Keeping Them Quotable

A Gypsy Vanner Horse lover knows the magic that makes the breed we all love quotable. From the day the breed entered the US, the Gypsy Vanner has inspired and continued to inspire people across the country.

GG L Divo, Photographed by Mark J Barrett

Cushti Bok arrived in America on Easter Sunday 1997 and appeared publicly for the very first time that same year at an event called “The Cattle Barrons Ball” on the Southfork Ranch in Dallas, Texas.

  The event is the largest fund raiser for The American Cancer Society in North America. The theme by uncanny coincidence was Spanish Colonial … Gypsy. Fortune tellers, tarot card readers, and a caravan added to the mystical feeling when people saw the unusual small horse with a draft horse body for the very first time.  


A man repeatedly walked up to Cushti Bok, stared at him, and then returned to his seat without saying a word.  In time, he could no longer refrain from expressing his feelings when he said:

  “I cannot stop staring at your horse, he reminds me of a living carousel horse. You don’t know me, but you may know a horse I used to own, his name is Seattle Slew”.  

The Log / Cushti Bok GV0001F – the first registered Gypsy Vanner Horse 

That gentleman was Dr Hill; a veterinarian who currently owns  J B Hill Boot Company in El Paso Texas. 

Sixteen years later in 2014,  Dr Hill called me at the Gypsy Gold Horse Farm in Ocala, Florida and said, “you probably don’t remember me,  we met at The Cattle Barrons Ball in Dallas and I am in Ocala and would like to see your horses again”. 

 I invited him to come visit the farm, and during his visit, Dr Hill shared a story about the year he bought Seattle Slew as a yearling for $17,500.00  He said at that same sale he purchased eleven other yearlings. Nine of the twelve became stakes winners and one became a legend. I would say that Dr Hill has quite an eye for special horses.  I reminded Dr Hill about his carousel horse quote and told him that his quote was the first of many to come. 

Over the years, people have continued to compare the Gypsy Vanner Horse to the things that create feelings of awe:

“Your horses remind me of Harley Davidson’s”

“Your horses remind me of rock stars”

”Your horses remind me of Aerosmith”

” Your horses remind me of Unicorns”

”Your horses remind me of Elvis”

And a nine year old little girl sitting on Crown Darby, one of America’s first imported fillies, closed her eyes clenched her hands and said “Your horses remind me of  great big red rubies

The feeling of inspiration people get when looking at a Vanner will never end if we covet and hold dear the original four goals of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society:

#1 Establish the breed with the look Gypsies envisioned  

#2 Establish the breed with the genetics that created the look DNA verified 

#3 establish the breed with the feelings of status and pride that Gypsies only feel for their selectively bred horses preserved 

#4 establish the breed in direct parallel to the value Gypsies enjoyed for their selectively bred horses.  

Latcho Drom and Dennis Thompson