DRAFT HORSE

Phoenix Zoo's 'gentle giant' Pete dies at 20

Horse appeared regularly in Scottsdale's Parada Del Sol

Posted 8/24/22

Pete, a 20-year-old Percheron/Belgian draft horse from the Phoenix Zoo’s Thunderbird Equine Facility, has died.

Draft horses have an average lifespan of around 15-20 years, and just like …

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DRAFT HORSE

Phoenix Zoo's 'gentle giant' Pete dies at 20

Horse appeared regularly in Scottsdale's Parada Del Sol

Posted

Pete, a 20-year-old Percheron/Belgian draft horse from the Phoenix Zoo’s Thunderbird Equine Facility, has died.

Draft horses have an average lifespan of around 15-20 years, and just like many species, large horse breeds like draft horses have shorter lifespans than smaller horses, according to the zoo.

Pete and his half-brother, Jake, were purchased for the zoo in 2012 as a team to pull a wagon.

Pete and Jake pulled the wagon during ZooLights for many years,  and the team also worked special events and weddings.

They regularly participated in the Parada Del Sol in Old Town Scottsdale.

"Pete was a gentle giant with a laid-back attitude and calm personality."  officials said on the zoo's website.

"He never hesitated to allow his brother to do most of the pulling as he would just cruise along the way. After pulling the wagon at night, he would push his harness collar all the way to ears to rest his chin on the hitching bar."

According to the zoo, Pete preferred eating in his stall, visiting with guests and being groomed by staff or Horse Hands participants.

"Pete loved children and was used for numerous pony rides and grooming for our old Horse Hands class," the website stated.