BLANCHARD — One step inside the paddock and the herd of Gypsy horses belonging to Randy and Brenda Hearon swarm a visitor like curious cats. Shaking their thick manes and sidestepping on feathery legs, the horses vie for position, thrusting their heads forward for petting, nickering for the visitor’s attention. Brenda Hearon laughs as she sorts them out, nudging some of them backward and sending a couple galloping across the lot in a spectacular display of flying hoofs and hair. Gypsy horses are known for their gentleness, intelligence, strength, agility and affinity for human companionship, Brenda Hearon said. "To us, they’re our babies,” Hearon said. "They’re magical creatures, each with a distinct personality.” The Hearons raise, care for and handle 10 Gypsy horses on their 4C’s Gypsy Horses ranch 30 miles south of Oklahoma City in Blanchard. The 40-acre ranch also is home to six wild mustangs and three miniature horses.
About the breedThe Gypsy horse is fairly rare in the United States and even rarer in Oklahoma, Randy Hearon said. Only four ranches, including the Hearons’, are listed in the Gypsy Horse Registry of America. The traditional Gypsy horse is a cob-type horse. The native breeds of Clydesdale, Shire, Dales pony and Fell pony were crossed to arrive at the breed seen today. "We want to educate the public about the Gypsies and do our part in preserving the integrity of the breed. We’d definitely like to see more of them in Oklahoma,” Randy Hearon said. The couple show horses at major expositions in the Midwest. Most recently, granddaughters, Shelbie Howell, 7, and Hallie Hearon, 5, led several horses in Oklahoma City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. Lauren Fieseler, 18, of Lindsay, an accomplished barrel racer, trains the Hearons’ horses for the show ring.
How it startedThe Hearons first became interested in the Gypsy horse when Brenda Hearon saw one on a television show. "I was mesmerized. It was like nothing I had ever seen. I fell in love.” For two years, she studied the breed. In 2006, when the couple moved from a 2-acre piece of property to the 40-acre ranch where they live now, "the first thing I said was, ‘Let’s get a horse. I want a Gypsy horse,’” Brenda Hearon said. Owning Miss Daisy, their first, was such a delight, Hearon said, "we just had to have more.”
TO LEARN MOREFor more information about Randy and Brenda Hearon’s Gypsy horses go online to www.4csgypsyhorses.com.