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On April 12, 1928, a special foal was born on the Earle Brown farm near Minneapolis, Minnesota that would become a worldwide sensation of his time.
Brooklyn Supreme, as his name suggests, rose to fame due to his monumental size. While he might’ve seemed intimidating to those who met him in person, the mighty beast was gentle in spirit.
Brooklyn Supreme was a purebred Belgian Draft stallion with above-average measurements. Affectionately called “Brookie”, he was a beautiful red roan color with a flaxen mane and tail.
The magnificent stallion lived an average lifespan of 20 years, passing away on September 6, 1948. While there are debates surrounding the topic, some people consider him the largest horse ever lived.
The Largest Horse Of His Time
Brooklyn Supreme was undoubtedly the largest horse of his era. His height of 19.2 hands was already impressive, while his weight was a staggering 3,200 pounds (nearly a ton and a half)!
In contrast, the average Belgian Draft horse weighs around 2,000 pounds (907 kg), with mares normally lighter than stallions. Brooklyn Supreme also had an impressive girth of 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m), which was the largest ever measured on a horse.
Although the stallion was extraordinary in every way, he was not the world record holder for the tallest or heaviest horse. A Shire gelding called Sampson (a.k.a. Mammoth) outperformed him in both of those aspects. Foaled in 1846, he grew to a colossal 21.2 hands tall and weighed 3,359 pounds (1,523 kg).
Nonetheless, Brooklyn Supreme continues to be the largest Belgian Draft on record who still impresses equine enthusiasts to this day.
Brooklyn Supreme Had Incredible Power
Due to their thick bones and abundant musculature, Belgian Drafts are the strongest horse breed on the planet. Being the largest Belgian Draft in history meant that Brooklyn Supreme had few rivals when it came to raw power.
An average Belgian Draft horse can pull loads over twice as heavy as its body weight (up to 8,000 pounds or 3,630 kg). However, there have been several instances of Belgian Drafts pulling much heavier loads
At the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, for example, a pair of Belgians impressed the world with their remarkable performance. The two horses weighing 4,800 pounds (2,200 kg) pulled a load of 17,000 pounds (7,700 kg) over a distance of 7 ft 2 (2.18 m)!
While we can’t help but marvel at the Belgian Draft’s incredible power today, these horses were once indispensable to farmers and industrial workers. Before the age of mechanization, Belgian Draft horses used to work tirelessly for up to 10 hours a day, pulling plows and transporting heavy goods.
Considered one of the strongest horse breeds, Belgian Drafts still carry out agricultural and forestry work, although its role has shifted towards entertainment.
Also read: How Much Horsepower Does a Horse Have?
Brooklyn Supreme Had Gigantic Horseshoes
Brooklyn Supreme not only impressed with his sheer size, but also with his enormous feet. According to records, his farrier needed a bar of iron 30 in (76 cm) long to make only one horseshoe!
Heavy draft horses like Brooklyn Supreme typically have hooves the size of a dinner plate. Compared to lighter breeds like the Thoroughbred or the Arabian, their hooves are more spread out to provide sufficient support to their bodies.
Grand Champion Of His Breed
Brooklyn Supreme was a truly outstanding member of his breed. As a yearling stallion, he placed first in his class and won the title of Reserve Junior Champion at the Iowa State Fair in 1929.
Prior to becoming a famous horse for his size, Brooklyn Supreme was named “Grand Champion of his breed” at several state fairs. What’s more, the stallion also boasts an impressive pedigree. One of his great-grandfathers was the famous horse Farceur 7332, who was inducted into the Belgian Draft Horse Hall of Fame.
Also read: 7 Biggest Horse Breeds
A True Head Turner
Naturally, Brooklyn Supreme’s presence never went unnoticed. The mighty stallion turned heads and attracted fans wherever he went, and people even paid to view the giant celebrity.
In his golden years, Brooklyn Supreme was owned by Charles Grant Good of Ogden, Iowa. Together with his partner Ralph M. Fogleman, Good exhibited the horse all over the United States, charging 10 cents per viewer.
Like most draft horses, Brooklyn Supreme had a calm and docile nature and was remarkably easy to work with. He was a gentle giant in every sense.
An old newspaper clipping says the following about Brooklyn Supreme:
“Brooklyn Supreme may be 3,200 pounds of solid, magnificent horse flesh, sinew, and brawn, but Brooklyn Supreme is a surprisingly gentle fellow whose greatest delight is stealing ice cream cones and goodies from unsuspecting little boys and girls.” (Source: Horse & Man)
Also read: 7 Most Incredible Horses In History