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World's Smallest Horse
At only 57 lbs. and 17 1/2 in. tall, Thumbelina is the "World's Smallest Living Horse," according to Guinness World Records which bestowed the title last summer. This tiny and mild mannered 6-year-old miniature horse loves children so her owners, Kay and Paul Goessling of St. Louis, Mo., are using her fame to raise money for children's charities. Their goal for 2007 is $1 million.
  While Thumbelina is a registered miniature horse, she's also a dwarf, so that makes her a "mini mini," according to the family who lovingly raised the little chestnut mare.
  The Goesslings operate Goose Creek Farms, where their business for the past 18 years has been breeding and showing miniature horses. They currently have 50 other minis.
  "Ordinary miniature horses can weigh between 175 and 225 pounds while a regular sized horse can weigh 1,000 pounds or more, so Thumbelina is really tiny," says Kay Goessling. "She's smaller than many dogs, and actually sleeps in a dog house. She eats a cup of grain and a handful of hay twice a day, and gets along well with our dogs and other horses, though she prefers the company of the dogs."
  Goessling's son Michael is managing the fundraising tour (taking care of bookings, publicity, logistics, etc.) and Tago DePietro from Argentina is Thumbelina's caretaker and handler.
   They have a busy schedule, chauffeuring her around to visit sick and needy kids as well as military base children in all 48 contiguous states. The little mare has also done the television talk show circuit.
  "We've been doing up to three appearances a day, and although Goose Creek Farm is currently paying our expenses, we're pursuing corporate sponsors for this charitable goodwill venture," DePietro says. "The money raised for children's charities comes from appearances at commercial venues such as malls and racetracks. So far, Thumbelina has raised between $15,000 and $20,000."
  To make traveling as comfortable as possible for the tiny celebrity, the Goesslings converted a 30-ft. Coachman (on a Ford V10 chassis) so that the rear section would accommodate her stable and all of her gear (such as feed, grooming supplies, bedding, blankets, her little portable corral, and her doghouse from back home that she sleeps in.) This mobile home away from home is referred to as the "Thumby Mobile."    
  According to Kay, a Guinness official from London, England has photographed Thumbelina together with the world's largest living horse. A Belgian draft horse from Texas named Radar stands 6 ft. 7 in., and is about 40 times larger than her. The photo will appear in the 2008 World Record Book to be released this fall.
  Along with plenty of other information and photos, Thumbelina's website provides a detailed schedule of her tour so you can find out if she's coming to a town near you.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kay and Paul Goessling, Goose Creek Farms, Box 31416, St. Louis, Mo 63131 (ph 314 606-5747; mgoessling@charter.net; www.worldssmallesthorse.com).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #4