The Gypsy cob
The breed – Gypsy Cob
The Gypsy Cob is a hearty little draft horse which usually stands between 12 and 15.2 hands. Their exceptional stamina allows them to go all day at a steady trot while pulling a loaded living wagon with the whole Gypsy family. They are sturdily built with solid bone and in order to be a "traditional Gypsy horse" they must have a good deal of feathering and hair. The Gypsy horse comes in all colours, with the most common being the pinto patterns, piebald and skewbald. Although they have been bred for a particular type for generations, they are originally descended from several draft horse and pony breeds, namely the Shire and Clydesdale along with the Dales, Fell and other native British breeds.
Due to the lack of written records on this breed, most of what is known of the Gypsy Cob has been passed down from generation to generation through the spoken word. Gypsy Cob's were originally bred by the Romani People of the UK and Ireland, who we know as the Gypsies.
It was in the past century that the breed we now know as the Gypsy Cobs came into existence, when the Gypsies actively started breeding for particular characteristics. They are in such high demand for many families from all walks of life, due to their willing disposition, beautiful flowing mane, extensive feathering and performance in many disciplines, such as the show ring, dressage, jumping, pony club and even working cattle. Powerful yet gentle and quiet in nature, they are an ideal breed for pleasure riding or working horse. If you are looking for a horse that is known for its soundness and sanity, that will be a faithful companion to your family, and is incredibly versatile, the traditional Gypsy Cob may just be the perfect horse for you.
The Gypsy Cob......Beautiful, brilliant, kind and now enjoying tremendous growth and popularity in Australia
Gypsy Cob Breed Standard
The Traditional Gypsy Horse will have heavy, flat bone. His body must be comparatively short and he will have a thick neck and a sloping shoulder, which should tie in well down his back. He should have a wide and powerful chest and his hindquarters should be round and large. He should sport a very thick mane and tail and his feet should be covered with a profuse amount of long hair or feather. This feather should start behind the knee or hock and fall to the ground and be on both the front and back of the leg. Feather can be noted as curly, woolly or straight and silky within the breed. Many prefer straight, silky feather but it is not usually demanded. What is demanded is that there is 'profuse Feather' which covers the hoof.
The Gypsy can be
Of any size and may be of the pony, cob or horse variety.
Generally speaking gypsy cobs range between 13 and 15.2 hands but heights either side of this are equally acceptable.
The overall appearance of a Gypsy Cob should
Give an impression of intelligence, kindness, strength and soundness.
Be of good bone, either medium or heavy weight.
Be well muscled, with a sturdy compact body, and abundant mane, tail and feather.
The Head should
Be neat, noble and expressive, a sweet head, meaning without coarseness
Be in proportion to the overall body.
Have a generous jaw, even bite and rounded cheek bone.
Have a good width between the nostrils.
Have a straight profile (a heavy Roman nose or overly dished profile is discouraged).
Ears should be neat, well-set, in proportion to the head and not too large.
Have a broad forehead.
Have eyes that are large and set well apart with a bright, intelligent, kind expression.
The neck should be
Clean through the throat with a slightly deeper throat latch than lighter breeds
Slightly arched, more prominent in stallions
Strong and well-muscled
Not too short, in proportion to back length
Tie in well at the shoulder and withers.
Shoulders & Withers
The shoulders should be
Deep, well laid back and sloping.
Powerful with well-developed muscles
The withers should be
Well covered, rounded withers
Level with croup
Chest & Body
The chest should be
Broad and powerful allowing for a large lung/heart cavity.
The muscle along the bottom on the chest should appear as in inverted “V” shape as it ties into the forearm.
The barrel should
Be deep with well-sprung ribs
Have a solid covering of muscle
Have a flank as deep as the girth
The back should be
Short coupled, broad and strongly supported.
Have ample muscle sloping slightly upwards towards the croup.
The loin should be short, wide and strongly muscled.
Be in proportion to the rest of the overall body
Legs & Movement
The legs should
Be set well under the body,
Be straight, clean, with plenty of dense, flat bone and well defined joints
Hocks should be broad and clean with the modified closer hock-set of a pulling horse, but not as close as the modern draft type
Pastern angle should match the angle of the shoulder
Have medium round shaped hooves capable of carrying the frame without stress
Well-developed frogs, hard, strong hooves and wide heels
Stride should be correct, supple and powerful showing good impulsion from behind. Effortless in appearance.
The hindquarters should
Be well-rounded, with a muscled croup tying into powerful hips giving the appearance of an “apple butt” shape.
Good length from the point of the hip through the haunch, should balance the shoulders.
Tail well set, should not appear too low.
The hair should
Be thick and luxuriant in the mane (Double manes are common but not required)
The forelock should be full and long
Have abundant leg feathering starting at the knee and hock and run down the front and back of the leg (though silky, straight feather is preferred, curly or wavy is acceptable)
Most importantly the feather should cover the hooves all the way around
Be abundant in the tail
Often the gypsy cobs will have a beard, whiskers and muzzle hairs (moustache)
Gypsy Cobs come in a large variety of colour.
All colour, markings and patterns are acceptable
All eye colours are accepted
Stallions must portray the male characteristics of the breed
Presence, ‘a look at me attitude’
Muscling and pride while being controllable and willing
Arched, well crested neck
From 3 years of age must have two fully descended, normally shaped testicles.
Mares must reflect the feminine qualities of the breed
Easy-going, sensible and willing. The disposition of the mare is critical when raising her foal.
Mares may have slightly longer backs than males
Mares tend to have slightly longer ears than stallions whose ears are short and shapely.
The Gypsy Cob should be, above all else,
Be a strong, kind and willing partner, loyal and eager to please
Display a very intelligent character
Be manageable, mannerly and respectful
Be alert, confident and courageous
Display a docile temperament, tractable nature and sensible disposition with a genuine sociable outlook