New Holder of World's Tallest Horse Title

The title of "Tallest Living Horse in the World" went to an 11-year-old Percheron horse named Goliath on July 24. He stands 19.1 hands high, or 6'5" at the withers, weighs in at around 2,500 pounds, and is based in Mount Pleasant, Texas. He is owned by Priefert Manufacturing, a producer of almost 200 products for the livestock, equine, canine, and estate fencing industries.

Courtesy Priefert Manufacturing

At 19.1 hands, Goliath, an 11-year-old Percheron, is now the tallest horse in the world. He is well-known for his gentle nature, especially with kids.

Goliath is the wheel horse for the company's promotional wagon team, which was purchased as a whole, including the wagon, from Brookhart's Lumber in March of 2002. The team makes about 250 appearances nationwide throughout the year, and due to his size, Goliath makes an additional 100 appearances.

With all of these appearances, Goliath will soon be traveling in style. According to Tracie Neal, advertising coordinator for Priefert, Bloomer Trailers is designing a special trailer that is tall enough to fit Goliath more comfortably and with a  special shock system to minimize the bouncing on the road, thus reducing the stress on his legs.

"This new record will affect his life," said Neal. "He is in higher demand. He will be on the road more. We're trying to find ways to make him more comfortable. The reason that draft horses wear out faster is that they get arthritis in their legs because of their weight. Their legs just give out earlier."

The Guinness Book of World Records verified Goliath as the tallest horse in the world when Goliath's regular veterinarian, Bill Howard, DVM, of Animal Clinic at the Crossings in Longview, Texas, measured the horse during a press conference on July 24. He passed the previous record holder by a quarter of an inch. There has also been another Goliath, a Shire who held the record height of over 19.1 hands, but he passed away in 2001 (see "Living Large: The Death of a Giant").

According to Neal, Goliath is very gentle. "He is a giant baby," she said. "He loves kids. We can allow kids to pet him and touch him, and nothing ever bothers him. We love it because it allows us to tour with him."

Neal provided some interesting facts about Goliath:

• He consumes 18 pounds of Pilgrim's Pride 14% pelleted feed, a bale of coastal hay, and about 25-30 gallons of water each day, although his diet is not much different than the diet of his hitchmates;
• He does not eat much grass because he has problems reaching the ground and has to spread out his legs like a foal does;
• Goliath is allowed pasture time and time on a Priefert horse walker every day;
• His head is not any larger than other draft horses and he fits in a normal draft-size halter; and
• His feet are some of the smallest in the hitch.

Goliath and team will be traveling the country. "Watch your local advertisements," suggested Neal. She also said that barn tours are available. For more information, call 800/527-8616 or e-mail

About the Author

Sarah Evers Conrad

Sarah Evers Conrad has a bachelor’s of arts in journalism and equine science from Western Kentucky University. As a lifelong horse lover and equestrian, Conrad started her career at The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care magazine. She has also worked for the United States Equestrian Federation as the managing editor of Equestrian magazine and director of e-communications and served as content manager/travel writer for a Caribbean travel agency. When she isn’t freelancing, Conrad spends her free time enjoying her family, reading, practicing photography, traveling, crocheting, and being around animals in her Lexington, Kentucky, home.

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