Before horse jumping existed as a sport, Hunters, which became the first jumpers, were bred in Ireland.
They had heaps of stamina and were conditioned to having to cope with all sorts of obstacles and challenges.
An Irish Hunt, usually which could last for days, developed their amazing jumping ability, as well as courage and fitness to tackle huge banks, ditches, hedges and stone walls.
This much sought after breed, or should I say half-breed, has enabled Ireland to produce more top class jumpers, than any other country.
A Thoroughbred is almost always the sire of an Irish Hunter, and the dam is a draught mare, which is a warm-blood, producing a heavy hunter.
The Heavy hunter mares are then crossed with a Thoroughbred stallion, which results in a lighter hunter type.
Connemara ponies which are also mated with a Thoroughbred stallion, produce the small hunter, that can become excellent hunting, jumping and sporting horses for heavier kids or lighter adults.
Europe has also bred and produced some versatile saddle horses, with great jumping ability, particularly from Germany, where the Holstein and Hanoverian originate from.