Ahead of
Mt Hood Show on April 29, 2016
at Oregon State Fairgrounds
Gypsy Horse  Drum Horse Evaluations
Jeff Bartko - Black Forest Shires & Gypsy Horses

In 1999, we imported some of the first gypsy horses to come to the United States. Having traveled to the U.K. for years prior to that because of our involvement with the Shire Horse, we recognized the fine attributes of this breed and its unique suitability for the American family. We established Black Forest Shires & Gypsy Horses (BFS&GH), for the purpose of introducing this amazing breed to this country.
After a brief shut down in imports in 2001, caused by an outbreak of hoof and mouth disease in the U.K., Black Forest Shires & Gypsy Horses began to import in earnest. Between 2002 and 2008, over 1500 of the finest horses were imported through our farm, serving to firmly establish the breed in North America. Horses such as The Lion King, Baby Doll, Rombaro, St. Clarins, The Governor, Legend Boy, Lottery Horse, Nobby, Rio, Lars, Timone, Sovereign, Panda Rose, made their way to the U.S. through BFS&GH. Not one to accept things at a superficial level, I became intimate with the history of the Gypsy Horse, and the qualities the Gypsy man looks for in the breed – as well as the fine people who bred them in the U.K. and Europe. I spent a great deal of time, with Sid Harker (and family), Steve Downs, Michael Vine, Danny Daley, Joe Buckley, and others who are famous in their own country for having some of the best breeding programs as well as the best eye for a great horse. I developed my eye by spending critical time with these same people. Over the years, I made the trek across England on 6 occasions, driving my own vehicle (either a dray, or bow top) with the Travelers as we made our way across England, in a 5-day journey to Appleby Fair. Because I am also a trained farrier, I was able to be of service to my friends many times during those treks.

You might say that I ‘judged’ each of the horses that we imported over the years. While looking for proper conformation and movement, I was also looking for that special attitude/personality, and look that is carried by the best of this breed.

As a judge/evaluator, I maintain the same philosophy I learned from these knowledgeable people. That is, you judge the horse in front of you, not its lineage nor its ownership.
This being a similar way that the Gypsies themselves evaluate horses in that it matters not so much who the parents are of a horse, what is important is how the horse at hand measures up.

Over the years, I have shown the gypsy horse at major events and shows such as the L.A. County Fair, National Western Stock Show and BreyerFest. Two of my horses had the unique distinguishment of becoming Breyer horse models; one of which is a rare porcelain edition. I have also shown shire horses in many venues across the countries. Though I entered the horse world due to a rather uncommon path, I was trained by a classical English trainer so learned from the onset to ride proper. (I have the blue ribbons to prove it!) Years of driving multiple horses, in the widest variety of venues and horse drawn vehicles, gives me a solid background in this discipline as well.

My desire would be to see these horses maintain those wonderful qualities that drew us to them all those years ago – their heartiness, sweet personalities and solid conformations. In addition, I would like to encourage more people to show, and make sure that the entry to such activities is not cost prohibitive but is encouraging and welcoming.

See Below..........
Conducted by Jeff Bartko

Sign up for Evaluations:
contact Helen Halderman
to reserve a time slot in the Evaluation's schedule.
on Facebook

Evaluation Fee $100. Upon payment, your evaluation time
in the lineup will be secured.
Day of sign-ups available within the time frame restraints.

Pay to Gypsy Horses West
12550 Paradise Alley Rd NE
Silverton OR 97381

*You or your horse do not
need to be show ring ready for the evaluation. Nicely brushed out is fine.
* Not a requirement for horse to be registered with a registry.

Evaluation Certificates suitable for framing will be issued.

Rules for fairgound use applies to all Exhibitors and Haul-ins, whether stalled or presented from trailer. Grounds fee applied to those exhibiting from trailer.

Jeff Bartko reply: I'm glad you asked this question, because I'm sure others may also be wondering. The value of an evaluation to a horse owner or outside party depends on the respect that person has for the person conducting the evaluation. I believe any judge or evaluator should have extensive, verifiable experience with the breed they're judging. You'd be surprised by how many do not. I believe you'll find that most anyone you choose to work with will accept an evaluation done by myself. I believe there is no such thing as a perfect horse, but that achieving such should be the goal of any breeder. You will walk away from the evaluation knowing the strong points and weak points of your horse, and how to recognize those yourself. Armed with this, you will know what areas you want to improve on in the breeding shed. I have bought, imported, bred, sold, shown, and trained well over 1500 gypsy horses since since 1999. You'll be hard-pressed to find anyone in the USA with more experience in the breed. I hope this helps you. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions.
I am always happy to help.
Questions: Do these Evaluations count towards any of the registries like GHRA, GVa, or GHA? Who is doing the evaluations and what is the scoring based on? And will the Vanner association accept the results? (anonymous)