One of Europe’s tallest horses, Digger, has joined World Horse Welfare’s popular Adopt a Horse scheme in place of donkey, Whisky, who has now been rehomed.
Famed for his 19 hh plus height, close to 6ft 6”,which puts him less than four inches below Europe’s largest living horse, Digger lives at World Horse Welfare’s Belwade Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Aberdeenshire where he is a huge hit with visitors and staff alike.
Standing almost one metre taller than previous Adopt a Horse scheme equine, Whisky, Digger is so big that he has to have a bridle tailor made to fit his head and wears a rug which is more than 2.2 metres long.
Finding horseshoes to fit Digger’s dinner plate-sized feet is also a challenge so they have to be specially crafted at Belwade Farm’s on-site blacksmith’s forge.
Digger arrived at the farm as a four-year-old in 2007 after his owner contacted World Horse Welfare to ask for help. He was growing fast and at such a young age problems had started to occur with the joints in his hind legs.
After extensive rehabilitation from World Horse Welfare and gentle veterinary care, Digger regained confidence and continued growing – earning his title as the biggest horse the charity has ever cared for.
Standing at an enormous 9 foot from the ground to the tips of his ears (that’s taller than the current World’s Tallest Man!) and weighing almost a tonne, Digger caught the attention of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and was accepted on a two-year training programme to become a drum horse, taking part in preparations for the Royal Wedding and Major General Parades.
Unfortunately, it became apparent that Digger was much better suited to life in the slow lane away from busy London, so he returned to Belwade Farm in 2012 and now couldn’t be happier residing in the rugged Scottish hills.
Eileen Gillen, Centre Manager at Belwade Farm has been caring for Digger since he arrived in early 2008. She said: “When we were considering potential equine candidates to replace Whisky on the Adopt a Horse scheme, Digger quite literally stood head and shoulders above the rest.
“He already has a huge following with visitors travelling from all over the UK to meet him and our adopters loved seeing him at the recent adopters’ day which we held to welcome him on to the scheme and say goodbye to Whisky.
“Whisky was a great character and we’re delighted that he is now in a new home, receiving the love and pampering that he deserves. I would say that Digger has some big shoes to fill but I think his shoes are plenty big enough already!”
For more information on the Adopt a Horse scheme visit: http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Adopt
It is anticipated Digger will stay on WHW’s Adopt-a-horse scheme for approximatelly two years, after which time he will be assessed for suitablility to be placed on the charity’s rehoming scheme.