WEBSTER, N.H. (AP) – A 6-year-old Belgian draft horse is competing for the title of world’s tallest horse.

Tex weighs more than two tons. His head is about 40 inches from his nose to between the ears.

But to win the title, Tex must measure tallest in a straight line from the back of the knee to his withers on his neck. The standard measurement is hands – the length of the pinky finger to the pointer finger when the hand is held sideways, or about 4 inches.

Tex’s veterinarian will send his owners the official measurement next week for submission to the Guinness Book of World Records. Tex measures about 19 hands 3 inches.

Others have claimed the title. Most recently, Radar, a horse from Texas measuring 19 hands 3 1/2 inches, claimed to be tallest. Radar recently retired. Tina, an English Shire horse from Tennessee, claimed the title in 2007 but died in April.

Information about current contenders is not readily available on the Guinness World Records Ltd. Web site.

John Pearson and his friend, Tara Gunnigle, believe Tex has a decent shot at the record.

“We’re hoping he comes up to 20 hands,” Gunnigle told the Concord Monitor.

She says Tex may be intimidating because of his size, but “he’s really a sweetheart and very calm.”

Tex came to Webster in March after Pearson and a friend drove to an Amish horse auction in Topeka, Ind. Pearson has been working with draft horses for about 18 years. He owns five other draft horses and had no plans to buy another.

“I bought that horse only because of its size,” Pearson said.

Gunnigle said she was shocked when she first saw Tex, whose foot is 10 inches wide. Their next biggest horse’s foot is 6 1/2 inches wide. Gunnigle and Pearson have not ridden Tex.

“We definitely would need a ladder to get on him,” she said.

Their horses compete in pulling competitions on weekends around New England.

To verify records, Guinness asks that horses be measured twice, once with shoes and once without, and by two expert witnesses who agree to be impartial.


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