BOD Nominees

Nominees for Board of Directors, term starting January 1, 2022.   Two (2) positions are available.


Summary of Nominees:

Kate Walls Alberta; Member since 2013; Owns 31 registered Gypsy Vanners; Shows, Expos, Evaluations, Current Director, Committees, Annual Meeting, Regional Club President
Misha Duvernoy New York; Member since 2016; Owns 7 registered Gypsy Vanners; Current Director, Shows, Evaluations, Expos, Annual Meeting, Committees, past GVHS Secretary, Regional club activities
Samantha Crook Oklahoma; Member since 2016; Owns 6 registered Gypsy Vanners; Shows, Committees, Annual Meeting
Wendy Lee Virginia; Member 2015, 2017, 20202021; Owns 2 registered Gypsy Vanners; Shows, trainer

In my effort to enjoy the privilege of serving for a second term on the Board of Directors of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society, following is a brief Biography.

My name is Kate Walls, I’m 58 years old, born and raised in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.  I have also lived in Edmonton, Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia where I completed my Bachelor of Commerce and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degrees respectively.  Upon completion of 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 asked me to work in our family construction company in Red Deer as he was going to retire.  I am currently in my 34th year co-managing a very successful, 340 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 asset.  Another local Vanner owner and I were instrumental in starting the Central Alberta Gypsy Vanner Show in 2012.  We’ve since had many shows and have recently started fun events designed for youth and beginner Gypsy Vanner owners.  Our farm and horses have also been active in the GVHS evaluation program of which I am a committee member.  The Gypsy Vanner Horse 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 via Facebook with a couple of posts per day.

My true love has always been horses!  Our first Gypsy Vanner arrived from England in 2008 and was soon followed by many more :)!  Now in our 14th season of breeding and as one of the larger breeders in Western Canada (having sold 61 GVHSs 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 the confusion that sometimes 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 with for people new to horses, especially for children and the use of Gypsy Vanners 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 for a second term.


Kate Walls

Misha Monique Duvernoy:  It would be an honour to continue on the Board of Directors for the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. I have a passionate desire to serve the breed which has given me so much pleasure.

I have been involved with horses for over 30 years, as an equestrian and more recently raising Gypsy Vanners. I had the great opportunity to grow up at a Morgan show barn. For the last ten years I have owned Gypsy Vanners. Prior to acquiring my first Gypsy Vanner, I spent a decade researching the breed. I am a lifelong learner and enjoy researching. In August of 2018 we visited England, Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland to learn from prominent breeders. Outside of the horse world, I have been an educator for over 16 years.

In 2017 I helped to form the New England Gypsy Horse Club, and am on the Board of Directors.

I currently serve on the GVHS board, am a GVHS member and have attended every annual meeting since 2017. I am an involved member, I have been active in committee work for the GVHS since 2017. I have been the GVHS Breed Booth Manager at the Massachusetts Equine Affaire since 2017. At Equine Affaire, I feel fortunate to be able to meet our breed’s fans, and to educate the public. This (and experiences at local and breed shows) have given me the opportunity to observe first hand the confusion on the breed standard, rules and bylaws and general public perplexity of the breed. I look forward to bringing more uniformity and education to the breed. The GVHS has a real opportunity at the moment both to considerably expand the public’s interest in the breed, and to educate those interested in our breed. We are in a position to provide leadership and to lead by example to bring the positive change required to make this opportunity a reality.

I am vested in the GVHS, as a fan, owner, exhibitor, and breeder. 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. We need people on the board committed to honesty and integrity, who are willing to stand up for these issues. I will continue to speak up for what I believe is the right direction for the organization. As a person with a lifetime stake in the breed, I am committed to working as hard as I can to help ensure the vitality of the breed. With respect to the past, and knowledge of the current issues, I will continue to provide a fresh perspective for the GVHS to continue to grow on a domestic and international basis.

I would be honored and humbled to have your vote to continue to put my skills and passion to work for the GVHS. I offer my experience and effort to maintain the level of horsemanship and 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 am optimistic and look forward to the future of our breed and sincerely thank you for your consideration.


Wendy Lee: It is with great desire that I submit this Board of Directors application. My reason is simple: to bring my talents, experiences, education and professionalism to GVHS to assure the society moves in a positive and productive direction.

My experiences with horses have been a lifetime. Although I have been a trainer for over 30 years, my first show was when I was 9 years old, and have since earned numerous World and National championships in multiple breeds. These titles include the Gypsy Vanner in which I was introduced to in 2009 and quickly found myself engulfed in showing them. Disciplines represented in my titles are western, english, trail, showmanship, and halter.

As of 1995, I have, and continue to be, a horse show judge and clinician. Going from an average of judging 38 shows a year, my showing horses has since limited my judging. Although, my passion to teach and educate the horse community continues through my clinics.

At one point, I owned 19 horses and currently own my retired World Champion APHA/PtHA stallion, retired Reserve National Champion Arabian gelding, and two young Gypsy Vanner geldings.
I am married to a wonderful husband who is a large animal veterinarian, owns his own practice, and is extremely supportive of my “horse habit.”. I have two children. My son Spencer lives in western VA and is the Program Director for YMCA. My daughter Ashley Sarkozi who, along with her husband Scott, currently show and train Gypsy Vanners and Friesians.

Lastly, my experiences in the horse business have been full circle. Ranging from boarding 30 horses, to starting a 4H Club with 27 active members, with some graduating and becoming successful horsemen and horsewomen, including the recent Sporthorse National Champion in Western Dressage and earner of the Triple Crown Excellence Award. Additionally, in 2002, I was elected President of a local association bringing an additional 225 members in my 2-year term, to hosting my own show circuit, holding 10-12 shows per year with a membership and year end awards banquet.

In closing, I look forward to working with the board in any capacity and wishing you all a safe and healthy holiday season ahead.

Wendy Lee


My name is Samantha Crook, I live in southern Oklahoma with my husband David, together we have 4 grown children and 5 grandchildren.  I have been showing  Gypsy Vanner horses for 8 years and now own 9 Vanners.

For over 20 years I have owned my own businesses and served on numerous boards. I am  member of the:

  1. NATIONAL Council of Non-profit Organizations
  2. TANO; Texas Association of Non-profit Organizations
  3. OKLAHOMA Center for Non-profit Members
  4. Board of Directors for the Ardmore Tourism Authority
  5. President-Courage Initiative Gypsy Vanner Outreach Inc. Non-profit 501c(3) 2017 founder
  6. GVHS Rules, Bi-Laws and Grievance Committee Member

In order for GVHS to preserve the breed, the business organization must maintain its goals, values and ethics in good standing.  We must move forward together with a better understanding of the breed, the society, and its members to the public. I believe the GVHS board needs to be transparent to its members. Education and communication are a key factor to obtain a happy, productive, successful organization. The largest challenge faced by non-profit organizations is resources and a productive membership. I would like to see standards for excellence with a diversified board educated in marketing, finance, leadership, networking, development and schematics.  Approaching improvement with intention through training, consulting, advocacy, membership, networking and awards.

I have been very involved with this breed over the past 8 years.  I attend multiple non-profit education events throughout the year, as well as GVHS sanctioned events.  I have a great understanding of this non-profit organization, the articles of incorporation, bi-laws, rules, policy & procedures and how they should be geared towards a successful registry for all members and horses.  I believe I possess the necessary skills and knowledge to represent you the members of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society.

The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches but reveal to him his own…. Benjamin Disraeli

I hope you will consider my vote for the Board of Directors for the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society.

The Best,

Samantha Crook