Big Jake Horse – World’s Tallest Horse?


The huge draft, Big Jake horse, was known as the gentle giant and a crowd favourite at the Wisconsin State Fair. But is he truly the world’s tallest horse? Let’s find out!

Big Jake was born in 2001 and weighed an enormous 240 pounds. While neither his sire nor dam were unusually large, it became apparent early on that Big Jake would exceed the average height of a draft horse.

Because of his size, his owner Jerry Gilbert kept Big Jake at Smokey Hollow Farm in Wisconsin where he made special accommodations for the prized horse. This included a double-sized stall, daily bales of hay, buckets of grain, and a semi-trailer for transportation.

How tall is Big Jake?

At his full height, Big Jake stood 20.2 34 hands at the withers, and weighed over 2,500 pounds.

Is the horse Big Jake still alive?

No. Unfortunately Big Jake passed away in 2021 at the age of 20 years old.

What kind of horse is Big Jake?

He was a chestnut Belgium Draft horse with a flaxen mane and tail. The breed’s average height is between 16.2 to 17 hands, weighing around 2,000 pounds.

Is Big Jake a stallion?

No, he was a gelding and had no offspring.

What was Big Jake’s cause of death?

His owners announced his death on their Facebook Page on 28 June 2021, but did not include a cause. However, 18-20 years is the average lifespan for a draft horse.

But is Big Jake the tallest horse ever?

Nope! The tallest horse in the world was a Shire gelding named Sampson (aka. Mammoth), from Bedfordshire, UK. Born in 1846, he measured 21.2½ hands and was said to have weighed approximately 3,000 pounds.

More From Savvy Horsewoman:  Einstein Horse - World's Smallest Horse?

What about Brooklyn Supreme?

Brooklyn Supreme is considered to be the world’s largest horse by weight. Born in 1928 in Minnesota, he was also a Belgium Draft and grew to 19.2 hands and 3,200 pounds.

What is the biggest horse alive 2022?

It is not currently recorded by the Guinness World Records, so we’re anxiously awaiting an update!

What made Big Jake so special?

“Big Jake absolutely loved people and soaked up the attention. He would lower his head to allow tiny children to pet him and also to let our kids put a halter on him; otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to reach”.

– Jerry Gilbert

Big Jake competed in Draft Horse shows before his retirement at the age of 12. He also made regular appearances at the Wisconsin State Fair. Smokey Hollow Farm offered barn tours, which included a chance to meet and pet Big Jake.

Want to learn more about unusual horses? Be sure to check out Einstein Horse for a look at some of the smallest horses in the world.

Belgium Horse Facts:

  • The breed is also known as the Brabant Draft Horse or the Trekpaard.
  • The studbook was founded in 1886, and they are thought to be descendants of war horses from the middle ages.
  • Belgium Drafts are the most popular heavy horse in the US.
  • They are used for driving sports, farming, logging, agriculture, pulling carriages, hitches and sleighs, and occasionally, pleasure riding.
  • In the US, chestnut with a flaxen (blonde) mane and tail is the most common colour, but bay and roan are also seen throughout the world.
Big Jake
Roan Belgium Draft Horses

While Big Jake horse may not be the world’s tallest, he was truly loved by all!

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