Gypsy Vanner Frequently Asked Questions


1. Where does the Gypsy Vanner Horse come from?
The Gypsy Vanner comes from England, Wales, and Ireland.  These horses can now be found in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, Australia, The Netherlands and a few other countries.


2. How many Gypsy Vanners are there?
There are around nine to ten thousand Gypsy Horses in the UK, however only about 20 % of those are the selectively bred Gypsy Vanner.
 The Gypsy King, imported Gypsy Vanner Horse stallion


3. How many Gypsy Vanners are in the United States?
Although there are about 3000 Gypsy Horses here in the US, only about 2200 of those are Gypsy Vanner Horses.


4. Is the Gypsy Vanner the same as the Gypsy Cob, Irish Cob, Irish Tinker, or the Drum Horse?
The Gypsy Vanner Horse is the first name used by Americans for the horse.  Generally, in the US, Gypsy Horse, Gypsy Cob and Gypsy Vanner all refer to the same horse.  They are sometimes called Irish Cob or Irish Tinker in Europe.  It should be noted that not all horses raised by gypsies are selectively bred or part of the breed.  They also breed trotter horses and horses for the European meat market.  Although those would be gypsy horses as they are owned by gypsies, they are not part of the breed we call the Gypsy Vanner. The Drum Horse is not a Gypsy Vanner or Gypsy Horse; it is generally a cross between a Gypsy Horse and a Shire or Clydesdale.


5. What can a Gypsy Vanner do?
 The Gypsy Vanner was bred by the Gypsies to pull their caravans, so they excel at driving.  They are also good for dressage, pleasure riding, children's mounts, low jumping, and have even been used on occasion for cutting cattle.
 Jasmine, one of the first Gypsy Vanner Horse mares imported into the US


6. What kind of temperament does the Gypsy Vanner have? 
 Gypsy Vanners are extremely gentle.  These horses were bred by the Gypsies only partially for looks - the other part was for gentleness.  Gypsy children are often found crawling over and around the Gypsy Vanners.


7. How big is the Gypsy Vanner Horse?
The average height is 14.2, but they range anywhere from 12.2 to 16 hh.  They usually weigh between 1,100  to 1,700 pounds.


8. What colors do the Gypsy Vanner come in?
Gypsy Vanners come in all colors.  The most common colors, however, are piebald (black and white) and skewbald (brown and white).  All colors are accepted.
 Sable, imported 2002 Gypsy Vanner Horse mare


9. Is the Gypsy Vanner Horse a registered breed?
Yes.  The first registry is called the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society, which was originally founded by Dennis and Cindy Thompson.  It is now run by a Board of Directors.  The registry is currently open to any horse that meets the breed standard.  Foals from registered parents get full registration.  Horses under three with unregistered or unknown pedigrees are issued temporary registration until the age of three, when they are eligible for permanent registration.  Their are other registries which will hopefully combined into one for the good of the breed sometime in the near future.

Last photo is copyright Mark J. Barrett 2005,