Hans Van Ripper is Ichabod Crane's landlord, who lends the schoolmaster his horse, Gunpowder, as a ride to Baltus Van Tassel's party. The next morning, Van Ripper found Gunpowder, minus his saddle, lazily cropping grass at his gate. After learning that Ichabod had missed all his appointments, Van Ripper set out to look for him, as well as his missing saddle. He found Gunpowder's saddle trampled in the dirt, then, at the covered bridge, Ichabod's hat and a shattered pumpkin. Beyond these, no trace of the schoolmaster was ever found.