Isn't a Gypsy vanner a cross(mutt/grade)with a cutesy name? And usually a very expensive one at that.
I was wondering how long it would take, for someone to bring up Gypsies. As usual, I wasn't disappointed.
As I've said dozens of times on this forum, the vast majority of Gypsy owners, do NOT call their horses 'vanners'. That was a name made up by one American who brought some into the country, in the mid 90's. Gypsy families in the UK, to not approve of the name since it refers to what they consider 'half-leggers'. Those are poor quality horses and not considered breeding quality. Unfortunately the American who made up the name, did enormous advertising and the name seemed to have become the norm, for those in other breeds.
Gypsy horses/cobs, have been known and bred by the Gypsies and Travellers in the UK, for several hundred years. As with many breeds, they changed and evolved. Generations ago, when Gypsy peoples moved about, they had everything they owned on small flat carts (drays) and used smaller, lighter horses. When the Gypsy population started living in the huge and extremely heavy, living caravans, they needed very much larger and stronger animals. Their former horses were crossed with (most often) Shire type horses. In those days, Shires and Clydesdales, were all the same breed. Gypsy peoples loved a bit of flash and the black and white tobianos became favoured in the breed. I have known the breed almost all of my 72 years, but there are many much older than I, who remember their grandfathers breeding Gypsy Horses, generations before.
The true Gypsy Horse, is not new at all, but actually quite old, compared to many. And not all coloured horses in the UK, are necessarily Gypsies. Some are just recent crosses or coloured cobs of other types. Gypsies are also, no more expensive, than horses in many other breeds.
I am not in favour of crossbreeding them. I've seen quite a few and only a couple which I thought were rather nicely made. Same with Friesians. They are very differently made from most other breeds, and the majority of the time, do not make good crosses.