Talk:Sampson (horse)

Latest comment: 1 month ago by 2601:8C0:B80:DE60:6C8B:824A:FB88:6336 in topic Hoax discussion copied from Reference Desk.



That is not a Shire horse in the picture. That is either an Ardennes horse or a Percheron. I don't believe any images of Sampson exist. (talk) 18:40, 21 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

I think it's Brooklyn Supreme. DuncanHill (talk) 23:43, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply



Both the first two sources merely repeat what is in Guinness Book of Records. The third source appears not to exist. The picture is not a shire horse, and is lousily sourced. DuncanHill (talk) 23:15, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

I've removed the third, obviously fictional, source and the claim it "supported". I have replaced the other two with the original Guinness entry. I strongly suspect a hoax here that Guinness has copied. In the McWhirter era they listed Brooklyn Supreme as the heaviest horse, and see my note above about the picture. DuncanHill (talk) 23:45, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

Are we being hoaxed?


I have asked at the Reference Desk for assistance in verifying or falsifying the claims in this article. DuncanHill (talk) 08:50, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

I never thought of that. Thanks for asking. It's obvious, from the replies over there, that it's not a hoax, as it's included in the Guinness Book of World Records as far back as 1986. So I have removed the "hoax" template. But which would be the best source(s) to use here? The earliest? Should Whitaker and Whitelaw (2007) also be used? Does Guinness fall under WP:PRIMARY? Thank you. (talk) 13:36, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Whitaker & Whitelaw only regurgitate Guinness, so no, we don't use them, we would use an earlier Guinness. Guinness itself is not a terribly good source. We should wait and see what else turns up. I personally wouldn't have removed the tag until we had better sourcing. DuncanHill (talk) 13:41, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Sorry, by all means put the tag back, if that is safer. Also, are there any good sources for the owner and date of gelding? Guinness does not seem to give these. But it looks like that may be all we have to go on. Thanks. (talk) 13:44, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
There is quite a lot of discussion at the Reference Desk. Would it be useful to copy it here? (talk) 11:45, 1 January 2023 (UTC)Reply

Hoax discussion copied from Reference Desk.


It would be far better off here than sitting buried in Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities: Revision history. Apologies if formatted poorly.

Horse? Or horsefeathers?

We have an article Sampson (horse) about a purported Shire horse. It was created, with no references, in June 2006 by an editor who is no longer active. The first reference was added in January 2010 by another user who is no longer active. This reference is to a non-existent book. In July 2010 a reference to "Whitaker The Horse p. 60" was added. This appears to be Whitaker, Julie; Whitelaw, Ian (15 May 2007). The Horse: A Miscellany of Equine Knowledge. St. Martin's Press. p. 60. ISBN 9780312371081., which calls the horse "Mammoth" and claims the information is "according to the Guinness World Records", but does not tell us the edition (Guinness, in case you didn't know, is an annual publication). The earliest mention of Sampson/Mammoth I have been able to find in Guinness World Records is in Guinness World Records 2015. p. 65. ISBN 1-908843-63-2., that is to say 8 years after the Whitaker & Whitelaw work. The article did briefly contain a picture which was very obviously not a Shire horse, and which was almost certainly Brooklyn Supreme, a real big horse. So my question is - have we been hoaxed? Are there any references to Sampson before our article was created in 2006? Thank you, DuncanHill (talk) 08:49, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

If you see an article or image that may be a hoax, mark it with {{hoax}} or propose it for deletion. It's only a stub anyway, and if it's genuine someone will eventually recreate it with proper referencing. Shantavira|feed me 09:11, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Now, I have no experience in horse breeding at all, so I may be completely misinterpreting things here. However, if my lay understanding is correct, I don't think this article is completely fabricated. Looking through vol. 1 of The English Cart Horse Stud-Book (1880), although I find no reference to a Samson foaled in 1846[1] or to a Mammoth[2] anywhere, there are several mentions of Sampson's alleged owner, one T. Cleaver of Toddington Mills, Bedfordshire[3]. Looking further into T[homas] Cleaver might lead to some actual information about Sampson, if Sampson really exists.
Also, while I see you already removed the spurious reference, I think it's worth mentioning that "Carlos R. Norris" of the first citation is rather more widely known by his nickname: Chuck. Shells-shells (talk) 11:30, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
To add to the suspicious nature of this report is the description of Samson's height as "21.6 hands". A hand is 4 inches. And height in addition to the number hands is recorded in one inch intervals to a maximum of 3 additional inches, e.g, 21.1, 21.2, 21.3. As height is normally reported, this horse woukd be 22.2 hands, adding 6 inches to the height at 21h. 21h is 84 inches, which is 7 feet. The photo looks completely put of proportion unless the men standing next to him are perfectly proportioned midgets. 2601:8C0:B80:DE60:6C8B:824A:FB88:6336 (talk) 15:53, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply


  1. ^ One would expect to find the entry on page 421.
  2. ^ The entry would be expected immediately following page 320. There is a reference on page 303 to a "Mammoth Horse... exhibited in England and America on account of his great size".
  3. ^ E.g., on page 34.
It appears in the 1986 Guinness Book of World Records (p. 65) which says:
Tallest Horse - The tallest documented horse on record was the shire gelding named “ Sampson ” ( later renamed “ Mammoth ” ) bred by Thomas Cleaver of Toddington Mills , Bedfordshire , Eng . This horse (foaled in 1846) measured 21.2½ hands (7 ft. 2½ in.) in 1850 and was later said to have weighed 3,360 lbs.
The same text appears in the 1985 edition (but no preview), there are also snippet views for 1987 (p. 46), 1988 (p. 65) and so on up to 1996 (p. 58). There seems to be a result from the 2022 edition, but no preview. Alansplodge (talk) 12:44, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
The 1985 Guinness does not mention Sampson, it has Firpon as the tallest, and either Brooklyn Supreme or Wilma du Bos as the heaviest. DuncanHill (talk) 13:00, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Also a mention of Sampson in Guinness Book of Pet Records (1985), Page 97. Alansplodge (talk) 13:00, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Also online: [1].  --Lambiam 10:59, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Shells-shells - being a gelding, poor old Sampson lacked the critical attributes required for inclusion in the stud-books that you have linked, which being a resource for breeders, confines itself to stallions. Alansplodge (talk) 12:48, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
"Sampson". {{cite encyclopedia}}: |work= ignored (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
Not sure if "George Washington", "The Mammoth Horse" exhibited by James Carter? is the same, but seems variously 20 hands, 2500 lbs. to 21 hands, 3500 lbs.. LION KING (1850) Thomas Cleaver Dam also of the Mammoth Horse. He was exhibited in England and America on account of his great size. Advert in Evanion Collection has twenty hands, 2500 lbs. fiveby(zero) 14:32, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I think Carter's horse was being exhibited in 1846, when Sampson was allegedly born. DuncanHill (talk) 12:54, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I don't think we're ever going to find enough information or citations to make this into a half-decent article. May I suggest a merger with Shire horse, whose Characteristics section already includes Sampson, with just about as much detail as we have in this article. Alansplodge (talk) 14:56, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Would be nice to find a newspaper account at least to confirm Guinness. fiveby(zero) 15:08, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
There is some additional info, not found in the Guinness books, at DBPedia,[2] unfortunately also unsourced. The height of 7 ft 2 in (we have just 7 ft; Guinness have 7 ft 2.5 in) is is to have been attained when the horse was four years old, which would have been in 1850 or 1851. This was reportedly when he was renamed "Mammoth".  --Lambiam 11:23, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
DBPedia is merely a copy of Wikipedia. It is useless, indeed worse than useless, as a source. DuncanHill (talk) 12:54, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
"Sampson, the largest Horse in the world, 20 hds. 2 1/2 in. high". Illustrated London News. August 10, 1850. think i also saw him billed as "Goliah" and 8 inches taller than "The Mammoth Horse". A dwarf compared to "King Willaim" supposedly 27 1/2 hands show at the World's Columbian Exposition "Largest of Horses Dead". New York Times. June 8, 1894. fiveby(zero) 13:32, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Under the Patronage the Queen, Prince Albert, and the Nepaulese Prince. Now Exhibiting in the OAT SHEAF STABLES. FORE STREET, EXETER, GOLIAH, the largest Horse in the World, eight inches higher than "Carter," the Lion King's Mammoth Horse; 21 hands high, and only four years old—could draw five tons when only three—weight 25 cwt —was vaulted upon several times by the Nepaulese Prince, the only one who ever could, although tried by hundreds of the athletic—visited by thousands during the Great Exhibition, and offered 2,000 Guineas for tho Pacha of Egypt. Admission 3d. "A CHALLENGE TO THE WORLD FOR 2,000 GUINEAS". Western Times. December 24, 1853.
Don't see anything in any catalogues of the Great Exhibition. fiveby(zero) 14:37, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
I can't see the original of the Western Times advert, but in the ILN advert it was the "HYBRID" of a pony and a wild deer which His Excellency was wont to vault. DuncanHill (talk) 16:47, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply
Mailed it. Anyone could vault to the back of a deer or pony and i suspect their hybrid also, why would you need to import a Nepaulese Prince? fiveby(zero) 17:35, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply

Snspigs (talk) 04:29, 17 August 2023 (UTC)Reply