Val is native to Rochester, NY. Her journey took her to central PA, and then up
to the Poconos of PA and finally has settled into the beautiful countryside of
Northwest New Jersey where she and her horses have nestled into a quiet gardenlike farm
property in the community of Frelinghuysen, NJ.
Her love for horses started as a little girl, but for various reasons
was not able to get involved with horses until adulthood. This has caused her
to have a great appreciation for horse ownership and for the Gypsy Breed. Her lack of horses, however, did not
stop her from reading every book, magazine and watching every horse movie,
event and television show available, as well as spending years reading and
researching about the Gypsy horse and the Romany people.
Romeo’s journey started out in an open field in the United
Kingdom, where he spent his first year.
He was then imported into the United States in 2006 by Black Forest Shires and
Gypsy Horses, who were major players in bringing the breed to the US. He spent his years with BFS&GH learning
to ride, learning to drive, and working as an active breeding stallion. As I was learning to ride, he was learning to
carry a rider.
In May of 2009 fate brought me to Platteville, CO, where
after eyeing Romeo for quite some time through a computer screen, I was able to
meet him face to face, and three weeks later, have him brought home. I was also able to meet Jeff Bartko of
BFS&GH, whom I had been admiring for years for his work with, and knowledge of Gypsy Horses. On the same trip I met so many other Gypsy
owners and breeders, and this is where I learned that not only does the Gypsy
horse have a kind, warm, and welcoming temperament, but so do their owners.
Romeo and I spent the next couple of years learning to work together
as a team, showing at local events and fairs, and we are now an inseparable duo. In addition to the work with Romeo, I spent that time searching out a property
to set up a home for the The Coloured Cob Gypsy Horses, a business that I
established in 2011 and am now actively building up. I attended the 2012 Gypsy Horse World Show in
Ft. Worth, TX where I was reaquainted with some familiar faces and made friends with new
ones. I heard a lot of “We were
wondering what happened to the black and white Romeo!” Well, he is back, introducing himself as
Black Forest Romeo, Stallion for The Coloured Cob Gypsy Horses!!
We made our deput in the Gypsy show ring at the 2012 Northeast
Feathered Horse Classic in Swanton, OH and then went on to partake in
the 2012 Heartland Fall Classic in Danville, IN - where he was graded a
1st Premier Stallion, and awarded Grand Champion Stallion, and Best of
Breed! We hope that you will consider Black Forest Romeo as you
decide who will settle your mare for this breeding season. If you choose to go in another direction,
hopefully we will see you in the show ring!!! We are both very excited to enter
this new phase of taking on an active role in the Gypsy community and hope that
you will continue to welcome us with open arms.