BOD Nominees

Nominees for Board of Directors, term starting January 1, 2019.   Three positions are available.

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Active Involvement in GVHS & Breed Education Events


GVHS Member since

GVHS Committees GVHS Evaluations Equine Expos Breed Shows  GVHS Annual Meeting/ Gypsy Vanner Education Seminar # GVHS Horses/ First Year of GVHS Registration or Ownership
Jeff Conklin-


Board of Directors- current

Rules, By Laws & Grievance Committee- current

Evaluation Manager- MI (2018) Equine Affaire, OH- GVHS Display Manager & exhibitor (2017-2018) JJ Horse Show, OH

2018 exhibitor


Since 2015

H’el’ene Dieck 


Attended an Evaluation MI Stallion Expo- 2013, 2014- exhibitor 2

Since 2009

Misha Monique Duvernoy 


Show Committee- current

GVHS Secretary-in-Training- current

Shadow Evaluator at 2 Evaluations- 2018

Organized New England Evaluations- 2018

2 horses evaluated- 2018

Equine Affaire, MA- GVHS Display Manager & exhibitor (2016-2018) New England Gypsy Horse Show (co-founder & exhibitor): 2017-2018 2018 3

Since 2011


Kate Walls 


Evaluations Committee- current Organized Alberta Evaluations (2014- 2016)

15 horses evaluated (2014-2016)

The Mane Event, AB-exhibitor since 2010 AB Gypsy Vanner Horse Show (co-founder & exhibitor)- 2014-2018 35

Since 2008

Hello, my name is Jeff Conklin and I am running for a position on the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society Board of Directors.  I am currently serving as a Director on the GVHS Board, and on the GVHS Rules, Bylaws and Grievance Committee.  This summer I had the opportunity to manage the GVHS Evaluations in Holly, Michigan.   I am an active member of the Board of Directors, and continue to look for opportunities to improve communication, educate and promote the rich history of the GVHS and this wonderful breed.

I have been married to my wife, Judy, for 30 years and we have 3 adult sons.  Over the past 20 years, we have been active leading equine 4H clubs, as well as breeding and training our own horses.  I am a life-long educator, mentor and leader.  I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with over 30 years of educating, quality assurance engineering and management.  My professional experience lends itself to working well with others, maintaining standards, meeting expectations, evaluating products, providing continual improvements and adjustments as necessary, and training and mentoring others.  In addition to being co-owner of Liberty Vanner Farm LLC, I am also a Subway franchise co-owner, the principal consultant for Conklin’s Quality Consulting, and a Worship Leader at my local church.

As a member of the GVHS for the past several years, I have had the privilege of serving as the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society Breed Booth Manager for the Ohio Equine Affaire in 2017, and 2018, and will again in 2019.  I have worked with our GVHS Team Members to set up and run the breed booth for the week, scheduling members into the booth and demos, organizing the Gypsy Vanner Horse show times, and worked to educate the public about the GVHS and the Gypsy Vanner Horse breed.  My wife and I currently have 6 GVHS registered horses, and have exhibited at the Ohio Equine Affaire, allowing everyone the opportunity to get up close and touch these feathered friends.   Our Gypsy Vanner heirloom bloodlines reflect our desire to maintain and preserve the breed standard.  We love to represent all the GVHS and its members and share this wonderful breed with the public whenever possible at shows, local horse parades and other venues.

Please give me the opportunity to continue to serve on the Board, and to work together expanding the knowledge base about the GVHS, and to preserve the heritage of this great breed.  Please vote for me, so we can continue to make a difference in our Society.


My name is H’ele’ne Dieck and I would like your consideration for the open Board Member position with the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. I have been a member with the Society since 2013. My husband Bill, and I breed and own a small herd of Gypsy Vanner horses, several Drum horses and Clydesdales, and a few other species of animals on our farm. Our farm was started in Maryland in 2007, and moved to Michigan in 2012. Our farm is named Endless Springs Farm, representing all of our varying animal species.

I am an Army brat, growing up in a military family of over 40 years, over 3 generations. This has taught me strength, independence, and given me the conviction to fight for what is right. I was brought up with strong values, morals, and ethics. I bring these qualities to the table in everything that I do. Honesty and integrity are of the highest priority and that has always come through in everything for me. I spent 25 years in the mortgage industry, working my way up from the bottom to becoming an operations manager, managing approximately 30 people, and closing over $40 million dollars in mortgage loans a month, including owning our own mortgage brokerage office at one point. I left my field to start my farm and own Vanners in the United States. I feel my strong commitment and business savvy will be a valuable asset to the GVHS. I would love to bring fresh and new ideas to the table while working with the membership, to offer new programs and enhance existing ones, to stay current with the times and grow as a registry. I believe it is a Board Member’s job to work for the members, and this I will always honor to the best of my abilities. As a Board Member I will encourage registry members to feel comfortable contacting me with concerns and issues, and do my best to handle these things with the utmost care.

I have been studying Gypsy Vanners for almost 20 years. I have a passion for these horses and their history. My desire for the preservation and enhancement of our breed has become an inherent part of me. I started following many farms in the United States, bookmarking my favorite ones. The Gypsy Vanner Horse Society was the first, and followed many horse sale sites. The GVHS gave me diagrams and a breed standard to follow, and I read and looked at them daily. The horse websites gave me lots of pictures and contacts. Some of the truly great websites established in the US outlined feather quality and conformation with real pictures, and helped my learning curve, as I did not have hands on access at the time. The web is/was my tool to learn more and more, as I studied. Many sites I found had links to farms overseas enabling me to follow these horses all over the world. I love history, honoring and preserving it. These horses just became a huge part of me and my desire. I feel that their heritage is very important to make sure people understand where they came from and the people that we all are indebted to for them.

One late summer day in 2007 I had the privilege of seeing a few Gypsy Vanner Mares in person for the first time. I was so enamored. I was fortunate enough to see Rhonda Ziegler’s Vanner herd and stallions, including the infamous Slainte, who touched my heart forever. One of the most kind and gorgeous stallions of our breed. Sadly, he is no longer on this earth, but I am honored to own his stallion tack and one of his lovely daughters.

With my husband’s support, and a few bumps in the road, this is really how it all began for me. I have been studying these horses since 1999, starting a young program in 2009 and slowly growing. I started with mostly foals and growing my stock out, finally beginning to breed a few over the last five years to see how things were matching up. I am very pleased with where my herd is at, and the outcomes of my breedings.  Due to taking the time, I cannot wait for our next chapter to start our training and see exactly where these horses take me. To further my education, I am in the planning stages of going overseas to visit these horses and their origin in the near future.

I am asking for your vote to help teach what I have learned and promote the Vanners in their correctness in the United States. We can register a million horses but if we do nothing to preserve them and show what is truly correct, we are doing a disservice to the breed.

Misha Monique Duvernoy:  It would be an honor to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. My passion is fueled by the pleasure I have from my experience as an owner and breeder of Gypsy Vanners.

I started riding at age 7 and had the great opportunity to grow up at a Morgan show barn. I have wanted a Gypsy Vanner since I first learned about them, in 1996. For the last 8 years, I have owned, bred, shown and trained our Gypsy Vanners. Prior to acquiring my first Gypsy Vanner, I spent over a decade researching the breed. We take our horses to local shows, events, clinics, and Equine Affaire- using our horses as ambassadors for the breed. We feel it is important to get our Gypsy Vanners in front of as many people as possible so they can witness their versatility and good nature. I volunteer as a Special Olympics Equestrian Coach and Judge. I have had the fortune of being able to visit and talk with well-established breeders in the US and this August I had the privilege of traveling to England and Ireland where I was able to meet and learn from some of the prominent overseas breeders. Outside of the horse world, I have been an educator for over 13 years. I have taught middle school science for the last 12 years.

In 2017, I helped to form the New England Gypsy Horse Club (NEGHC) and currently represent the organization as a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to 2017, there were not any shows for our breed in the Northeast. The club was started to promote the breed; to support members; to educate the public about the Gypsy Vanner, and to conduct horse shows and other events for exhibition and recognition of the Gypsy Vanner. I have been the show chair for our GVHS sanctioned show for 2017 and 2018 and hope to continue in that role. We have had 40 or more Gypsies attend each year that we have held our show. This year, I facilitated the first GVHS evaluation in the Northeast with thirty evaluations completed.

I am an active GVHS member. All of our horses are GVHS registered, some of them have earned Vanner Advantage and Amateur High Point awards. I have engaged in committee work for the Show Committee in both 2017 and 2018; contributed to the “Vanner Magazine;” attended the 2018 GVHS Judges and Evaluators training in Florida to learn more about the breed and expectations for exhibitors, judges, and evaluators; and shadowed 2 GVHS evaluations as well as having my own mares evaluated. This year will mark my third consecutive year as the GVHS Breed Booth Manager at the Massachusetts Equine Affaire. That role has allowed me to be able to interact with our breed’s fans, member’s horses, exhibitors and to educate the public. This, together with experiences at clinics, local and breed shows, has given me the opportunity to perceive the lack of coherence regarding the breed standard, rules, and bylaws that may contribute to the perplexity of the public toward the breed and what the breed is capable of. There is a real opportunity at the moment, both to considerably expand the public’s interest and understanding of the breed, and to educate the public. The GVHS Board members can leverage their leadership and their collective knowledge of Gypsy Vanners to stimulate the positive change required to convert this opportunity into a reality.

I have seen many positive changes in areas including continued growth in membership, evaluations, judge’s certification, and increased involvement in shows. As both an owner, exhibitor and a small breeder, I believe I understand and can represent the wide divergence of views in our breed and in turn make the correct decisions for the future of our breed. We need people on the board committed to honesty and integrity, who are willing to stand up for the issues at hand. I will continue to work on issues focused on greater breed recognition and relevance through education, and preserving and promoting this breed for its versatility and good nature. I want to see the breed kept true to its form and function. I will work to increase youth membership and involvement to ensure the future of the breed. We must find the right balance between being true to our historical roots and embracing the changes that will be necessary as we move forward. At thirty-five years old, with many more years at stake in the breed, I am committed to working as hard as I can to help ensure the vitality and integrity of the breed. With respect to the past, and knowledge of the current issues, I will provide a fresh perspective for the GVHS to continue to grow on a domestic and international basis.

I would be honored and humbled to earn your confidence and apply my skills and passion to work for the GVHS. I offer my experience and effort to maintain the level of reverence that the horses deserve so that we can showcase our breed to the world. I have a vested interest in seeing our breed continue to flourish. I look forward to the future of our breed and sincerely thank you for your consideration.

Kate Walls:  In my effort to enjoy the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society, following is a short Biography.

I’m 54 years old, born and raised in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. I completed High School in Red Deer; moved to Edmonton then Vancouver to complete my Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business Administration degrees respectively. Just as I was finishing my MBA, I applied for and was awarded the position of a Manager in British Columbia’s Horse Racing industry. At the same time, my father’s partner called me to come and work at our family construction business in Red Deer as he was going to retire. So back to Red Deer I went where I am now in my 30th year co-managing a very successful, 375 person road building company founded in 1955 by my father.

I pride myself on being fair and a voice of the people. I conduct myself ethically, am responsible, respectful and operate in a professional manner. I’m a ‘get it done’ type of person with a lot of experience dealing with complex problems involving people – any business’ greatest resource. Another Vanner owner and I were instrumental in starting the Central Alberta Gypsy Vanner Show which just completed a very successful 5th annual event. Our farm and horses have also been active in the GVHS evaluation program and I am now on the committee for that program. The Gypsy Vanner Society is our farm’s exclusive registry of choice which we have been members of since May of 2013. Our farm promotes the Gypsy Vanner breed at the biggest equine fair in Western Canada (The Mane Event) and has since 2010. We also promote Gypsy Vanners through several postings per day on Facebook as well as on our renovated website (soon to be released).

My true love has always been horses! Our first Gypsy Vanner arrived from England in 2008 and was soon followed by 3 more, then another and 3 more and so on – you all know how that goes. Now in our 11th season of breeding and as one of the largest breeders in Western Canada (having sold 31 GVHS registered Gypsy Vanners), I feel compelled to bring together all Gypsy Vanner owners to a single registry that stands above the rest – the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. I would like to see more Gypsy Vanner owners register their horses with the confidence and knowledge that they’re registering with the best registry and to erase some of the confusion that now exists for new owners of the breed. Another of my goals is to further promote the Gypsy Vanner as the best breed to be involved in therapy programs. I would feel privileged to serve Gypsy Vanner owners in North America by serving on the Board of Directors of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society.