August 14, 2014

Gypsy Gold Horse Farm - A Guest Blog By Ron Palacio

Recently, my Social Media Content Director and blogger, Ron Palacio, took a vacation to Ocala, Florida. Ocala is very well known as “horse capital of the world” because of its more than 1,200 horse farms, including approximately 900 thoroughbred farms, totaling some 77,000 acres. While there, Ron had the pleasure of visiting a horse farm that raises a magnificent breed - which also happens to be one of my favorites - the Gypsy Vanner. His guest blog will tell of his experience with this truly magnificent animal.

A few weeks ago, I took a familiar trip to Ocala, Florida where my mom lives. I’ve always known Ocala to be “horse capital of the world”, but in all my visits over the years, I’ve never visited a horse farm there.  Since I’ve become very familiar with and have developed a real love for Martha’s Friesian horses, I was told by an Ocala native that I should make it a priority to visit the Gypsy Gold Horse Farm, where they have a breed similar to Friesians called Gypsy Vanners. So, I grabbed my mom and we ventured out to the farm, where we met the owner - a very charismatic and knowledgeable gentleman by the name of Dennis Thompson and his charming partner, Erin Tokash. Dennis enthusiastically told us the very interesting story of how he and his late wife brought the very first 16 Gypsy Vanners to the United States from Great Britain! He also went on to explain that he and his wife - with the approval of British Gypsies, are responsible for naming the breed Gypsy Vanner! He then gave us a riveting verbal journey through the history and rich heritage of the Gypsy Vanner breed. It's a truly fascinating story that Dennis tells weekly, with great enthusiasm on an amazing tour of his 40 acre Gypsy Vanner farm. I urge anyone who has a fascination with horses and is in the Ocala area to pay Gypsy Gold Horse Farm a visit and take that tour, which is offered every Wednesday and Saturday. Please enjoy some of the photos I took and some contributing photos at the end of the gallery, by equine photographer, Mark J. Barrett.