Equestrian Blog

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Meet Lincoln, The Shire Horse Thought To Be Europe’s Biggest Horse

Measuring 20.2hh tall (6ft 10in at his shoulder blades), Lincoln is thought to be the biggest horse in Europe. Lincoln, whose official name is Ruskington Leicester, was going to be sold for meat when he was bought by farmer Ruth Blair and James Mackie who is managing director of a wholesale fruit and vegetable company. Lincoln was covered in sores and was more than half a tonne underweight when Ms Blair and Mr Mackie purchased him…for a box of fresh veg, a bottle of whisky and £450 cash. Ms Blair agreed to pay the vet bills if Mr Mackie, who also has two Scottish Clydesdales at his farm in Inchinnan, would provide the care. Nine months later, the five-year-old Shire is no longer the emaciated, terrified animal who kicked down a stable door and leapt in fear if a person lifted their hand. He has made a miraculous recovery, helped by a daily diet of 26lb of carrots, 24 apples, 11lb of spinach, four or five cabbages and the odd snack from Mr Mackie’s staff. He measures 6ft 10in to the shoulder, but looks set to become the world’s tallest horse when he is fully grown in about two years. The titleholder, a 12-year-old Belgian draught horse named Jake, lives in the United States and is just three-quarters of an inch taller. Mr Mackie kept Lincoln stabled for the first ten days, just feeding him and getting him used to being handled. As well as the effects of ill treatment, Lincoln suffers from a condition called stringhalt that causes one leg to lash out when he walks. A strict exercise routine has helped reduce its severity but it cannot be cured. But the transformation in Lincoln has been dramatic, even if he doesn’t realise his own strength as so far he’s managed to pull down three fences and has lifted the golf buggy that Mr Mackie was sitting in, off the ground by picking up the back of it in his teeth. Lucky Lincoln now has a lifetime home and who knows…if he continues to grow for the next 2 years, he could become the biggest horse in the world!  

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