Prepared from information supplied by the Australasian Gypsy Horse Society
The Gypsy cob originated with the Gypsy (Romani) people, who used these horses to pull their wagons. As these wagons were lived in and contained everything the Romani owned, the horses they selected to pull them were, by necessity, quiet and well -balanced animals, capable of heavy workloads.
It is not known when the type of animal associated with the Gypsy cob today emerged. While the Romani have always used a mix of draught horses (Clydesdale and Shire) and pony breeds (Fells and Dales) to draw their wagons, before the Second World War it was more likely to be smaller horses rather than the stereotypical modern cob.
During the First World War the British government requisitioned horses nationwide, with the exception of pintos, since their piebald coats made an easy target in a charge. The Romani noted this trend and by the start of the Second World War the vast majority of horses owned by Romani people were pintos, allowing them to maintain their livelihood and method of transport.
Gypsy cobs were introduced to Australia in 2004. They are sought after for their gentle and intelligent nature. Breeders of both purebred and partbred Gypsy cobs can be found in most states, with numbers growing rapidly. Gypsy cobs are used today for driving, dressage, jumping, Western pleasure, showing and pony club, and as therapy horses.
The ideal Gypsy cob is a short-backed, well-muscled and tractable animal. These horses make a wonderful and willing partner for any equestrian discipline.