ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
A couple of years ago, a Belgian draft horse from Mount Pleasant, Texas named Radar, was posed for a photo with a miniature brown mare known as Thumbelina. Thumbelina stood all of 17 inches. Radar stood six foot seven and a half. Or in horse height terms, Thumbelina was four and a quarter hands to the withers from hoof to shoulder, and Radar was 19 hands and three and half inches.
In the photo, Thumbelina is standing in Radar's shadow framed by his legs and looking about as big as a cat under a picnic table. That's the kind of cute picture they'll take of you if you are Radar and hold the Guinness Book of Records' title as world's tallest horse.
Here's the bad news for Radar. Another Texas horse, a Clydesdale from Princeton named Remington, is mounting a formal challenge to Radar for bragging rights in the tall horse department. He's owned by Cheryl Davis, who's on the line now with us from her home. Hi.
Ms. CHERYL DAVIS (Owner, Remington): Hi.
SIEGEL: How big is Remington?
Ms. DAVIS: 20.1 hands.
SIEGEL: And it's four inches to the hand?
Ms. DAVIS: Right, four inches to the hand.
SIEGEL: So that comes out to…
Ms. DAVIS: About six-foot-eight.
SIEGEL: Six-foot-eight. Only a quarter of an inch or a half an inch more than the reigning tall horse.
Ms. DAVIS: That's true.
SIEGEL: Is there a formal measurement of these things?
Ms. DAVIS: There will be a formal measurement. He will be measured by a vet, and we will be using a measuring tape and a level at his withers, and we will be holding the event, one with his shoes on and one with his shoes off.
SIEGEL: Tell me about Remington. When you acquired him, were you attracted to his size? Was that the point - to have a very, very big horse?
Ms. DAVIS: Remington was actually purchased because of his black and white features. Remington was 17.5 hands when I bought him as a yearling. We had hoped that he would get to be 18.5 hands. I never expected him to keep going.
SIEGEL: How heavy is Remington? How much does he weigh?
Ms. DAVIS: Remington weighs approximately 3,000 pounds.
SIEGEL: Is he a contender for world's heaviest horse?
Ms. DAVIS: Guinness does not do heaviest animals anymore. They consider that to not be good for the health of the animals and has thrown out that category.
SIEGEL: Is he still growing?
Ms. DAVIS: Not at least upwards. He is probably still growing a little bit in weight because he is a constant eater.
SIEGEL: What have you been feeding this horse?
Ms. DAVIS: Too much.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Remington will eat about two square bales of hay a day, plus he has round bale rights, and he eats approximately nine quarts of grain and drinks about 40 to 50 gallons of water a day.
SIEGEL: Now, you measure horses to the withers, but that's only going up to the shoulders, or actually the top of Remington's head would be yet another couple of feet, at least, higher than 20 hands.
Ms. DAVIS: Absolutely. The lowest part of the barn is nine-and-a-half-foot at the ceiling, and he does literally hit his head on the ceiling.
SIEGEL: When is the big measurement scheduled for?
Ms. DAVIS: The measurement with his shoes on will be this coming Friday. Then we will give him a rest because it takes time to remove the shoes and in consideration for the heat, for the crowd and for my horse. Then we will do the measuring for the shoes off on Saturday, and I have received approval from Guinness. They are perfectly happy with this because safety and consideration for my boy is the top priority. And we will have witnesses for each event.
SIEGEL: Well, not that we have a horse in this contest, but good luck to you on Friday and Saturday. Thank you very much. That's Cheryl Davis who owns Remington, a horse that she says measures just over 20 hands, 80 inches, and is the rightful claimant to the title of world's tallest horse.
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