Big Jake, tallest horse in the world and a ‘big jokester,’ dies in Wisconsin

Jerry Gilbert brushes Big Jake at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, Wisc., in this Friday, April 11, 2014, file photo. The world’s tallest horse has died in Wisconsin. WMTV reported Monday, July 5, 2021, that the 20-year-old Belgian named “Big Jake” died several weeks ago. Big Jake lived on Smokey Hollow Farm in Poynette. Big Jake was 6-foot-10 and weighed 2,500 pounds. The Guinness Book of World Records certified him as the world’s tallest living horse in 2010. The farm’s owner, Jerry Gilbert, says Big Jake was a “superstar” and a “truly magnificent animal.” (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger, File)
Jerry Gilbert brushes Big Jake at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2014.

  • Big Jake, who was the world’s tallest horse, died in Wisconsin, according to reports.
  • He stood 6 foot 10 inches tall and weighed 2,500 pounds.
  • His empty stall is set to become a memorial.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Big Jake, a towering 20-year-old Belgian who was certified the world’s tallest horse in 2010, has died in Wisconsin, according to multiple news outlets.

Jerry Gilbert, who owns the Wisconsin farm where Big Jake lived, told WMTV that the horse died a couple of weeks ago.

“The other horses know,” Gilbert told the TV station. “I think they have their own grieving time because Jake was the center of attention around here.”

The Guinness Book of World Records certified Big Jake as the world’s tallest living horse in 2010, WMTV reported. He stood 6 foot 10-and-three-quarters inches tall (a measurement that does not include his head and neck) and weighed 2,500 pounds.

He weighed 240 pounds at birth, Gilbert told the station – about 100 pounds more than a typical Belgian foal.

“He loves to play around and play with people’s hair,” Gilbert said of Big Jake in a 2012 YouTube video. “He’s kind of a big jokester, actually.” Big Jake also loved belly rubs, Gilbert told Guinness World Records.

He also ate more than average-sized horses: a full bucket of grain twice per day in addition to a bale of hay each day.

Gilbert plans to keep Big Jake’s stall empty, he told WMTV, and memorialize the horse with a brick on the outside of his stall featuring his name and picture.

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