Big Jake, the World’s Tallest Horse, Dies at 20

Big Jake

Big Jake, the Belgian gelding who held the title of the world’s tallest horse in the Guinness Book of World records, passed away on at the end of June at age 20. Without shoes, Big Jake measured 20.2.75 hands (almost 6’89” at the withers) and weighed 2500 lbs. I first wrote about him in 2014.

Owner Jerry Gilbert said that Big Jake was a “superstar” and a “truly magnificent animal.” Big Jake was born in Nebraska and weighed 240 pounds at birth, about 100 pounds heavier at birth than a typical Belgian foal. Originally purchased by one of Gilbert’s relatives, the gelding grew too big for them to handle, so Big Jake came to Smokey Hollow Farm in Poynette, Wisconsin.

“Jake was just a special horse,” said Gilbert. “He was truly a gentle giant. He knew he was special and whenever we would show him, people would be taken back by him by his size and everything.”

“Our relationship was special. It is amazing what we do for these animals because they are like our children. We care for them, we protect them, we are with them every single day,” said Gilbert.

The Gilberts plan to memorialize Big Jake by keeping his stall empty and inserting a brick on the outside of his stall with his picture and name.

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