Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Archie: world's shortest bull stands at only 76.2cms high

Archie: the world's shortest bull

He's dwarfed by dogs and goats — and has just been recognised as the world’s shortest bull.

Archie, a 29-month Dexter from Co Antrim, measures just 30 inches (76.2cms) from hoof to withers — 15 inches shorter than other bulls of his breed.

He is now listed in the latest edition of the Guinness Book of Records as the shortest bull in the world.

Ryan Lavery (15) bought Archie at a rare breeds show in Gosford, Armagh, when the animal was five months old and said if it hadn’t been for his diminutive size, Archie’s fate would have been very different.

“When we bought Archie he was destined for beef,” he explained.

“However, by Christmas time, he still hadn’t grown and because we had become so fond of him we decided to keep him.

“His size saved him and now he’s going to live out the rest of his life as a pet.

“Archie doesn’t realise he’s so short. He thinks he’s the biggest in the herd and he’ll grunt and roar at the rest of them.

“He’s generally OK around the other farm animals, but if something agitates him he’ll go for them, and even though he’s little, at 155kg it can hurt.”

Ryan, a former Young Smallholder of the Year, said he hopes the record raises the profile of the rare Dexter breed of cattle, which originates in the southwest of Ireland.

His dad Tom said Ryan has been a keen farmer since the age of seven and was showing some of his Dexter cattle at Gosford when he spotted Archie.

“He was owned by the family who were beside us,” he said.

“Archie’s mum died when he was three days old and they didn’t want to get too attached to him because when Dexter cattle reach two they’re ready for the butcher.

“He never really grew very much.

“Like the rest of us, he’s not getting much taller — he’s just getting wider.”

During his short life, Archie has already had an illustrious career. He was spotted by a man from Unesco when he was in the petting farm at Aghalee’s Santa grotto and ended up becoming a patron of Henny Penny Libraries, which makes books available to children in the slums of India.

Unesco and Henny Penny Libraries later put in an application for Archie to be considered for the Guinness Book of Records, and the rest is history.

“We thought nothing of it and then it all came back — yes he is the smallest bull in the world, and it escalated out of all proportion,” Tom added.

“He’s getting to be a prima donna. He likes to be petted a bit more than everybody else — he likes to be the first at everything.”

Factfile

Record-breaking animals

Tallest dog: Zeus, a great Dane from Michigan, USA, who measures 111.8 cm — the same size as a donkey. Standing on hind legs, Zeus is 7ft 4ins.

Tallest donkey: Oklahoma Sam from California, who measures 15.3 hands (155.45 cm; 5ft 1in) tall, dwarfing the common donkey (8 hands high) and his own larger mammoth jackstock breed (12 hands high).

Record breakers

Guinness World Records has launched the latest edition of its best-selling book documenting global achievement, including new entries for the shortest bull, the oldest gymnast and the lowest ever car.

The 57th version of the best-selling reference book also features new verified entries for the world's heaviest sportswoman and the most conquests of Mount Everest, as well as the tallest ever dog.

Johanna Quaas, an 86-year-old retired PE teacher from Leipzig, Germany, is named the oldest gymnast; Egyptian-born Moustafa Ismail, recognised for having the largest "guns" - biceps and triceps - with a circumference of 25.5in; and London-based sumo wrestler Sharran Alexander, who weighs 203.21 kg (32 stone), who was named the world's heaviest sportswoman.

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