A relatively new breed, theGypsy Vanner Stallionhas flashy good looks, a powerful physique, and a calm temperament. The Gypsies of England and Ireland created this breed with careful attention to appearance. While they have eye-catching beauty, they still have great temperaments and are easy keepers, able to subsist on fair rations.
AlthoughTinkers, or Gypsy Vanners, were originally bred to be half black and half white, they are currently available in almost any color. These horses have abundant leg feathering that begins at the knee on the front legs and the hocks on the back legs. The entire front of the hoof should be covered by the feathering. The manes and tails of Gypsy Vanners are quite generous, flowing, and silky. Vanners have heavy, draft-type bodies, good muscle, and noble, expressive heads. Vanners are usually 13 to 15 hands in height and weigh between 1,100 and 1,700 pounds.
Like most stallions,Gypsy Vanner stallionsare ready for breeding between the ages of 2 and 4 years.
Gypsy Vanners were bred with great emphasis on behavior and temperament. The Gypsies knew that an unpredictable horse could hurt their families and destroy their wagon-homes, so great care was taken in ensuring that the Vanner was bred to be kind, gentle, and calm. These horses are usually quite docile, but they are also extremely intelligent.
After World War II, the Gypsies of Ireland and England began their attempts to breed a horse that was perfect for their own needs. They wanted horses that were strong enough to pull their colorful wagons and that were calm and steady in temperament for safety. Additionally, they wanted horses that were showy, with refined heads, lavish manes, and abundant feathering. The Shire horse had the greatest influence on this breed, but the Gypsies also used Clydesdales and several types of ponies as contributors to the breed. In the 1990s a breed registry was established, detailing bloodlines, conformation, and registry guidelines.
The Gypsy Vanner can be found in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, the United States, Australia, France, and Germany. In the United Kingdom, there are around 2,000 registered Gypsy Vanners, and in the United States there are about 2,200 registered Vanners.