Colorful Badminton Dressage: A Real Gypsy Horse Goes for Glory

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The sun shone on the Badminton Horse Trial in Gloucestershire, England on Thursday, the first of two days of dressage. Australian Clayton Fredericks is in the lead after the first day, but this horse caught my eye.


Here you see Olivia Haddow riding Patris Filius. If I remember my Latin, that means "Son of the Father". Olivia calls him "her naughty little coloured cob". The 15.1hh horse was sold by gypsies as a three-year-old at Abergavenny Market in South Wales. Now 14, he is said to be by a gypsy stallion and out of a "flapper" mare, which is a derogatory Brit dismissal for a low-end racehorse. Horse and Hound describes him as "clever coloured with the brain of a pony and the stride of a horse".

But look at the marking on that horse's hind end; it looks like an artist stroked him with a pen.

The front end looks like it enhances his movement, at least at the trot. I'd like to see this horse gallop!

Some gypsy horse breeder knew what he (or she) was doing!

Photo courtesy of Kit Houghton and Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.