarket shank and lead may be used. Manes should be plaited (braided) and tails pulled or plaited (braided). Field hunter style plaits (braids) would be more appropriate – that is approximately 10-12 plaits (braids). Feathers may be trimmed.
Turnout for the Handler: The Handler should be as neat, tidy and well-turned out as the horse. Men generally wear a collar and tie with a hacking jacket, tidy trousers and a bowler hat or cap as appropriate. Women may wear the same with a hunting cap instead of a bowler. Shoes should be sensible and suitable for running the horse up in hand. A show cane to be carried is preferred and gloves worn. Handler may choose to use a crop or dressage whip instead of a show cane for one class. Turnout should enhance and not detract from the horse. Handlers entered in the under-saddle classes may present their horses in hunt attire.
Procedure: Participants will be invited to enter the ring by the steward and track right. Once all entrants are in the ring judging will commence. The steward will hold the class in a designated corner of the ring for the first individual trot. Once all horses have trotted individually the class will proceed on the rail and the judge will pull horses in a preliminary order, lining up on the steward’s direction. Starting at the top of the line, horses will be presented to the judge at the halt. They will be directed by the judge to walk in a straight line away and trot back. They will then resume their place in the lineup. Once the judge has looked at all horses individually, they will be sent back on the rail at a walk and the final placings will be indicated by the steward and called to the center for ribbons to be awarded.
Irish Hunter Hack & Irish Handy Hunter Over Fences
Turnout for the Horse: As for In Hand. Horses may be shown in a double bridle. Preference is for flat leather browband and noseband. If using a saddle pad, numnah shaped or saddle shaped is preferred in a color which compliments the turnout. Protective boots may be worn for jumping elements only. If you want to put boots on your horse to jump, please make sure you have a groom available to assist with this.
Turnout for the Rider: A correctly secured skull cap or riding hat that meets current safety standards must be worn by riders at all times. Traditional velvet hats with a flesh-colored harness and a fixed peak are in keeping with traditional hunting dress, but a skull cap with a smart velvet or silk cover is acceptable. A classic tweed jacket is correct for daytime classes, while a navy jacket would be worn for evening championships. Black or navy jackets would be acceptable on this occasion. Breeches should be canary or beige. A shirt and tie or shirt and stock tie may be worn as appropriate. Gloves should be tan or brown.
Any rider who would like to wear a body protector for the jumping phases is encouraged and allowed.
Turnout for the Groom: A tidy jacket worn over a shirt and tie would be ideal. Neat trousers and appropriate footwear as well as some style of hat is preferred. The turnout of the groom has no bearing on judging or placing; however, it is a mark of respect for yourself, your horse, fellow competitors, the judge and spectators. The groom may bring a box or basket of brushes and a towel to tidy the horse.
Hunter Hack Procedure: Participants will be invited to enter the ring by the steward and track right. Once the gate is closed judging will commence. Competitors will show at the walk, trot and canter on the right as indicated by the steward. To change the rein, a steward will advise competitors from which corner they will ride a diagonal. Competitors are expected to ride a simple change on the diagonal and carry on in canter on the left lead. Once all competitors are tracking left, the steward will indicate which long side will be used for the individual extended canter. Competitors should be courteous in spacing and only extend with plenty of room between horses, ideally waiting until the horse ahead has completed their extended canter.
After each individual’s extended canter, riders should come to a walk and keep to the inside of the ring, behind the judge until all competitors have completed the extended canter. Next the steward will direct horses into a line, from which competitors will jump the fences individually. The steward will indicate when grooms may enter the ring to strip horses. Saddles will be removed and horses presented to the judge for conformation evaluation, just as the In Hand classes. Grooms may bring grooming kits to tidy the horse. Once they have been seen by the judge, horses may be saddled again. Once all entries have been seen, the steward will indicate riders may remount with the assistance of their groom and grooms exit. Riders will be sent back to the rail for the final placings to be selected.
Handy Hunter
The course will be available to walk on the day. Horses will enter individually to complete the course.
Competitors will receive a score which will determine placings. Top placings will be called back into the ring for the presentation of ribbons.
Final Championship Presentation: In Hand or Under Saddle
The top two placings from each of the confirmation classes are invited into the ring for the Championship placing.
The top two Pure Irish Draught and the top two Part-bred Irish Draught from the Hunter Hack are invited into the ring for the Championship placing.
The top two Pure Irish Draught AND the top two Part-bred Irish Draught from the Handy Hunter are invited into the ring for the Championship placing.
The judge will select a Pure Irish Draught Champion and Reserve Champion and a Part-bred Irish Draught Champion and Reserve Champion from these horses.