Weighing at over a ton or 2000 pounds on the average, the Brabant is one of the largest horse breeds in the world. Used mainly as a draught animal, this heavy horse took its name from the West Brabantian region of Belgium where they were carefully developed for the sills of Belgium and its heavy soil and climate. Also called Belgian Heavy Horse, the Brabant is an ancient breed and was also used by the early Romans as a workhorse.
It was called the Flanders Horse during the Middle Ages and was used to evolve the English great horse and the shire. Brabants are known for their ability to pull tremendously heavy weights. While the world’s largest horse was bred as a farm work animal, the Brabant was bred to be thicker and heavier in Europe while they were developed to be lighter and taller in the America. During a National Western Stock Show held in Colorado, a Brabant team of two horses was able to pull 17000 pounds or 7.7 tons for a distance of 7.2 feet or 2.18 meters.
Despite its bruited physical attributes, there is a high occurrence of a genetic disorder in Brabants that causes the loss of large patches of skin and other abnormalities in newborn foals, which eventually end in euthanasia. Moreover, Brabants are also at risk for a chronic progressive disease which manifest in progressive swelling, fibrosis of distal limbs and hyperkeratosis which is similar to chronic lymphedema in human beings.
Radar, which is a Brabant gelding foaled in the US in 1998, holds the world record of being the largest horse at 19.5 hands or 78 inches in height from hoof to withers and weighs 1100 kilograms or more than a ton. Radar has a thick and powerful neck that makes its head appear disproportionately small. The broad shoulders, quarters and upper body of Radar are heavily built and provides the perfect example of a powerful work animal.
Because of its tremendous size, Radar has a huge appetite – eating up to 60 pounds of hay and grains and drinking almost 20 gallons of water everyday! In contrast to its gigantic dimensions, the world’s largest horse has earned the reputation of being a fun-loving gentle giant who loves being in the spot light in front of cameras having been featured in various TV shows and a number of touring events doing promotional appearances and product endorsements.