Huge horse replaces diminutive donkey

Digger the horse crouches down to be petted
Digger the horse crouches down to be petted

One of Europe’s tallest horses who lives in Deeside has been chosen for a charity’s adoption scheme after a donkey was rehomed.

Digger, who stands at nine feet tall, replaces Whisky the donkey on World Horse Welfare’s Adopt a Horse scheme.

Centre Manager at Belwade Farm, World Horse Welfare’s Aberdeenshire-based rehoming centre, Eileen Gillen, said: “When we were considering 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.”

Digger came to Belwade Farm as a four-year-old in 2007 - he was growing so fast that joint problems were occurring in his hind legs.

After extensive rehabilitation, Digger recovered and continued to grow into the gigantic horse he is today - from hoof to back, he stands in excess of 19 hands, making him less than four inches shorter than Europe’s largest living horse.

Digger caught the attention of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, and was accepted onto a two-year training programme to become a drum horse, attending royal weddings and such, but unfortunately, it soon became apparent that Digger wasn’t suited to London life, so he returned to Belwade Farm in 2012.

Gillen added: “I would say he has some big shoes to fill, but I think his shoes are plenty big already!”

The Adopt a Horse Scheme gives people the opportunity to closely follow a horse’s journey to a new life, in exchange for sponsoring them for £5 a month.

Details can be found at http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Adopt