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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Gypsy Cobs - a breed loved for work ethic and temperament

ABOVE: Isabella Savio Papas’ Ambleside Brennan. Picture: LISA GREEN/MANE MEMORIES

THE Gypsy Cob is one of the “new” breeds being seen in Australian show rings in recent years.

Their history is based in the Romani culture. As their work horses and living with the Romani families, they developed a strong work ethic and equitable temperament. They were so cherished by their owners that the saying was that “gypsy gold does not clink and glitter, it gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark”.

Built like a small draft horse, with a crossing of large heavy breeds with Welsh and Dale ponies, they have massive feathers, manes and tails and come in many colours.

They began to be imported to Australia by keen breeders about 20 years ago, with studs concentrating on quality stock, and now have a smallish but widely recognised position on the Australia scene.

In 2021, the All Breeds Show Society first partnered with the Australasian Gypsy Horse Society to bring a brand-new event to the Victorian show calendar – the Victorian State Gypsy Cob Spectacular at the Elmore Equestrian Park.

It was Australia’s first two-day, dedicated feature show for pure and part breds and featured led, ridden and long reining classes, as well as an obstacle course and a tiny tot riding class.

This year, again at Elmore, the Gypsy Cobs were out in force.

ABOVE: Supreme champion leading rein Charlie Moran on Lazy B the Gangster. Picture: MANE MEMORIES

The supreme part bred senior Gypsy Cob was Kristyn Black’s Boharn Valhalla Rising Odin.  

“I bought Odin from Echuca horse sales in 2018 as the stud he came from had a dispersal,” Kristyn said.

“He was quite sassy when I got him and it took a while to calm him down but after we worked together and got to know each other we soon became best friends.

“Odin was a stallion and has sired three foals but was gelded over 12 months ago. He has been shown since a yearling and is now broken in and going extremely well.

“He is a very laid back and willing boy and my best friend.”

Just as spectacular was the supreme senior purebred Gypsy Cob and jackpot stallion/colt, Jade Timmins’ Faraway Once Upon a Time.

The jackpot mare/filly award went to Matthew Porter and the charming Havayarn Park Penelope.         

ABOVE: Lee Scown and Marindy Take A Piece Of My Heart. Picture: MANE MEMORIES

Julie Masters-Evans and Dry River Bently took the jackpot gelding award and the best presented grand champion was Lee Scown with Marindy Take a Piece of My Heart.

In the youngstock classes, the supreme purebred Gypsy Cob was Danni Showers’ Kintara Earths Lily and the supreme part-bred was Matthew Porter’s Havayarn Park Penelope.



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