Breed Show : In 2007 Deb Terry of the then Colorado Horse Park….

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Yellow Cream - For the Horse Horses-store.comBreed Show : In 2007 Deb Terry of the then Colorado Horse Park….

Page 2 of 8 Spring 2012 CDHA AD FOR THE DRAFT HORSE JOURNAL The Colorado Draft Horse Association currently has an ad in the Draft Horse Journal that is about 2/3 of a page.

You can list your Draft Horse business there, by chapter, and it will be in all four issues for the year.

I need to have the your information and a check if you are interested in advertising in the Journal.

It is $80.00 and you can have up to 7 lines.

I have a list of those who have advertised this past year, but need to know if you want to be included again this year, and if you have any changes in your ad.

There may be some new people who would like to advertise also.

Please let me know no later than MARCH 31, the following: NAME OF YOUR COMPANY, BUSINESS, OR RANCH, YOUR NAME, AND ANYONE ELSE’S NAME YOU WANT IN THE AD, YOUR ADDRESS, YOUR PHONE NUMBER OR NUMBERS, WHAT YOU DO OR SELL, AND YOUR E-MAIL.

Please send the information to me with a check to CDHA, Bonnie Snodgress, 4880 Tall Horse Trail, Sedalia, CO 80135.

You MUST be a CDHA dues paid member to advertise, and you can include your $40.00 annual 2012 dues in the same check for the ad. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 303-660-8408.

Remember the deadline is very important-if I don’t get the entire ad information to the Journal on time we will not be included in the Summer Issue. Above, Greg Kearns under Dennis Kuehls watchful eyes & Gary Reiber, below hitches the log to the forecart. A Draft Horseman’s perspective on learning about a little known breed… Gypsy Horses. – Bud Walsh; Edited by Jodi Walsh The first time I ever saw a Gypsy horse and wondered “Now what is this?” was at a National Western Stock Show in Denver some 5 or 6 years ago.

The entry was in the Men’s Cart class.

I thought to myself, ‘this will never work’ in the established draft horse show ring.

I definitely formed an unflattering opinion of the breed.

I wandered about the horse barn until I got up close to check one out.

I took the opportunity to read some of the history of the Gypsy breed.

Little did I know at the time that I would soon get an opportunity to expand my knowledge of this lesser known draft horse.

Over the course of my career in horses I have been asked a number of times to judge the odd, mixed equine classes at fairs or horse shows.

Apparently I have done so with enough success to keep me interesting.

In 2007 Deb Terry of the then Colorado Horse Park in Parker asked me if I would be willing to judge a Gypsy Horse breed show she was holding in conjunction with an established Draft horse show.

My first thought and comment was ‘I don’t know a thing about Gypsies’.

She responded with ‘Yeah, but I heard you’ve judged driving shows and we have a lot of Gypsy drivers that don’t want a light horse judge they want a draft judge and they want a judge with a draft background for halter and I can’t find anybody around here will you do it please it will make my job so much easier if I know who my judge is….’ in about 3 seconds without taking a breath. (It might not be a direct quote).

With that in mind I agreed.

I did my homework with whatever information I could find on the internet and judged the show.

I didn’t get run out of town on a rail so I must have satisfied at least 51% of the exhibitors.

It was an eye opener for me… Fast forward to the 2011 NWSS.

Jeff Bartko, a former Shire breeder and well known Gypsy importer formerly from Platteville, told me in a barn conversation of the Gypsy Horse Registry Association (GHRA) wanting to put together a clinic.

They wanted to educate new and existing show judges about the historical breed specifically as the association wanted to preserve the type.

He encouraged me to follow up on it.

He was concerned that there was too much light horse influence among the current carded judges.

No individuals with draft backgrounds were listed.

After some discussion I agreed to follow up on it.

I told him to forward any information as it became available.

Jeff sent me information in late summer 2011.

A well known Gypsy Cob promoter and breeder, Carol Smettem-Minson, had been invited from England to conduct a clinic. ‘Gypsy Cob’ is how the breed is named in England.

The clinic was to be held at a rather large Gypsy farm in Texas.

The participation cost and airfare was affordable so I signed up.

That is how I found myself in Texas on a Friday in November with 10 other established, carded judges.

This gathering of judges from across the US carried breed acronyms I couldn’t even guess what they were.

All had 6 or 8 breed affiliations and careers spanning 50+ years competing, raising and training to national championships.

There were judges in disciplines I hardly knew existed.

A gal with an Arabian background came from Ft.

Collins.

A well known Morgan man in his mid 70’s from Santa Ynez, California who had never heard of a “Scotchbottom shoe”.

After I drew him a picture of the shoe he asked me in depth questions of the history and purpose.

He decided he was at a stage in his life where he needed to expand his knowledge with another breed.

One judge from Florida had so many acronyms on her business card that I could hardly make out her name.

A couple offered various equine therapies.

One organizes an ongoing draft horse show at a county fair in the Pacific Northwest.

They were a prestigious group to be sure.

Clearly I was out of my league, but I was warmly welcomed with my draft background.

During the few breaks we had I was peppered with the expected typical light horse judge questions (What’s with those god-awful shoes/docked tails/action etc.?) But we all came to learn about Gypsy Horses and that we did.

After introductions, we started right in with a colored photo booklet of various quality pictures in all the areas of confirmation the Gypsy horse was known for.

The background breeds used to build the Gypsy include Shire, Clydesdale, Fell Pony, Dale Pony, and Highland Pony.

All these breeds are native to the United Kingdom.

This breeding foundation led to the variety of colors and the abundance of hair, and I mean hair like you can’t believe….

Since the Gypsy Cobs are very tightly controlled by the Gypsy community themselves, it is very difficult to see the best breeding stock.

Carol attested to the fact that it took her years to gain trust and to this day she has to be invited to see their horses.

She can’t just drop in to see what they have to offer.

Even with an invitation they show you only what they are willing to sell and nothing more.

We went through the various points of the horse that the Gypsies were maintaining as favorable.

I began to understand the characteristics and abilities they want in their horses.

They want a Cob able to pull a “living wagon” up to 15 miles a day at a steady trot, eating whatever is to be found along the road.

This requires a compact, solid built horse which is not too tall or too short, with an adequate draft size and build to pull the wagon solo.

Medium to heavy bone with abundant muscle is needed.

A sloping shoulder to carry the collar at the right angle tied in well to a short back is important.

Hooves must be round and well shaped in proportion to the body size as their travel is generally on roads.

A good ground covering walk and a trot with a flick of the hair is important along with a willing attitude and drive.

A quote from the judge’s seminar book is instructive. “Remember these horses are very much family horses.

And even stallions should have the trusting temperament required of the breed.

Their pure size alone could make them dangerous, so breeding for good temperament is paramount.

Anything other than impeccable manners should be culled.” The Gypsies prefer the “broken” color (large white markings) but any coat or eye color is acceptable.

Prior to the WWI years, most Gypsy Cobs were solid colored.

The English army conscripted solid colored horses for the war effort so the Gypsy community soon figured out that they must raise the broken colored horses if they were to keep their breed alive.

Now I want to write about HAIR.

The desire is to have hair that is straight and silky, not course and curly.

The mane and tail are to be thick and luxurious, with leg hair starting just below the knee all around the leg and draped.

I saw some examples where the feathers flowed out from the hoof along the ground, both front and rear.

These long feathers could be so generous that when the horse traveled they looked like they were sweeping the arena sand.

The abundance of hair sometimes made it difficult to observe the bottom of the hoof.

A thick forelock, mane, tail, and feathers are what this breed is known for.

Mustaches are a plus! This breed is by far the highest maintenance equine I have ever come across when it comes to hair.

In the Gypsy show ring, thinning or clipping of hair is discouraged.

Very small bridle paths are allowed but frowned upon.

Limited braiding is allowed, particularly in the driving classes to keep the tail from being run over.

When shod, light plates are to be used.

An unshod horse is perfectly acceptable.

It boils down to the old axiom “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” In the afternoon session, Carol covered the Gypsy Horse inspection system where the animals are evaluated with a point system.

This system would allow breeders to advertize how their stock has been rated against standardized, breed specific criteria.

This is a voluntary program, with the expectation that breeders will promote breeding not only to the specific Cob standard but also to a Gypsy “type”.

As I see it, type is one’s opinion or preference relative to the breed standard, which may contribute to why we see our draft horses place differently from show to show.

Two experienced, competent judges may have a common understanding of breed specifics but a more personal interpretation of type which has been heavily influenced by what they value in the breed.

This difference in perspective can influence how each individual judge might place the same group of horses in the show ring.

Two horses were brought out.

On the first one Carol walked us through the confirmation details and how to rate them according to our score sheets which had the breed standard descriptions listed in each area.

With the second horse, she had us all write our own ratings on the worksheet.

She also rated the horse herself.

We all compiled our final scores and compared them to hers.

Of course, of the 11 ratings, we had a plus or minus of about 8 points from her score.

She said a variation of 10 pts (out of a possible 100) was perfectly acceptable to her as it was our individual equine backgrounds that interpreted the Gypsy type ever so slightly.

My overall score was within 1.5 points of hers.

In one area I was off by 3 (out of 20).

I felt reasonably good that my SADD (Senior Attention Deficit Disorder) hadn’t cropped up and I actually had been able to pay attention and learn something new.

It was truly a learning experience for me.

Having had time to absorb and reflect on my new knowledge, Gypsy horses do have a valuable place in the US horse industry.

In my opinion, showing of the Gypsy Cob along side a modern full size draft in the same class is probably not to the advantage of either breed.

This kind of side by side competition would allow neither breed to show to type.

They are a great small size draft option for those who want a multi-use horse.

There are less than 2,000 Gypsy horses in the US and so their opportunity for breed-specific competition is currently limited.

The GHRA is a fledgling 8 year old registry association.

It is run by two sisters who have the desire and dedication to promote and encourage the true Gypsy horse voluntarily out of their home, unpaid.

Carol Smettem-Minson was on crutches due to an ongoing painful back injury.

She had delayed surgery in order to give this clinic, and we are in her debt.

This was the first judges’ clinic they ever held.

It was hosted graciously in a wonderful venue by a very humble breeder who not only provided the location but also heavily subsidized the cost of motel and local transportation, and waited on us hand and foot.

The effort was not done to gain favor with their horses, but out of a realization of the need for the association to encourage the education of Gypsy judges so that the breed doesn’t split like so many other breeds have over the years.

I’d like to thank the Aunique Ranch, Jeanne and Robert Schlenk of LaPorte, Texas for their outstanding contribution to the GHRA.

Thanks also to Jan Easter and Priscilla Cox for their meticulous efforts in providing the top-notch seminar materials for our use.

This experience was surely another feather in my cap in expanding my overall equine expertise. To some newer members that don’t Bud Walsh, let me add a little to his piece.

Bud is veteran Judge for Draft & Mule Shows, an announcer of great repute, including doing shows in California & the Rocky Mountain area and an all round good guy, always willing to support the CDHA events in any capacity.

Many of you have heard his wife Jody sing the National Anthem at the NWSS the past 10 years.

His son Tom works the NWSS Draft Show and daughter Angela shows at the NWSS as well as many other shows. 2012 FARM DAY MARCH 16, 17, 18 Come join us again Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for fun and farming with the horses.

You can come on Friday if you want to get a colt or young horse started or if you just want to help get the machinery in order.

We have some machinery and eveners, but if you have anything of your own, please bring it.

We are going to have a potluck, so please bring a covered dish for Saturday evening at 6:00.

I will provide the meat and drinks.

We will also be doing some Dutch oven cooking each day.

Please bring sandwich stuff for Friday and Saturday Noon or ingredients to cook in a Dutch Oven.

Several people will be cooking in Dutch ovens this year, so bring plenty of ingredients! Anything else you would like to bring (chips, salad, etc.) is welcome.

In the past, we’ve really enjoyed all the homemade goodies.

We look forward to enjoying some of your family’s favorites again this year! Life is tough in La Junta so bring lots! The last several years we’ve enjoyed the music that follows each meal.

Please hring your guitars, harmonicas, banjos, etc.

For some pickin’ and grinin’ …

Especially if you play better than I do! We are in search of someone to do forge work.

If you know of anyone who does this type of work, holler! We can have two forges set up, anvil, tongs, and even a tire shrinker, if needed.

Sunday morning at 8:00 we will take time out for church, which will be held on site.

Also and importantly, you have probably heard our old friend JR Rohrbacher has passed away.

We will have a Memorial Service for him at 4;00 on Saturday before our evening supper.

So come and join us in celebrating JR’s life, (a large part of our family).

The farming will be done at the North Place.

The address is 28100 County Road 809, La Junta, Colorado.

Directions and information please call Delbert Jones 719-384-2700 or 719-469-3030 Cell …

Lf you would like to bring friends with teams, feel free to do so! The 2012 CDHA annual dues are due now!! Dues for the year are $40.00. $20.00 goes to your respective Chapter, and $20.00 goes to the State Treasury.

The State Dues are used to pay for our Draft Horse Insurance, which covers the members for all the Fairs, and the horse events.

We also pay for the State Newsletter Issues four times a year, and our thanks to Paul Pack for editing those.

Please mail me a check made out to CDHA, and be sure to include your name, address, phone # and e-mail address.

We frequently use e-mail to update members on events, and Fair entries.

If you know of anyone new who wishes to join the club, the membership application can be found on the club website: www.coloradodrafthorseassn.org.

Remember you don’t have to have draft horses to join.

I will make sure your Chapter receives your membership information, and their portion of the dues.

Thanks for signing up for a full year of CDA Draft Horse fun!! Mail dues to: Bonnie Snodgress 4880 Tall Horse Trail Sedalia, CO 80135 CDHA 2012 DUES ARE DUE 303-660-8408

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Other Sources:

  • Evolution of the horse – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Horses-Store.com and Breed Show : In 2007 Deb Terry of the then Colorado Horse Park….
    Horses-Store.com - Breed Show : In 2007 Deb Terry of the then Colorado Horse Park….