Once you've met this bunch of friendly giants you'll be in no doubt that bigger really is better. Let's hear it for the equine BFGs!

1. Monty, 17hh-plus

Jackie
“Here is Monty my BFG — better known as ‘The magnificent Monty’ — who came all the way from Manchester to the Outer Hebrides. I saw him online and fell in love — a 16.1hh cob who grew and grew and is now 17hh-plus! He is the sweetest horse I know, always has a smile and has such a happy outlook on life. He may never compete in the Olympics but he believes he’s a show horse, showjumper, dressage star and eventer. Large in stature and character but scared of daffodils, rabbits and even his own shadow on occasion. Life would be so dull without my gorgeous boy.” Jackie

2. Flash, 17.3hh

Brendan
“Flash is a five-year-old Irish draught gelding. He is for pleasure riding and hunting and is very gentle and safe — a real gentleman in every way.” Brendan Kerr

3. Javas Clementine (Charlie), 17.2hh

Felicity Wood
“Charlie was originally produced to be an event horse and had shown to a very high standard coming fourth as a four-year-old at Dublin International. I have had Charlie for just over a year now and I am totally and utterly in love with him. When I bought him I was a nervous wreck having had about eight years off from competitive riding. He — along with my very patient trainer — has enabled me to enjoy riding and competing again. He is a complete gent to lead out and fetch in, he doesn’t tank off and pull like some of my other smaller horses, he plods out patiently and often hangs around for his favourite treat (a carrot).” Felicity Wood

4. Prince, 18.3hh

Hayley
“My big boy is very sadly no longer with us. Prince was an 18.3hh Shire, with a heart of gold and the kindest eyes I’ve ever seen. We did everything together; hacked all day long and enjoyed exploring the countryside together — and he love to pop a jump! He could also drive.” Hayley McEwan

5. Nietzsche, 17.3hh

Issy Gray
“Nietzsche is a 17.3hh, black Holsteiner gelding. He is now seven and still growing! I do British Dressage with him at elementary level and we are training to start competing at British Eventing events this year, starting with a BE90 and working our way up. He has amazing movement and huge scope as he’s from showjumping bloodlines. Nietzsche is very talented and so I cannot wait to see what the future brings. The icing on the cake is his amazing temperament, an absolute BFG!” Issy Gray

6. Lauder Springtime (Lola), 18.1hh

Kathryn
“Lola is an 18.1hh Shire mare. I’ve owned her since she was two and she’s now rising seven. Whoever said heavy horses were easy going and slow clearly never met her. When she was younger she had attitude in abundance and we’ve just about managed to harness that through work. She is sharp and cheeky under saddle but quiet as a mouse in harness — either way very willing to please, just a little bit naughtier to ride.” Kathryn Langham

7. Henry, 17.1hh

Laris Farm
“Henry is 17.1hh and is owned by Alison Collins. Zeddy, next to him, is 11hh and owned by Laris Farm. Henry is kept on working livery at Laris Farm Riding School in Chobham, Surrey. He teaches people from complete beginners to ride and jump, takes different levels of riders out hacking and is also used for stable management sessions. He is very popular in the riding school with everybody.” Helen Francis

8. 17.2hh

Lisa Nev
“This is my 17.2hh hunter, often described as a BFG. He is 10 and only hunts but everyone loves him and he is the safest horse to give youngsters a lead on in the hunting field. My 12-year-old can hack him and he is safe as houses. I’ve had him from a yearling and he is part of the family — a bit weird looking with two blue eyes but an impressive hunter! Everyone on the field knows him as he is instantly recognisable.” Lisa Neville

9. Ethel, 17 1/2hh

Lorna's Email
“This is Ethel, AKA Star Struck. She is about 17 1/2hh when barefoot. She is almost five-years-old and is very quiet, friendly and agreeable. While I enjoy eventing (as a spectator), she may be destined to be a show hunter. We’re not sure yet and are taking things very slowly. Ethel resides in Ontario Canada.” Lorna

10. Lottie, 17.3hh

Lottie Loo
“Here is my Mum’s BFG. Her name is Lottie she is a Shire cross thoroughbred. She is 18-years-old and used as a happy hacker for my novice Mum. She definitely fits the title BFG — her temperament is that of the big friendly giant from the ground as well as when you’re riding her.” Hannah Yelland

11. Duke, 18.1hh

Sarah Houghton
“This is my 18.1hh Hanoverian-cross called Duke. I have owned him for six years and love him to pieces! I’m only 5’6 but he is such a gentleman. We do a bit of everything when we get the time. He has even been ridden by the yard owner’s eight-year-old daughter. He is however terrified of cows. He always goes in a snaffle and is super easy to ride. He is very cuddly and will lick you like a dog!” Sarah Houghton

12. Muirton Magnum (Mags), 17.3/18hh

Tessa Hinde
“Mags has been with me since a yearling and is now 19. He stands at about 17.3/18hh and I am a short 5’3″… I bought him as a youngster in Scotland and he just kept on growing. He is a big, spoilt, grumpy old man with a who thinks I am his servant. But he is an angel with novice riders. We have dabbled in most Riding Club disciplines but it is like trying to get the QE2 round an indoor showjumping course and dressage in a snaffle is not pretty. However our favourite pastime is to go autumn hunting and accompany my daughter to the children’s meets, after which he takes a few weeks to recoup and then he is ready to go out again! He is in the sunset of his very easy life but still very happy at our home and very fondly remembered by many people from the livery yards that we have stayed at [over the years]. A lot of people will miss him when he pops his very large clogs.” Tessa Hinde

13. Boxer, 19.3hh

Willingham Boxer
“Boxer is a Percheron gelding who stands at around 19.3hh and weighs around 1.5t. He is used for in-hand heavy horse showing classes classes as well as both agricultural and trade turnout classes.  He is definitely a BFG, but sometimes doesn’t realise his own size and strength — he has knocked me flying before because he turned round to look at something coming the other way when he was tied up! However he is a beautiful, willing and gentle boy who will always hold a special place in my heart as being the first heavy horse I have worked with.” Sam Boylan

What do you love about having a big horse? Let us know below…

  • Conway

    I used to ride an 18hh horse called Wellington. He had feet the size of dinner plates and when we cantered around the indoor school the place shook! He was a gentle giant, though – even if I did need a stepladder to get on him.

  • Sarah Jackaman

    Tilly is nearing 23 years, 17.1h, Clydesdale x TB, who I have owned for 11 years. She is very gentle on the ground, but quite the protective mare when out in the field. She has been super to jump and show, and the safest hack. I always though she would make a great pub landlady, enjoying the banter, bit flirty, but keeping the rowdy ones in order. I hope we have many more years together

  • Jackie North

    I used to ride a 19.2hh 6 year old, he was fantastic! 😀