A group formed to promote, preserve and protect traditional gypsy cobs hopes its new charitable status will allow it to act as a link between breeders and welfare charities.
Cob Care, the charitable arm of the Traditional Gypsy Cob Association (TGCA), aims to encourage responsible breeding and horse care.
TGCA founder Andrea Betteridge, executive director of Cob Care, said: “We are particularly grateful to receive charitable status because it is important not to forget the possible serious implications of Brexit for the traditional gypsy cob, as we must consider the likely changes in legislation regarding the transport of horses into the EU.”
Ms Betteridge said “considerable” numbers of traditional cobs travel from Britain to Europe, some to owners and many for slaughter, and that many owners are unaware of possible changes in regulations, paperwork and entry requirements that may be made after 31 January.
“Cob Care is working with John Parker International Horse Transport to ensure anyone considering exporting their horses understands the implications and regulations,” she added.
Cob Care trustee Nicolina MacKenzie said: “This new charity is so important. Cob Care is there for the wellbeing of gypsy cobs. We are both educating owners and breeders, and at the same time, raising public awareness of the opportunities the gypsy cob can offer to everyday riders.
“In 2019 we had the first ever Search for a Star HOYS final for TGCA-registered cobs. Since then we have been inundated with enquiries about the 2020 classes.
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“We must all pull together to celebrate this breed and its abilities as an all-round performer in most disciplines. Combined with its wonderful temperament, the traditional gypsy cob is suited to most riders and by giving these cobs a job they will be sought-after and the breed will have an exciting future.”
The charity will help owners understand changes in microchipping laws, which come into force this year.
Ms Betteridge continued: “Everyone involved works tirelessly to provide opportunities for these traditional cobs. The TGCA office staff, Sally Overson and Kerri Skelton and I, are in the process of putting together a series of practical top tips which will be available to all, both online and in print. These will cover all areas of gypsy cob husbandry, such as worming, breeding and grazing.”
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