The rise of the tra­di­tional gypsy cob

Horse & Hound - - News Insider - EJ

THERE is a “long way to go” in work pro­mot­ing and pro­tect­ing the tra­di­tional gypsy cob but

“we will get there”, the founder of the Tra­di­tional Gypsy Cob As­so­ci­a­tion (TGCA) be­lieves.

So­ci­ety founder An­drea Bet­teridge told the World

Horse Wel­fare con­fer­ence of the progress the stud­book has made in record­ing ge­netic in­for­ma­tion on as many equines as pos­si­ble, in a breed now recog­nised by De­fra and the EU, and ed­u­cat­ing both buy­ers and sell­ers.

“It’s the fu­ture and the feather that takes us all for­wards,” she said. “The theme ‘chang­ing times’ cer­tainly fits the breed and our as­so­ci­a­tion.”

She said the TGCA wanted to un­der­stand the cul­ture and tra­di­tions of breed­ers and pro­mote re­spon­si­ble breed­ing from regis­tered an­i­mals to pre­serve the in­tegrity of the tra­di­tional gypsy cob.

She said the breed’s pop­u­lar­ity and value had grown but the mar­ket had dwin­dled fol­low­ing the fi­nan­cial cri­sis, lead­ing to a large num­ber of horses with

“no job”.

But DNA pro­fil­ing has helped re­duce “in­dis­crim­i­nate” breed­ing, which has put strain on wel­fare char­i­ties, while work on rais­ing the breed’s pro­file is on­go­ing.

“If a horse has a job, it’s got value,” she said, adding that by “giv­ing a cob a job” and en­sur­ing se­lec­tive breed­ing, buy­ers, sell­ers and horses all ben­e­fit.

“We’re get­ting some­where, we’re go­ing for­wards,” she said.

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