World’s Tallest Horse, Big Jake, Dies in Wisconsin at Age 20

by Halle Ames
worlds-tallest-horse-big-jake-dies-wisconsin-age-20

The Guinness Book of World Records tallest horse, Big Jake, died in Wisconsin at the age of 20.

Big Jake was not your average steed. Standing at 6-foot-10 and weighing more than 2,500 pounds, the world record holder has unfortunately taken his last trot. The massive horse called Smokey Hollows Farm in Poynette, Wisconsin home, reports Fox News.

In 2010, the Guinness Book of World Records named Big Jake the tallest living horse in the world, a title he had defended for the rest of his life. However, at 20-years-old the Belgian draft horse died. Jake measured in at 20 hands 2.75 in without shoes, or in layman’s terms 6-feet 10-inches and 3/4th (this does not include his head or neck).

Owners Mourn Their Beloved Horse

The Associated Press reached out to Big Jake’s owners, farm owner Jerry Gilbert and his wife, Valicia Gilbert, for comment on Monday through Facebook. Valicia revealed that Big Jake actually passed two weeks ago but declined to give an exact time. She said that their beloved horse was more than just a date.

“We would rather not remember him by a date — it’s been a traumatic event for our family,” she said.

Jerry Gilbert also spoke to a news outlet, WMTV, about Big Jake, calling him a “superstar” and a “truly magnificent animal.”

Furthermore, Gilbert explained that Big Jake has always been a large animal. Upon his birth in Nebraska, he weighed nearly 240 pounds. Fox News notes that the horse was about 100 pounds heavier than the average Belgian foal.

To honor Big Jake, Gilbert plans to keep his stall empty, as well as have a brick installed with the horse’s image and name on it. He continues, saying that all the farm’s residents can sense Big Jake’s absence on the farm.

“It’s very quiet (at the farm),” Gilbert said. “The other horses know. I think they have their own grieving time because Jake was the center of attention around here. There is a huge void. It feels like he’s still here, but he’s not.”

Big Jake

Jerry Gilbert spoke to the Guinness World Records in 2012 about his horse’s funny personality and how people react when they first meet him.

“Jake’s got a great personality. He’s very friendly. He loves to play around and play with people’s hair, and he’s kind of a big jokester, actually. So, he’s got a very, very good temperament. Generally, the first reaction is silence. A lot of people don’t say anything. It takes them about five minutes to comprehend actually how tall he really is.”

Furthermore, when you are fueling a massive animal like Big Jake, you must be conscious about the kinds of foods he eats. Gilbert says the farm keeps the horse on a rigorous meal plan.

“Jake is on a strict diet. He strictly eats about a bale and a half a day, all the water he can consume, and we generally feed him a lot of oats– approximately 32 quarts of oats and lots of vitamins. He doesn’t get sugar or anything like that.”

Big Jake, you will be dearly missed.

Outsider.com