Miniature pinto pony may just have the world record
(From article entitled "Itsy-bitsy stallion", Matthew Spolar, Concord Monitor) The world's smallest horse might be a Barnstead native. Einstein, as owners Rachel Wagner and Charles Cantrell have named the miniature pinto stallion, was born 14 inches tall and six pounds Friday morning at Tiz A Miniature Horse Farm, 158 Garland Road.
Four-year-old Garrett Mullen watches three-day-old pinto stallion named Einstein in Barnstead, N.H., Sunday, April 25,2010. The diminutive horse born in New Hampshire could lay claim to the world record for lightweight foal. The pinto stallion named Einstein weighed just 6 pounds and measured 14 inches in height when he was born Friday in Barnstead, N.H. Those proportions fit a human baby just about right but are downright tiny for horse, even a miniature breed like Einstein.
"It's the miracle in Barnstead," Wagner said. Wagner, a family practice physician, lives with husband Cantrell, a live entertainment producer, in Bellingham, Wash., but the couple spend their summers at a house in Gilmanton.
The horse holding the current world record is Thumbelina, a chestnut mare born in 2001 near St. Louis. Thumbelina was born 11 inches tall and 8.5 pounds. She now stands 17.5 inches tall and weighs 58 pounds.
Wagner said she submitted an application Friday night to the Guinness World Records to see if Einstein could oust Thumbelina. Wagner said she doesn't know if the size of the horse is determined by height or weight, and was not sure whether the horse must be measured when fully grown.
One key distinction between the two horses, Wagner said, is that Thumbelina is a dwarf while Einstein is regularly proportioned. Dwarf miniatures can have oversized heads and stumpy legs, but Wagner said Einstein is "physically perfect."
"He's just plain tiny," farm owner Judy Smith said.
Smith, who has been breeding miniature horses in Loudon and Barnstead for more than 20 years, also noted that Einstein isn't a preemie. He was born three days after his due date, she said.
Between 10 and 15 miniature horses are born
on Smith's farm each year. Smith and her husband, Larry, attach electronic devices to pregnant mares, and a beeper goes off at their bedside when the horse lays down in anticipation of giving birth.
At about 3 a.m. Friday, Smith said the beeper went off as Einstein's mother, Tiz Finesse, was about to go into labor for her first time. Both Tiz Finesse and Einstein's father, Bear Branch Painted Feather, are award-winning miniatures, Smith said.
Smith said she had never seen a horse as small as Einstein. The average size of a newborn miniature horse is 21 inches and 18 pounds, she said. Nervous about his fragility, she stayed by his side for four hours after his birth to make sure he would be okay, hesitating to even rub him with a towel. They outfitted the pony with a small dog coat to keep him warm.
Later that morning, Wagner said she and Cantrell were eating breakfast at Parker's Roast Beef & Seafood in Chichester when they saw the Smiths looking "shocked." Wagner, 40, bought a horse from the farm two years ago and has known Judy, 68, since she used to vacation in Gilmanton as a child.
"We rushed over here," Wagner said. "We laid eyes on him and I fell in love."
By yesterday afternoon, Einstein was frolicking about Smith's neighbor's front lawn, gaining confidence in his leggy frame. After about 15 minutes he fell asleep and was carried back inside.
Wagner said she settled on the name Einstein to bring attention to the importance of making an intelligent decision when deciding where to purchase a miniature horse. Potential buyers should support farms like Smith's, which place an emphasis on the health of their horses, instead of farms that focus on breeding as small as possible, she said.
Realizing the potential interest in Einstein, Cantrell said he's already looked into taking out an insurance policy on him. The horse's quality of life is most important to the couple, he said, and part of their reason for buying him was to keep him out of "some kind of circus thing."
The couple have not ruled out the possibility of breeding Einstein, and Wagner said he would be "in demand" for creating small miniatures.
Cantrell said the problem with breeding him might be "logistics," as Smith said Einstein's height is not likely to top two feet. By comparison, Einstein's mother is 2'8" and his father is 2'6", Smith said.
Wagner and Cantrell said they plan to keep Einstein at Smith's farm. On May 8, the farm will hold its annual open house, when adults and children can interact with Einstein and the other miniature horses.
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