The Shire, together to the Clydesdale and the
Frisian, has participated to the selection of the Spanish gipsy
Horse even if this breed is classified between the pony in fact
its height varies between 130 and 140 cm.
The coats of this pony are of various colours
of which the most common is “pinto” and in spite of
the small dimensions, this horse maintains several characteristics
of its ancestors…. The enormous draft-horses.
The Shire, even if calmly arrives to weigh a
ton and to exceed 180cm of the withers, is easily managed and obedient,
he is a brave and willing worker. The endurance and the courage
of this breed allow to use it for the transport without any problems
also in the large cities.
The name Shire was introduced during the reign
of Henry VIII who was the first one to place the rules in the selection
of the breed and it derives from the Saxon “schyran”
that means SHEAR = to divide, from this the name Shire that is also
synonymous of the county.
The Shire is known for its stature and its strength.
Although it can be single horses of others breed higher or heavier,
the Breed standard of the breed Shire is considered the one of the highest
and heaviest horse.
Their force is documented from what happened in 1924 in England:
two stallions of eight years, “Vesuvius” and “Umber”,
dragged a block of granite of the weight of 18, 7 tons. In the same
year during the British Empire Exhibition of Wembley tests were
made on the real strength of the Shire using not anymore a load
but a dynamometer, an instrument meant to measure the strength,
attacked to an irremovable object. Well, “Vulcan” showed,
alone, strength of 29 tons and together they arrived to 50 tons.
Only because the dynamometer was not able to measuring more!
The Canadian Shire Horse Association has a letter
of the Guinness World Record that establishes that the highest horse
was a stallion of Shire, “Sampson”, born in 1846 in
the Bedfordshire that at the age of four years measured 21,2 ½
hands (approximately 220 cm). It is well to remember that the height
of the horse is measured at the withers, which is the highest point
of the shoulders. The weight was about 1400 Kg!