ABOUT THE STANDARD
It is in the mission of The Gypsy Cob Society to respect the spoken words of Gypsies who have dedicated lifetimes in the pursuit of breeding the perfect Vanner/caravan horse. The breed standards were reviewed and approved in detail by a Gypsy who has maintained the same genetics born from his Vanner vision for over 56 years. He has raised several of the breeds most famous sires and dams and was instrumental in choosing the name Gypsy Cob Horse for his breed.
His name is Fred Walker. Upon reviewing this breed standard, Fred said, “I couldn’t have said it better myself”. Fred Walker, a.k.a. King of the Coloured Horses.
The Gypsy Cob is a “people sized” draft horse with heavy bone and broad body, but on a smaller scale then the large draft breeds.
The Irish Cob, in it’s traditional form and type, is a small, compact, powerful, yet agile working horse (a cold blood). The Irish Cob is classified as a working draught horse (as opposed to the carriage horse, which may be clean legged – warm blood type).
The Irish Cob breed is classified as a working draught horse, so as to ensure that the breed is never allowed to become light of bone, which would also have the effect of losing one of the breeds renowned characteristics, the leg feathering.
Although described as a ‘draught’ type animal, breeding organizations shall ensure that the Irish Cob breed also remains a dual purpose animal, by retaining the docile character attributed to the cold blood breeds, while retaining the breed’s agile and versatile capabilities, which are ideally suited to a number of leisure riding pursuits.
The Gypsy Horse is not a colour breed it is a body type, therefore all colours, markings and patterns are acceptable. In honour of the British Gypsy heritage of the breed, the following names will be used to describe a Gypsy Vanner horses colour.
A. Piebald: Black & White
B. Skewbald: Red & White, Brown & White, Tri-Colour
C. Odd Coloured: Any other color
D. Blagdon: Solid colour with white splashed up from underneath
No height limits, all sizes have the same standards, all equally acceptable.
The Vanner has the look of a small to average size horse with a draft horse type body.
A. Back: Short coupled and in proportion to overall body
B. Withers: Well rounded, not high and fine
C. Chest: A deep, broad chest with well sprung ribs.
D. Shoulder: Sloping shoulder with well developed muscle
E. Hindquarters: Heavy, powerful hips with a well muscled rounded croup, tail not set too low. Slab sided or severely sloping hindquarters are considered a fault.
F. Neck: Strong and of ample length, stallions must display a bold look with a rainbow (well arched) crest.
Clean, heavy to medium heavy bone set on medium to large hoof.
A. Front: Set square, muscular with broad flat well developed knees.
B. Rear: Hocks that are broad and clean, a Vanner will have the modified closer hock set of a pulling horse, but not as close as the modern draft horse. Set back or sickle hocks are a fault.
C. Hoof : large round hoof , open at the heels with well developed frogs. Small contracted hooves are considered a fault.
D. Leg movement, clean, straight, and true, with energy and a distinctive and effortless trot.
Ideal hair is straight and silky, with some wave, curl and body being acceptable. Kinky hair is a fault.
A. Abundant feathering should begin at the back of the knees on the front legs and at or near the hocks on the rear, extending over the front of the hooves.
B. Mane, forelock and tail should be ample to profusely abundant, double manes are common but not required.
A sweet head is a more refined head than a typical shire might have, set on a strong neck in harmony with the horses overall look.
A. Throat and jaw: Clean throat-latch and jaw.
B. Nose: Flat and tapered, a slightly roman nose is acceptable if it goes with the horses over all look. A heavy roman nose is not acceptable.
C. Eyes: Any color, wide set, bright, alert and kind.
D. Ears: In proportion to the head, not too large.
A Vanner should be alert and willing with traits of intelligence, kindness and docility.