Horse breed is the draw to Gypsy Gold Horse Farm in Ocala

OCALA, Fla. — Tucked away under the aged oak trees that grow in the heart of Ocala are the many horse ranches and farms that make Ocala the horse capitol of the country.

One particular farm is home to a unique breed of horses that have come all the way from Europe — the Gypsy Gold Horse Farm.

What You Need To Know

  • The Gypsy Gold Horse Farm in Ocala is famous for its Gypsy Vanner horses
  • They were bred by gypsies in Great Britain to pull their caravans
  • Dennis Thompson and his wife brought 16 over in 1995
  • Visitors can book a tour to see the horses Thompson breeds 

Brushing and grooming the Gypsy Vanner horses that call these stables home is a daily task for Taylor Mulholland. As a farmhand, she’s gotten to know each and every one of the horses that reside at Gypsy Gold Horse Farm, and even though she’s only worked there for a little more than a year, her love of horses began when she started riding as a child. That passion has now carried over into her young adult life. 

“They’re just really great to spend time with, and it’s a good way to get outside!” Mulholland said. “I really like being outside.” 

But the horses at these stables, Gypsy Vanner horses, have a bit of a different history than most found in Ocala.

The owner, Dennis Thompson, brought more than 16 Gypsy Vanner Horses after a visit to Great Britain in 1995 with his late wife. Now he breeds them on the farm, where staff help educate guests and give them a glimpse into the unique breed of horses. 

The Gypsy Vanner Horse is a breed envisioned by the gypsies of Great Britain. These specific horses were selectively bred for more than a half-century to create the perfect horse to pull the gypsy caravan.

But it’s not just the Gypsy Vanner that turn heads at the farm. Throughout the lush 40 acres that encompass the farm are exotic birds and three different breeds of donkeys. 

In the coming year, the owners plan to expand, Mulholland said, bringing in more animals and more educational services to help guests learn even more about the animals that live there.

Gypsy Gold Horse Farm offers tours Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, but the operators are currently working to expand those tours. For more information, head to its website.