Origins of the Irish Draught Horse Council in NZ
A preliminary meeting was held at the Canterbury Jockey Club rooms on May 24th 1988 attended by the following: Mr & Mrs T.F Ryan, Mr & Mrs C. G Morris, Mr B.E Jessep and Mr A. G Ryan. There was no formal agenda and a general discussion took place ending in a decision to call another meeting on July 15th when the formal formation of a Society to embrace those interested in furthering the use of the Irish Draught breed as a crossing line with New Zealand Thoroughbreds and to control the registration of such breeding.
It may not be known by all that the two Irish Draught stallions now in this country (at that time) arrived on the same plane. Amazingly their movements from the northern hemisphere were planned and carried out completely separately. This made the whole project of introducing Irish Draught horses into NZ far more interesting as a result of having two separate bloodlines arrive together.
At following meetings the Constitution and Objectives of the Society were devised being aligned with the Constitution of the Irish Draught Horse Society of Great Britain.
The object of the Society is to establish, preserve and improve the Irish Draught Horse in New Zealand and to promote and maintain high standards of breeding, conformation, quality and soundness. In furtherance of this objective the Society has the following powers:
to set up a Register including an appendix in respect of the breed
to all things as are necessary for the attainment of the object
The Society has grown through the years and has benefited from the two original purebred stallions, Laughtons Legend and Kingsway Diamond and in 1998 the importation of Coalmans Touch. More recently Ballineen Blue Mountain was imported and he is adding different genes to the bloodlines currently available. Additionally there are a number of very good partbred stallions as well as imported semen available now for interested breeders.
The Council recently set up a Facebook page and is actively encouraging new members and continued interest in the breed.