If you think you won't get caught out then have a look at the photo and tell me which one is the purebred gypsy vanner filly and which one is the 3/4 gypsy vanner filly. The purebred is 6 weeks older than the cross. It is that easy to fool people when they are much younger in age, so be wary!
These next few pages tells a story that is nauseating and gut wrenching in many places, but needs to be told to let others know that this could happen to them if they are not careful when purchasing gypsy horses. It is not for all to read, as some may not like the controversy that these pages may present, however, I have sat on this knowledge far too long and it has eaten me up inside and I need a close. I do not expect pity for my plight and love my horses dearly, but I feel very strongly that we can not go forward as a horse community if this type of behaviour continues to exist as it is right now. Unfortunately, unless we stand up as a whole and take measures to preserve this magnificent breed by preventing further abuse, it will continue. If you are a person who does not like controversy, then please do not read any further. However, if like me, you would have been grateful for this information before you spent thousands of your precious hard earned dollars, then sit down with a good cup of coffee and read on. Please bear with me as much of this story may seem irrelevant, long and boring, but understanding the background is necessary to fully grasp the real intent.
Some will ponder why I have gone to such great detail to tell this story, as I am not the first. However, when confronted with the true cost to import these amazing horses into New Zealand, importing it puts the situation into a whole new light. Ms. Betteridge did sell me some excellent foundation mares, I can never take that away from her, she has a good eye for conformation. However as you will soon read, I paid top dollar for quality and so much more for diverse bloodlines. I knew this was important not only to sell stock to people, but to insure the future quality of a foundation herd in a part of the world that had none of these horses when I purchased my first two in 2004. All my life I have made a point of running my past business with total integrity and honesty. I do not like to be swindled and therefore will not do it to others, as it is nauseating when it happens. Therefore I have finally taken a stand and I am now saying, enough is enough.
For the first few years I truly believed that my horses were from the lineage that I was led to believe. That was my only mistake...my naivete and trusting nature. I paid good money for these lines and all knew down under that my horses were from these supposed bloodlines. Once I knew the truth I felt that my integrity has been severely compromised as an honest breeder and my conscience would not allow the lie to continue, as it had to stop somewhere and that somewhere was me. Andrea Betteridge of Meadow Farms UK is well known in the gypsy horse circle and I felt that few would believe my story over what she may retell as her interpretation of events, so hence everything is backed up with statements and emails that I still retain today.
I held off putting up a website mainly due to this dilemma and pursued the avenue of taking Ms. Betteridge to court or pressing criminal charges for compensation of loss of foals, incorrect mating, violation of New Zealand Biosecurity laws, falsification of parentage and other petty nuisances. I was in the UK last year partly to meet with Knights Solicitors in Kent. Unfortunately they had to decline my case a month later when they sheepishly discovered that they were in breach of contract, as they had previously represented Ms. Betteridge in another law suit in past year. I quickly found another law firm to deal with and was set to put proceedings in motion when I returned to New Zealand. However, taking someone to court to this degree is not as simple as one may think. Not only is the financial side daunting, but the ethical and emotional complications that it would create. I began to ask the question "what will this accomplish to completely ruin someone or put them in jail." Yes she did all these terrible things that financially hurt me badly and left me utterly gutted, but two wrongs don't make a right. It is not in my heart to be this vindictive and malicious, however I also felt strongly that she should not get away with it, in another word, sleep in the bed you make. In the end I decided not to pursue litigation or file criminal action with the authorities against Ms. Betteridge. I felt the only way forward for me was to get it out of my system, hence my story here and to forgive Ms. Betteridge for her wrong doings in the hope that she will not continue in her heedless ways. There are places where you will detect anger, hostility and frustration in my words, but this is only due to the fact that as I put these words to paper, I relive these moments, as if they have just happened to me again.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: In July 2012 Melinda Phillips posted on FB "The Cobs have a Mother Stud Book", in regards to the TGCA. I was wholly against the TGCA being instated down under, knowing that Ms. Betteridge was running the show. It created a very heated face book post amongst many. A few days later Andrea Betteridge publicly resigned on the TGCA UK face book page. I saw it as a ruse for the public's benefit, to remove the heat they were taking at the time due to the fb posts. Sadly I was right and the very next day she reinstated herself with a private letter to some of the select committee members. Next, Stephen McCartney and Mary Phillips asked me to present proof of what I had written in my BB account, asking me to provide them with screen shots of my quotes. At first I thought better of it and wanted to put the whole thing behind me, but it was more allegations from Andrea Betteridge, that my BB account was all copied and pasted emails that were twisted to suit my agenda, that spurred me on. SO.......126 emails quotes from my BB account were then copied as screen shots and sent to the following 4 people. Mary Phillips, Stephen McCartney, Theresa Fryer and Kirsten Wilson. I asked all 4 to confirm that they were receiving my emails and all bar Kirsten Wilson replied yes, as I believe she was that weekend. What then became very apparent to all that had read those email screen shots, was everyone of my quotes in my BB account was "word for word" and NOT ONE word had been altered nor placed out of context. I know that those screen shots were passed to others to peruse and once it became very clear of the level of deceit that had occurred, it infuriated some who had once believed in Ms Betteridge's tall tales. So what you read below is as accurate as can be and I am still happy to provide these screenshots to any disbelievers.
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