Stillwater Farm

Dr. Sponenberg’s Breeding Strategies

Robin Visceglia's avatar

"One of the most important aspects of breeding is accurate identification of sires, dams, and offspring.  This is the information needed to make intelligent and wise breeding and selection decisions.  Accurate pedigrees and monitored performance of animals will demonstrate which animals are truly excellent and can improve a population.  It is the wise and talented breeder that uses accurate pedigree information to a good advantage." (Dr. Sponenberg)

In the world of gypsy horses today, there is absolutely no reason to purchase a horse unless it has a documented pedigree or is already registered with one of the four registries in North America.  That being said, there is also a serious need for all of this data to be in one place, easily accessible, to breeders and owners.  Why can't the different associations/registries agree to combine databases for the preservation of the breed?

Everyone is having annual meetings soon and this is a good opportunity to speak to your Board regarding access to information.  Please urge your Board to put the breed ahead of any personal agendas and work together. 

We need to work toward a common goal beginning with preserving information about our breed in one place that is easily accessible to owners, breeders, and breed enthusiasts. Please visit our Gypsy Vanner Pedigree Database page for more information.


Dr. Phil Sponenberg, PhD, DVM serves as technical coordinator for the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, an organization involved in the conservation of rare livestock breeds.  Sponenberg and CJ Christman published A Conservation Breeding Handbook.  I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in preserving our breed of Gypsy horses.  Many of his philosophies are applicable to our breed and our breed organizations.


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