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Breeds of the world: The Gypsy Cob

This article has appeared previously with Equestrian Life. To see what is in our latest issue, please click here.

Gypsy Cob mare and foal - pixabay 

Gypsy Cobs are known for their spectacular coat colour - as well as their thick manes and tails!


By Equestrian Life

Associated with the Pavee and Roma travelling peoples of Britain and Ireland, the Gypsy Cob - also referred to as the Gypsy Vanner, Coloured Cob or Irish Cob - is a sturdy breed with draught characteristics.
Although their existence dates back to the 1850s when travellers in the British Isles began using a distinct type of horse to pull their caravans, the Gypsy Cob only become an officially recognised breed in 1996.


Gypsy cob foals. Labelled for reuse

The breed is typically piebald, however Gypsy Cobs can be skewbald or any solid colour - there is actually no coat colour requirement with the associated breed registries. Feathering of the legs is also a typical characteristic of the breed, as is a straight facial profile. While most are around the 14-hand mark, both smaller and larger horses are common. Today, it’s possible to find ‘minis’ that are as small as 11 or 12 hands.

A relatively new breed to countries such as America and Australia, the Gypsy Cob is increasing in popularity. Although bred to pull, they are starting to add a splash of colour to a number of equestrian disciplines.







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