About Us

A brief introduction

 
     
 
 
 

 

Who We are...

     Throughout this site we consistently use the terms "we", "ours", and "us".  But who are "we"?  We are Jeff Bartko and Victoria Hauser, Jeff's Son, Thomas, plus our good friends and the horses.

 

Jeff jousting
Part of an article published
in a Southern California newspaper.

Jeff began his career in horses at a rather late age in about 1986 when he was hired to perform as a mounted, armored knight, competing in full-contact jousting exhibitions.  Prior to that he was a computer technician and TV-repairman (remember the days when TV's were repaired rather than thrown away).  However, he had some acting experience, and was skilled in stage-combat.  So ran off to join the circus (figuratively speaking of course).
     He eventually became director of one of the company's two travelling jousting troupes.  He really enjoyed the work, and learned a lot about the horse, and the connection a person can have to that animal.  He worked with the horses every day (except Monday), and performed on the weekend for live audiences. 
     The performances were done primarily using draft horses specially trained for the necessary skills.  So was born his love for the draft horse.

    

     Upon retiring from the jousting business,  Jeff knew he wanted to continue having these big horses around him, and decided the Shire Horse was to be that breed.   He acquired his first Shire horse shortly thereafter, and seemingly never stopped bringing them home.  He and his late wife, Christine,  would travel overseas to the largest Shire shows in the world, and learned much about the breed from it's origins in England. 

      From that point, it didn't take long for them to discover the Gypsy Horse.  They (Christine & Jeff) brought over their first Gypsy Horses in 1999 and began promoting the breed.  By 2001, the interest in the breed was strong, but they could not bring horses in from the UK due to the foot & mouth epidemic.  It wasn't until February of 2002 that they began importing the breed in numbers to satisfy the demand for the breed in North America.  The last  horses they brought over came in 2008.  Through this six year period they imported over 1500 horses into North America.

      Their philosophy regarding the Gypsy Horse breed contributed much to their success.  They knew the breed would take hold and grow in popularity, and that they were creating a foundation for the breed.   They were disappointed at how some Americans were using the breed for various marketing schemes, and that some European breeders saw America as a place to sell inferior horses for big money.  Chris & Jeff believed that the foundation of the breed in America should be based on truthful information, respect for the Gypsy people, and importing the highest quality horses available. 

     Christine passed away in 2010.

      Although the economy has slowed down the horse industry, the breed is still of interest to a great number of people, and Jeff believes we will see the breed continue to grow in popularity as the economy improves.

     Today, Jeff and Victoria continue to support their clients and introduce newcomers to the breed.  Jeff also serves on the Board of Directors for the Gypsy Horse Registry of America.  In his spare time, Jeff enjoys travelling, amateur radio, and flying airplanes with Victoria, and Thomas.