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The Connemara pony is believed to be a descendant of the Irish Hobby
The Irish Draught is also believed to be a descendant of the Irish Hobby

The Irish Hobby is an extinct breed of horse developed in Ireland prior to the 13th Century.[1] The breed provided foundation bloodlines for several modern horse breeds, including breeds as diverse as the Connemara pony and the Irish Draught.[2] Palfreys were known as haubini in France, which eventually became hobbeye. These animals eventually found their way to Ireland where the Irish Hobby developed.[2]

The breed was mentioned in 1375 by the poet John Barbour, who called them hobynis in his poem, The Bruce. He also mentioned them in his work Reliquiae Antiquae, noting their speed.[3]

And one amang, an Iyrysch man,
Uppone his hoby swyftly ran...

Mares of Irish Hobby breeding may have been among the native horse breeds of Ireland that provided foundation stock for the Thoroughbred. There is a great deal of evidence that the Irish Hobby was imported to England and Scotland for various activities, including racing, "...they be so light and swift." [1]

This quick and agile horse was also popular for skirmishing, and was often ridden by light cavalry known as Hobelars. Hobbies were used successfully by both sides during the Wars of Scottish Independence, with Edward I of England trying to gain advantage by preventing Irish exports of the horses to Scotland. Robert Bruce employed the hobby for his guerrilla warfare and mounted raids, covering 60 to 70 miles (97 to 113 km) a day.[4]

The breed is the origin of the term hobby horse.[3]


  1. ^ a b "mtDNA in Thoroughbred Dam Lines". Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  2. ^ a b Valerie Porter (2002). Mason's World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types, and Varieties. CABI. pp. 184–. ISBN 978-0-85199-430-7. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Martin, Gary. "The meaning and origin of the expression: Hobby-horse". The Phase Finder. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Hyland, Ann (1998),The Warhorse 1250-1600. UK: Sutton Publishing ISBN 0-7509-0746-0 p 32, 14, 37

See also[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Hobby — Please support Wikipedia.
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7 news items

Nottingham Post

Nottingham Post
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 22:56:15 -0800

"From an Irish perspective, we had never seen anything like it, you see, Irish dancing was a competitive Irish hobby and was in a bit of a niche. The costumes were becoming more and more colourful and extravagant and to be honest it was all a bit odd ...


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:22:40 -0700

The Kerry Bog Pony originated in Ireland, possibly a descendent of the Irish Hobby Horse, originally inhabiting the peat bogs of County Kerry, southwest Ireland. Although the exact origin of the Kerry Bog Pony is unknown, images from a 1617 book show ...


Sat, 12 Apr 2014 08:33:19 -0700

The Connemara Pony originated in Ireland and is believed to be bred from Scandinavian ponies brought to Ireland by the Vikings with another breed most likely the now extinct Irish Hobby. A legend states that a Spanish Armada in 1588 became grounded, ...
Spiegel Online
Mon, 23 May 2011 09:45:22 -0700

That makes Obama 3 percent Irish, hobby genealogists have have calculated. Since the connection became public in 2007, it was only a question of time before Obama would make an appearance. Like many of his predecessors, he did not pass up the ...
Mayo News
Tue, 07 Aug 2012 04:01:29 -0700

Another source was likely the Irish Hobby, a now-extinct breed established prior to the 13th century. Legend, however, says that galleons from the Spanish Armada ran aground in 1588, and the Andalusians on board were set loose. The Spanish horses bred ...
Tue, 02 Jun 2009 15:38:02 -0700

"The thoroughbred population is a closed population established in the 16th and 17th centuries from crosses between local galloway and Irish hobby horses with imported Eastern stock. "As with many domesticates, the thoroughbred originates from a small ...
Cheval Savoir
Sat, 15 Sep 2012 09:46:01 -0700

D'après les recherches entreprises au museum de Londres, le destrier anglais toise de 1,40 m à 1,50 m, et se distingue par sa force plutôt que sa taille. En Irlande, c'est l'Irish hobby, ou hobelar, que l'on destine au combat : un petit animal léger d ...

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