Roadside Rose, people in the UK and Ireland don't generally like Gypsies BECAUSE so many of them engage in illegal activities such as road racing. Gypsies have a long history of horse breeding and dealing, many are extremely knowledgeable horsemen. However, all too often their horse training and animal husbandry practices leave much to be desired and unfortunately fall into what most of us on this Forum would call "abuse".
I, too, have a Gypsy pony rescue. Also, I worked as a RSPSA volunteer for many years and helped rescue a number of Gypsy horses, rounded up from running feral on housing estates or tethered without food and water on grassless verges.
I live close to the site of an annual Gypsy horse fair. Take a walk behind the scenes, it's not for the faint of heart. Aside from the horses, there will be dozens of litters of puppies for sale in tiny cages, most too young to be away from their mothers, some barely have their eyes open - it is against the law in this country to sell puppies in this manner. Oh, and don't forget the fighting cocks, also freely available if you knock on the right caravan door . . .
One of my own dogs was originally a Gypsy's poaching greyhound (hmm, "poaching", another unlawful activity). When they broke camp, where they had been staying without the land owner's permission (naturally), they left him behind to starve to death. He had a severe leg injury and was of no further use to them.
Sorry but I am tired of Gypsies complaining that their bad reputation is undeserved. As soon as they start treating their animals with respect, stop behaving as if they are above the law, earn their money by entirely legal means and pay their taxes, maybe I'll reconsider.