They come from humble beginnings as the secreted Gypsy pride to become Deerfields’ cavalcade of mystical royalty. A handful of these rare treasures will now reside with the owner of the Deerfields Stables, Jim Wilson.
The nine majestic Gypsy Vanner Horses arrived in Palgrave on June 9th, after a 30-hour trip the night before the reception, from their birthplace ‘Gypsy Gold’ farm in Florida.
Before introducing us to the guests of honour and after a warm greeting, Jim Wilson told us of how he had first come upon this beautiful breed and what set him on his expedition to acquire his own string of them.
While visiting on a neighbouring farm with the intention of buying peacocks for his estate, the owner introduced him to Jim’s first Gypsy Vanner, and so the path was set.
With champagne glasses in hand, we made a toast to the horses in honour of their safe arrival.
Jim then introduced his special guest, Dennis Thompson, the originator of the breed.
Dennis first brought these unique horses onto American soil in 1996 and through years of research, time and dedication he formed the registry of the breed as the founder of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society.
His first encounter with the breed was a horse named Cushti Bok, which, in Romany Gypsy language means ‘Good Luck’. It was this horse who became the first Gypsy Vanner Horse stallion in North America. He was, there by, the first selectively bred horse raised by Gypsies in the world to be recognized as a breed.
Dennis’s mission is to: honour, give recognition and to bring better understanding to the world’s most colourful, least understood society and the horses they so dearly love. By respecting the spoken word of the Gypsies who have dedicated a lifetime in the pursuit of a dream to create the perfect horse to pull their caravans.
Also, he has a mission to remain quality based, culturally sensitive and socially responsible.
It was truly awe inspiring to watch the regal procession passively walk along the red carpet, which strung through the haven to which these horses would now know as home. Calmly being lead by trainer Sandy Diamond, barn manager Lisa Rossi and their team.
As well as starting a breeding program, Jim Wilson plans to turn his stunning family oasis into a facility where a select few can purchase a club membership which would allow exclusive use of the members own, hand picked Gypsy Vanner Horse on an annual basis. Members would also have use of the other numerous amenities (which continue to expand) on the Deerfields Estate.
We must commend both these men for becoming the Ambassadors of the breed and the venture they have set for the Gypsy Vanner Horse. I raise my glass to toast their visions that they have shared with us in preserving this historic and mystical breed and I wish you both Cushti Bok (good luck).