Realty Executives Oceanside

Mary Erickson

Mary Erickson

Broker Associate

Realty Executives Oceanside


Where the Locals Go: The Gypsy Gold Farm

(Published on - 8/13/2021 6:07:19 PM)

Saddle up, because on this week's edition of Where the Locals Go, I'll be talking about The Gypsy Gold Farm

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It’s not often one has the opportunity to discover a horse, then go on to introduce that unique animal to the world and establish it as a recognized breed. Yet that is precisely the journey that Dennis and Cindy Thompson of Ocala, Florida made with the Gypsy Vanner Horse. On a trip to England in 1995, the sight of a colorful stallion at pasture captivated the Thompsons. The height of an average horse, but built like a draft horse, the stallion had piebald (black and white) markings, an elegant head and very hairy legs. Fascinated, the Thompsons stopped to discover who owned this striking animal. Adding to the sense of magic and mystery, the farmer who was temporarily keeping the horse told them that a Traveler owned the horse and that he also had a hidden band of mares that looked just like him.

This recently discovered video shows a very special English Gypsy Open Lot Bow Top Caravan owned by the late Fred Walker. Fred Walker was often referred to as “King of the coloured horses” by his peers. Dennis and Cindy Thompson stood with old Fred next to this very caravan and asked him to choose between Romany Horse and Gypsy Vanner Horse for the name of his culture’s new breed of horse. Listen as Fred’s great-grandson shares his answer.

Fascinated and smitten by this personable, colorful horse, the Thompsons spent the remainder of that day in a Gypsy camp listening to words of passion from a man about his special horse. To their delight, they learned that the Gypsy owner was willing to sell this special stallion, but it would be at least a year before he had finished with his breeding plans. The Thompsons returned to the United States brimming with curiosity and after reviewing a multitude of breed books, they were stunned to find that this intriguing horse was not recognized as a breed. Four calendar years followed with an obsession to understand what the breed was and was not. Their journey would include choosing a name for the unknown breed. The choice was between Romany Horse and Gypsy Vanner Horse and with the blessings of dedicated British Gypsy breeders, the name Gypsy Vanner Horse was chosen. The video featured is a beautiful description of the history and foundation of the breed.


The Cushti Bok Foundation

The founders of both the Gypsy Vanner Horse breed and a farm called Gypsy Gold developed a deep sense of responsibility for the discovery that fate had handed them. They quickly recognized an opportunity to make a difference in this world through the magic of the Gypsies’ “Vanner” Horse.

Cushti Bok in the Romany language of Gypsies means “good luck” and is the name of the horse who inspired the founders’ journey to understand British Gypsies and their selectively bred horses. Cushti Bok would become GV00001F, the world’s first selectively bred horse developed by British/Irish Gypsies ever to be recognized as a breed.

Cushti Bok and Cindy Thompson

A good luck horse inspired a journey to understand this magical breed, the colorful people who dreamed of creating it, and now a foundation on a mission of goodness. The Cushti Bok Foundation is designed to embrace the pure vision of a mission and goals written long ago. Welcome to The Cushti Bok Foundation.

The Cushti Bok Foundation is formed to increase public awareness and specific knowledge of British Gypsies and their selectively bred “Vanner” Horses through innovative concepts based on goodness for people and animals. Cushti Bok, a Romany word that means “good luck,” is also the name of the world’s first Gypsy Vanner Horse. The word “Vanner” is Old English and means “a horse suitable to pull a caravan.” The Cushti Bok (Good Luck) Foundation will embark on its mission of goodness with these exceptional horses, educating the public about British Gypsies and their horses as it brings honor, recognition and a better understanding to one of the world’s most colorful, least understood societies. These programs will include Fair Hill, The Viking Trail, a Gypsy Vanner Horse Museum, grants, scholarships and so much more, qualifying under section 501(c)(3) as an educational organization. This philanthropic endeavor involves the partnership of many who share an interest in our values and vision. You are an important part of The Cushti Bok Foundation! Your donations, large or small, will help this fledgling Foundation reach its potential and are fully tax deductible.


Gypsy Gold Breeding Program

Whether you are just a curious reader or a serious breeder, Gypsy Gold should be your first stop for all things Gypsy Vanner Horse. As the founders of the Gypsy Vanner Horse breed in America, Gypsy Gold has had the closest association to the early beginnings of this unique horse and we are devoted to its preservation and growth in the U.S. To this end, our breeding program not only focuses on maintaining the breed standard, but also finding creative ways to help others become involved and build their own Gypsy breeding programs with the finest bloodstock available.

Ribbons-GG14_0027Not only do they sell some of the best, but they also offer an Embryo Transfer Program. Every one of their exclusive broodmares are available to produce your dream Gypsy Vanner Horse through this program. For more information, visit the Embryo Transfer Program pages.

If you have any questions about the Gypsy Gold breeding program, please feel free to contact Dennis Thompson at or by calling 866-GYPSYVANNER.


Book A Tour

Tour special: $35/person! Gypsy Gold welcomes visitors, and in fact is the #1 Thing to do in Ocala and a favorite in all of Central Florida on Trip Advisor! Come in on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays or Saturdays at 10:00 am for a two-hour informative tour of our farm. Meet the Gypsy Vanner horses in person, hear the history of the breed from its discovery in Great Britain to its growth in the United States. Your Tour Guide is Dennis Thompson, who discovered this unique breed and brought it to American soil. Please arrive a few minutes early, the tour starts promptly at 10 am. 100 yr old man meets Gypsy Vanner

Your tour will include

  • An overview and introduction to the breed and its history, the unique British Gypsy culture and where the breed is today by Dennis Thompson.
  • A walking tour of the farm where you’ll meet the stallions, mares, foals and various other animals loved at Gypsy Gold. You are welcome to bring your own horse treats or carrots!
  • Photo op time! You’ll be invited to create a memory of your Gypsy Gold tour with a photo of yourself and one of our beautiful Gypsy Vanner Horses to share with your friends.
  • Enjoy browsing in our Gypsy Store for books, videos and DVDs, posters, jewelry, model horses and figurines and everything Gypsy!


If you're interested in buying or selling in the Ocala area, be sure to contact me, Mary Erickson! 


Mary Erickson


Phone: 386-444-1924





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