It is very rare that I quote from a Press Release, but (very) occasionally there is an eloquent comment that cannot be ignored. Filmmakers Jackie and Mark Barrett take viewers on a journey through the British Isles and across America in discovery of a magical new breed of horse, the Gypsy Vanner. It’s a story steeped in the legend, romance, and mystery of the Gypsies and Traveling People of the British Isles.

The Gypsy Vanner is indeed a breed of horse that is relatively new, well at least new in the sense that the horse world really only turned their attention to it some 60 years ago and began to seriously develop the breed.

The Gypsy Vanner is one of the most visually stunning breeds I have ever seen.


OK, rarely do you find a pure white one. They are better known for their colors, sometimes called piebald, or skewbald.

I checked out Wikipedia about the subject. What I found was a boring, dry and maybe not quite well researched article about this wonderful breed.

Skewbald has its roots in traditional British music. I rather like this modern version of a very old song. Skewbald and Piebald was not a common coloring, did this trait come from the Romany breeders?

It begs the question, exactly when did the Gypsy Vanner really get its start? The Romany AKA Gypsies are the most likely source. The breed was not known in the mainstream until the 1960’s, but it was without doubt the roaming nomads of western Europe, particularly England and Ireland that deserve the credit for the breed.

Oh, do not get me wrong, they had no interest in ‘pretty’ horses. They needed ones that could work hard, towing the caravan, and still be docile and easy to get along with. The fact that they are likely the most eye catching breed is nothing more than a fluke! But a fluke that breeders are now working hard to further refine.

Gypsy Vanner Horse is a great introduction to a little appreciated nor known breed. You can get your own copy of this fine DVD by using the Amazon link above or direct from Janson Media.

You can also check out the trailer here:

Simon Barrett

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