Despite the fact that the Gypsy Vanner has been around for at least the last fifty years, thanks to the selective breeding by the Gypsies that gave the breed its name, a registry dedicated to the breed has only been in existence since 1996. Created by the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society and based in the United States, this registry has since become the main registry for selectively bred Gypsy Vanners, as opposed to other registries that accept crossbreeds. Having developed a breed standard with the assistance of one of the Gypsies that had a strong hand in its breeding, the Society now welcomes those Gypsy Vanners into their studbook through two different types of registration.
Since the creation of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society, the association's goals have been fourfold; to establish the breed with the preferred look of the Gypsies, with the genetics that created the look in the first place, with the same feelings of pride and status that the Gypsies themselves felt for their selectively bred horses, and to use as a guide the values that the Gypsies place on their horses. Instead of using their own interpretation to create a breed standard, it has long been the policy of the GVHS to respect the history and advice given by the Gypsies themselves. Because the Gypsies never wrote down the history of their horses, all of the important information was passed on orally, and it is this information that the Society puts above all others. They were especially helped by Fred Walker, a Gypsy with over fifty years' experience in developing the breed.
Today, there are two ways of registering a Gypsy Vanner: through Closed or Open Registration. Closed Registration is automatically available to those horses that are sired by and the dam is a Registered Gypsy Vanner. These horses will be accepted once an application, photos and the fee have been received. Both the sire and the dam will be verified through a DNA test. If the DNA test fails to identify one or both of the horse's parents, the horse will then go into the Open Registration process.
Open Registration is available for all those horses that do not qualify for the Closed Registration process. These horses will be considered based on their conformation to breed standards, as well as any other information that is available, such as the possibility of verifying DNA or known bloodlines. The registration committee may also request a video of the horse in action in order to further consider a horse.
The photographs required will be of the horse's front, left side, right side and rear. In the front photograph, the horse should be square to the camera with the feathers and knees easily visible and the head not hiding the chest. In both side photographs, the photo should be taken from the midpoint of the horse's body and set up so important elements like the neck, shoulder, throat latch, feathers and balance can be clearly seen. For the rear photo, the tail should either be braided or held out of the way so that the hind leg position, feathering and bone can be easily seen.
The registration committee is made of up members of the Society's general membership who are appointed to two year terms by a general vote. The members of the committee will consider applicants through their applications, photos and other information provided, and a majority of two of three members must accept a horse in order for it to be registered.