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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 - Photo YouTube

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 in snow - 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.


Gypsy cob filly - Labelled for reuse

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.


Gypsy cob in paddock - Labelled for reuse


Solid colour gypsy cob - Labelled for reuse




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