The Crossing of Breeds

The origins of all domestic breeds require a crossing of breeds or are inspired by an animal or animals that were crosses. 

Justin Morgans, figure, gave birth to the Morgan Horse, three Arabian stallions and seventy four mares gave birth to the Thoroughbred horse and the look of Sonny Mays and The Coal Horse stimulated the imaginations of British Gypsies to create their perfect caravan horse or Vanner. 

Recognized as a breed November 24th 1996, the British Gypsies Vanner Horse is one of the most distinctive domestic horse breeds in the world. 

A Vanner as it was intended, screams, I am unique and I can evoke feelings in you.  

Some breeds are not adversely affected by crossbreeding. Two breeds that come to mind (in my opinion) are the Thoroughbred race horse and the Poodle. 

Both have been extensively crossed and their genetics often contribute to a cross without adversely affecting the image, look or performance of their own distinctive breed,  i.e. Warmblood and poo, this, doodle, that.

While some breeds are not adversely affected by cross breeding, this is not the case for all.

Cross breeding can, and will adversely affect an established core breed if allowed.

The infusion of Thoroughbred into The American Quarter Horse comes to mind.

American Quarter Horse
Appendix Quarter Horse

 An Appendix Quarter Horse is a Thoroughbred crossed with a Quarter Horse. That decision was made by a breed society decades ago, but did you know that you can cross an Appendix Quarter Horse with a Thoroughbred again and still register it as a Quarter Horse ? 

In my mind, that decision was a pursuit to increase numbers in effort to appease everyone. That happens in a tail wag the dog democracy. It’s why the Quarter horse is multiple breeds today, not just one. I miss the old sturdy Quarter Horse and so did a lot of other people, that’s why The Foundation Quarter Horse Association was so popular. (look for an upcoming blog on “why breeds change”

Let me insert, the above paragraph is my personal opinion and should be taken as such, I might think more about this stuff than I should?  You be the judge. 

Just like the American Quarter Horse, I believe the Gypsy Vanner Horse is a breed unlike the Thoroughbred or the Poodle. I believe that it is instantly and adversely affected by crossbreeding. 

The elements that give the breed its magical look and temperament will be eliminated or reduced with one cross.

DID YOU KNOW, That only hairy legged horses created the Vanner Horse?  Thats not my opinion it’s science.  Hair is a recessive gene, also called an additive or cumulative gene, you must breed hair to hair to maintain or increase hair. The second you step away from hair, or breed a non-hairy horse to a hairy horse, you dramatically reduce hair and feather.

Vanner Horse stallion
Vanner Horse Cross = Gypsy Horse.

DID YOU KNOW, That all hairy legged horses come from the Forest horse and The Forest Horse is the progenitor of all Heavy/Draft Horses. 

Draft means to pull so the first heavy horse was not a draft horse, it was a war horse and called a Friesian.  

The Romans took Friesians to Great Britain and developed The Shire, The Clydesdale, The Dales and Fells Ponies. There were no more Knights in Shining Armor so the Friesian was going extinct. To save the Friesian they crossed it with Andalusian, a  smooth legged Spanish breed and thats why the Friesian has less hair and more of a Baroque riding horse look today. 

DID YOU KNOW, That adrenaline (temperament) and melanin (color) are linked ? 

If you breed foxes for temperament alone their color will change, over several generations they will go from solid colored to piebald. (Learn more about the study on foxes here)

The gentle paint horse you remember as a child was gentle for a reason. It is therefore not surprising that the Gypsy Vanner is a colored breed.

The Gypsy Vanner’s extraordinary temperament comes from the color, hair, and the Gypsy people’s love for their children.

The Vanner is not a breed that lends itself to crossbreeding.

The Mission of The Gypsy Vanner Horse Society is to bring honor recognition and a better understanding to the people and their selectively bred horses , crossbreeding wont achieve that. 

 The four goals of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society are to establish: 

The Look – The Genetics – The Feelings and the Value.  

Crossing the breed is contrary to all of those goals.  

The by-laws of the GVHS state that crossbreeding is not allowed

As breeders and members of a breed preservation society, we should invest in the mission and goals of our Vanner breed. Our success and our Mission and Goals should not be jeopardized by the folly of genetic imagination, i.e. crossbreeding.   

 I am an idea guy who embraces imagination and the wonder of, what if, it’s fun ? 

If not for the imagination of humans and the crossing of breeds, one can argue there would be no new breeds, but a breed society is a preservation and establishment effort – not a lab for creating new breeds.

“Cross it and you redefine the temperament and look of The Gypsies Vanner Horse”.

The magical look and gentle demeanor of the Vanner breed belongs to British/Irish Gypsies, the preservation of their imagination achieved is every Vanner lovers responsibility.  

I hope you agree !