TB's seem to be the eventer's horse of choice, They have the atheletic ability and stamina to do all 3 phases of the competition. Most are brave and will try their hearts out for you. My personal 2nd choice would be a Connamara, but they're a little hard to find. Whatever the breed, I think it's important to have a horse that you can have a strong bond with.
TB's are typically what you find in your average eventer barn. I dont mind TBs and I certainly dont deny that most are excellent eventers, but I've always loved baroque horses (Andalusians, Lipizzaners, Fresians, etc. Though the latter two will be out of most peoples price ranges.). Andalusians have great bone structure, are very intelligent, and have the heart, stamina, and will to do the job. They'll handle anything you throw at them, including eventing.
I'm currently on the hunt for a pony eventer, and my main concerns are for them to have basic correct conformation with willing temperaments. It's hard to judge a horse completely on his suitability for a discipline just by a conformation shot, and there are also many horses that compete with what many people consider to be "major flaws".
It also depends on what level you hope to compete. For BN, really anything can do it. Novice, you have to be pickier because the demands are higher, but still most athletic horses have no problem jumping a 3' course. Buying anything unproven for anything above training level IMO is when you start taking a gamble, (mostly for the cross country) but hopefully if you wanted a prospect that could take you there and/or higher hopefully you'd have a trainer to help you first hand.
TBs are great eventers, but I'm not sure they're ideal for the higher levels solely for the dressage. Conformationally TBs are bred for speed and endurance, and aren't typically purchased as high level dressage mounts. There are always exceptions, but just saying.
TBs and Arab crosses are my choice. I like how compact the Arab crosses are but a lot of it is hit and miss. I know a lot of backyard bred Arab crosses with huge physical flaws that would limit their ability.
3/4 TB 1/4 draft are good. That bit of draft makes their bones and hooves more solid which can be very important when doing a lot of cross country and jumping.
TB Percheron cross (this is a 1/2 1/2 cross, a 3/4 1/4 cross would be lighter than this):
Selle Francais is also a very good jumping/eventing breed. If I personally wanted an eventing horse I would probably choose this breed.
my eventer is a clyde/tb cross. he maxes out around 3'7" though - could probably do a little higher but he's heavy-ish and really excels at the dressage part. he's a lovely mover and loves all of the eventing - actually stadium is his least favorite b/c he's less agile due to his size. but i adore him and we have a ball out xc or in the dressage ring!
if i could have any breed i would definately get myself a dutch warmblood, they excell in dressage and are also fantastic at jumping. They are generally a sound breed unlike tb's (i love tb's to death though, but my boy is always going lame). a dutch would be my first pick
TB, Dutch Warmblood, or Trakhener are great breeds for eventing...TBs like everybody has said previously, and Dutch Warmbloods and Trakheners seem to just be well-suited to eventing in the warmblood world. They're both a little lighter than many other warmbloods, quick in action and brain, extremely athletic, and bold, plus with movement for dressage. We have one horse whose breed seems to be unique to him, although I don't know why because he is a fabulous eventer...he's an Anglo-Arabian/Oldenburg. He gets bone density and a sound mind from the Oldb side, plus quickness and stamina from the Anglo-Arab. He is a great mover and very bold, which I think comes from both.
teddy oconnor was bred specifically for eventing for one thing. many small horses & ponies just dont have the scope to jump that big or are not fast enough to make times. when you are galloping over big solid fences you want a horse that you KNOW can jump the fences with no issue, you dont want to have to worry that your pony is going to barely scrape over it. also a lot of upper level riders are too big for ponies.
My Appendix is 16.3 hh and he's doing really well in eventing. He watches his feet though and doesnt get clumsy as some of the bigger horses might. He puts his heart into it and jumps anything you ask of him
yeah, that makes sense...can a horse be too big to be a good eventer? You said up to about 16.2hh...I know of some bigger eventers, like Gina Miles' McKinleigh (he's like 17.3), but can some be too big to event well?