Mounting this Trojan steed
is a tall order for any rider
Measuring over 19 hands, 6ft 5 inches, and weighing 900 kilos, Digger the Clydesdale is thouht to be Britain’s biggest living horse.
And at only 4 years of age this magnificent animal still has some growing to do.
“Digger is the largest horse we have ever had to deal with and at just four years old, is still a baby,” says Eileen Gillen, manager of the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) at Belwade Farm in Aboyne, Scotland, where Digger is kept.
“He was hand-fed as an orphan and from then on he just grew and grew. He is the equivalent of a growing teenage boy – never out of the fridge.
“Heaven knows what size he is going to end up.”
Digger arrived at the farm in December after a call for help from his owners, who were suffering from serious health problems and finding it increasingly difficult to cope with such a big horse.
“He was hand-reared from two weeks old which is not the easiest thing to do so all credit to the previous owners – he was just too big to cope with,” says Eileen.
“Digger arrived just 10 days before Christmas – it was some Christmas present I can tell you.”
However Digger’s height, measured from hoofs to shoulder blade is not an exact reading of his size. ”
We can’t measure him absolutely bang on because our measuring system doesn’t go past 19 hands,” explains Eileen.
“He is the about 6 ft 5 inches hoofs to withers – which is hooves to the top of the shoulder.
“He has obviously got to bulk out because he is just a frame – but who knows what height he will end up growing to.
“His feet measure between 10-15 inches – a good foot across.”
But Eileen, 48, who has been caring for horses for the past 35 years, is not interested in breaking any records.
“Digger is certainly over 19 hands and when his head his up he will measure up to 9 ft.
Digger’s unusual size means that he has a bigger appetite than most horses.
“Because he is a growing lad he is a little under weight. But he is eating three times more than a normal horse and consuming about 20-25 gallons of water a day.
“We have a big yard and he lives in there, but even to get him here we had to get a specialist lorry with lower stabilised floors.
“He is a big docile horse – he will do what he wants. He is not one for running around. He takes life very slowly, which is the nature of his breed.
His friends at the farm include12-year-old Sweep, a mini Shetland pony who, despite his intimidating size, is best friends with gentle giant Digger.
At 34 inches tall, he can walk straight under his belly.
“She is out mascot and when Sweep first met Digger his height didn’t seem to bother her – she wasn’t intimidated,” says Eileen.
“They just love to play together as you can see.”
News Link: UK Daily Mail
Earlier Post: Tina, Guinness Tallest Horse in the World.