Breed Profile- Gypsy Vanner Horse
Photos By Cathy Childs
The Gypsy Vanner Horse is a beautiful breed envisioned by the Gypsies of Great Britain. This horse was selectively bred for over half a century from a vision to create the perfect horse to pull the Gypsy caravan. In 1996 the first Gypsy Vanner Horses came to North America and the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society was established as a registry for the breed. At that time the breed did not have a name, and the name Gypsy Vanner Horse was chosen, because the breed was a Gypsy’s “vanner horse”, bred to pull the colorful caraVAN.
They Gypsy Vanner is often referred to as a “people-sized” draft horse. The genetic origins of the breed include the Shire, the Clydesdale, and the native British ponies such as the Dales. The Gypsy Vanner is not a color breed. It is a body type with heavy bone and broad body like a draft, but with the majority of the breed standing 14-15 hands at the withers. The Gypsy Vanner comes in any color, solid, tobiano and splash. The first characteristic often noticed is the abundance of feather flowing from behind the knees and hocks, as well as the long free flowing mane and tail. In addition to amazing looks the Gypsy Vanner posses a temperament that is friendly and engaging.
0riginally bred to pull the Gypsy wagon, these horse are now being used in all disciplines. You will see them pulling carts and carriages, ridden in the dressage ring, as well as over fences and as western pleasure horses. The Gypsy Vanner is a wonderful family horse and is popular as a trail or therapy horse due to its unflappable nature.