Vernon’s Cathy Huber had the idea to create an inclusive horse show that could spread the word about Gypsy Cob breeds, cross breeds and Drum horses. (Cathy Huber)

Vernon’s Cathy Huber had the idea to create an inclusive horse show that could spread the word about Gypsy Cob breeds, cross breeds and Drum horses. (Cathy Huber)

First-ever B.C. Gypsy horse show to come to Armstrong this fall

The event will also mark Canada's first Drum horse show

  • Aug. 17, 2019 12:00 a.m.

Canada’s first-ever Drum horse show is coming to Armstrong this fall.

The event, brought to you by Double H, will also mark British Columbia’s first Gypsy Cob and Gypsy-cross show to spread the word of this relatively new-to-Canada breed.

Event co-founder Cathy Huber is a Gypsy breeder in Vernon. She said the idea for a local show came to her this spring as she was growing tired of having to bring her horses to Alberta and sometimes even the United States, just to compete.

A friend and fellow breeder, Julie Hett of Cherryville, decided to pursue the idea and four months later, it has garnered international attention.

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The inaugural event has already been picked up by the Traditional Gypsy Cob Association (TGCA), based in Canterbury, England, and the International Drum Horse Association (IDHA) in Texas.

“It really blew up from my idea,” Huber said. “I think so many people were wanting it, but no one would run with it on their own.”

Huber said the Gypsy breed is pretty new to Canada and there are only a handful of breeders in British Columbia.

“Literally, in the last five years there have been Gypsies,” she explained.

Gypsies—originally bred and cared for by the Romani people of England and Ireland, a.k.a. “gypsies”—are known for their distinct features, including long manes, tails that flow to the ground and feathering on their feet.

“I feel in love with this little filly,” she said, recalling how she became involved. “Her temperament was so incredible and she is so nice.”

“Their temperament is like non-other,” Huber said. “They are willing and curious, easy to train, kind-hearted and an all around versatile horse.”

“They’re no one-trick pony.”

Huber said she sort of fell into the breeding aspect of owning Gypsies, though. Her first, Whiskey Ginger, stole her heart and she wanted to own more and continue her training with them. Soon after, she bought a stallion.

“Now I have a lot,” she said with a laugh.

She said she actually purchased Whiskey Ginger from Hett.

The event, which will take place Sept. 27-29, 2019, at the Armstrong Fair Grounds will feature activities for people of all ages.

A variety of food vendors, booths, displays and fun games are already on the schedule and the duo are still looking to plan a “wine-and-cheese type thing” for Saturday night.

“We’re still working on it, but we’re looking to get together a band and have a fun hangout place with a pot luck—people can bring food, eat, dance, whatever,” she said.

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