© 2011 All Rights Reserved ~ Designed by Kathleen Jenson
SUNSET RIDGE HORSE RANCH
GYPSY VANNERS ~ PAINTS & QUARTERS ~ DRUMS
Kathleen Jenson & Family
ORIGINS OF THE GYPSY VANNER HORSE
It is not exact on the background of the Gypsy Vanner Horse but we do know they were bred over many years by the Romany People known as "Gypsies" to create a horse suitable for their lifestyle. Years ago it is believed the Gypsies branched off into small groups from India and then began to travel north through the UK. Travelling all the time and sleeping on the side of the road, Gypsies needed a horse durable and friendly. One that could withstand the strain of pulling caravans or vardos, as called by Gypsies, and live off all kinds of terrain but still have a quiet temperament to be around children. The Gypsy people became disliked, being it was the stealing to survive or the fortune telling that went against beliefs of the people around but they were drastically minimized to small numbers. It was then that Gypsies began to live in hiding and in doing so the horses that were being bred were unknown of, even between themselves they didn't share the breed lines of their horses, it was strictly kept between family members.
The breed lines of Gypsy Vanners are still uncertain but have been figured to mostly consist of Dales Ponies, Friesians, Clydales, and Shires. They have a puppy dog temperament and love attention, are quiet, calm and easy to handle plus have a strong build to carry weight. Making them great buggy pullers and yet still able to easily handle dressage and pleasure riding. Generally Gypsies are about 14 to 15.2 hands high but height isn't a factor of the Gypsy. Under 14 HH they are called "Mini Gypsies" and over 15.2 HH they are called "Grand Gypsies". Their coloring, if black and white is considered "Piebald" and "Skewbald" if they are another color with white, any other color is called "Odd Color" and a solid with white splashed up underneath is "Blagdon". Gypsy Vanners have an abundant of feathering around the lower leg, starting at the knee and spreading around to the front of the hoof. This trait is a demanded one and the more feathering the more desired the horse, for breeding and showing. Mane and Tail are also desired on the gypsy, the mane is wanted smooth and thin, if its curling it's excepted but crimpy is considered a fault. Gypsy Vanners are bred for their intelligance, puppy dog nature, and conformation of body, it should be short but bulky with strong legs, short thick neck, and a small head and all in proportion. See Gypsy Care.
The First Gypsy Vanner Horse came to North America in 1996, this stallion was "Cushti Bok" (means Good Luck in the Gypsy language). Discovered and brought over seas by Dennis and Cindy Thompson of Florida, USA, who gave light and knowledge of the Beauty and Quality the Gypsy Vanners possess to North America and inspired all horse enthusiasts. www.gypsygold.com It was then that Gypsy Vanners were recognized as a breed and registrable with GVHS (Gypsy Vanner Horse Society) and in 2004 they were recognized by the United States Dressage Federation. In 2004 Julia and Dan O'neill of Once Upon A Farm in Picton, Ontario brought Nimue home. The first Gypsy Vanner in Canada www.gypsyvannerhorses.ca and in 2007 CGVHC Canadian Gypsy Vanner Horse Club was formed to create opportunities for Canadians to promote and enjoy the Gypsy Vanner Horse. There are under 500 Gypsy Vanners in Canada today but knowledge of the breed is growing and more and more are seeing the value in them. These majestic creatures have been specifically bred and it would be a shame to not enjoy them for what they are and keep their traits alive. Its time to honor their History and give them a lasting future.