Gypsy Cob & Drum Horse Association

Drum Horse Information

North American Champion: Imperial Sampson


North American Champion:
DF Balmoral

North American Champion:
American Sterling

Regional Champion: Shrek
Drum Horse Inspiration:

Inspired by some of the recent working Drum Horses of the British Cavalry, the Gypsy Cob and Drum Horse Association believes the development of the Drum Horse, as a breed, to be a worthy aspiration, in and of itself. A breed inspired by great war horses with a beauty, stature and dignity not found in any other existing breed. And, with such a symbiotic relationship existing between the Gypsy Cob and the Drum Horse, the Drum Horse will become not only a wonderful breed, unto itself, but also a wonderful counterpoint to the smaller Gypsy Cob. It was this inspiration, symbiosis and commitment, that lead to the unique concept of  the dual stud books under the umbrella of a single registry.
The Drum Horse, as a job: The term Drum Horse is used in Britain to describe the horses that carry a rider and 2 silver kettledrums during certain Ceremonies of State, processions or exhibitions. Throughout history, the preferred type of horse to perform this job has varied with the era and the regiment it performed with. The one common factor was that they had to be a large, strong horse with an even temperament. The size and strength were required because the combined weight of the drums and rider could easily exceed 300 pounds and an easy disposition because of the parade atmosphere they were often required to perform in. And to make things just a little more difficult, the rider’s hands had to be free to beat the drums, so the reins are attached to the rider’s stirrups.

Drum Horses have a long and colorful history in the British Military. Some of the earliest regiments documenting Drum Horses are the Royal Scots Greys (1678), the 6th Dragoon Guards and the 3rd Hussars (both 1685), the 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers (1689) and the 10th Royal Hussars and 9th Queen’s Lancers (both 1715). These horses, and their successors, saw service wherever the regiments were sent, including India, Flanders, the Crimea and Palestine.

In recent times, many of the Drum Horses have been high colored Clydesdales or horses produced from the crossing of Shires with the older, larger bloodlines of Gypsy Cobs or with Dutch Warmbloods. This is the reason that you now see the feathered Drum Horses and these horses are the inspiration for the development of a new breed.  While some will tell you the working Drum Horses have always been of full draft blood, that simply isn't true. For centuries, the working Drum Horses were lighter horses of Waler descent. Walers might be considered the precursor to warmbloods as they were, originally, a type derived by crossing a variety of hot blooded horses with draft horses. And even after the Drum Horses, of modern time, became heavier, some of the more notable horses still exhibit the characteristics that come from a touch of "Waler" blood.

The Drum Horse as a breed: The Drum Horse has captured the imagination with his stunning good looks and stately air.   Though it has some similarities to the Gypsy Cob, the Drum Horse stands at least 16hh and utilizes the bloodlines of the Clydesdale, Shire, Friesian and Gypsy Cob. It is a heavy horse, of any color or pattern, with lovely feather and exceptional disposition. Developed as a heavy riding horse, the Drum Horse is suited for low level dressage, eventing, hunting, saddle seat, trail, pleasure and, of course, makes an excellent driving horse. 
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