O’Leary’s Irish Diamond

©Deb Dawson

Some horses are born to greatness. O'Leary's Irish Diamond was foaled April 29, 1994, with the good bone and handsome conformation of his Irish Draught Horse heritage, and the gentle, workmanlike character cherished in its breed standards. He scored the highest conformation marks of the 1997 inspections in Ireland, and following his sale to Jim and Karen Leary, became the only RID (Registered Irish Draught) stallion ever performance-tested, and approved in America by the Irish Horse Board.

Thanks to his pedigree, the 16.2-hand grey needed no formal introduction to the international dressage or show jumping worlds. His sire, Glidawn Diamond, is considered the best RID stallion in the world today, and a son of the legendary RID foundation sire, King of Diamonds, once ranked by the World Breeding Federation as one of the 10 greatest producers of show jumpers in the world. His dam, top Irish mare Grey Curragong, is renowned for her athleticism and movement. This pedigree has produced international horses Custom Made, Mill Pearl, Special Envoy, Pinon Muldoon, Joe II, Dury Lad and Millstreet Ruby.

Irish's Breyer model

When given a chance to jump, Irish likes the idea, but according to his present owner, Melissa Cason-Kinney, of Kinson Stud in Bigfork, Montana, Irish is equally happy performing in whatever discipline he is asked for. In 2000, he earned the Southern California Dressage Association's Third Level championship before turning his talents to the over fences classes and winning 2002 Open and Open Modified jumper championships.

Irish returned to the dressage ring in 2004, and qualified in Prix St. Georges for the USDF Regional Championships. While competing in Florida, Irish drew scores of fans during his tests, and the approval of judges, who called his high scoring, extended trot "elastic and very forward."