The biggest living horse is Big Jake! The Belgian draft horse gelding is 210.19 cm hands high (without horseshoes), taking over from the Clydesdale Remington in 2013.
(Valid: April 2019)
In 2013, the 11 year old gelding weighed an impressive 2599 lb (1,179 kg). A little less than the previous record holder but almost as much as a small car! Of course, a big horse has big needs. Big Jake needs an extra large stall and an extra large horsebox to get around. His owner Jerry Gilbert got Big Jake as a foal and lovingly raised him himself. The record is still unbroken today! Belgian draft horses originally come from Belgium and are coldbloods.
What’s a Hand?
Hands are a way of measuring an animal’s size from the uppermost part of the shoulder. This area is also called the withers. In four-legged animals, it forms the highest point of the body, linking the neck to the back. When an animal lowers its head, the withers is still the highest point of the body, so it’s used as a reference for body height.
The Former Record Holder
The 11 year old Remington measured 6.6 ft (203.2 cm) high and was officially the biggest horse in the world until 2009. Remington weighed in at 2,905 lb (1,318 kg). If he walked over the ground after rain, he would leave impressive craters. And when Remington walked through a barn, he had to lower his head. His owner Cheryl Davis and trainer Bunny Morrissey described Remington’s character as like a cheeky teenager and a big, playful dog.
The Clydesdale Breed
Remington is a Clydesale. These horses have powerful bodies, an expressive head, strong neck and plenty of hair on their ankles. This coldblood originated in Scotland in the 18th century, near the River Clyde. Clydesdale horses are mostly used as draft horses and are known for their immense strength and will to work.
Strict Rules For the Record
With and without shoes! To make sure that Remington’s record counted, he had to be officially measured twice, once with shoes and once without. Of course, witnesses were also needed to confirm that everything was correct. A whole lot of work! There might be horses that are even bigger than Big Jake and Remington, but the paperwork needed to get into the Guinness Book of World Records may put some people off.