Remember on Parks and Rec how everyone in the little Indiana town was in love with a miniature horse named Little Sebastian? It was kind of like that for the past 20 years, but in reverse, for residents of a little town in Wisconsin and their beloved gigantic horse, Big Jake, a Belgian that was officially certified as the tallest horse in the world back in 2010.
Sadly, like Little Sebastian, news outlets reported yesterday that Big Jake has passed on to the big paddock in the sky.
According to Business Insider, Big Jake’s owner, Jerry Gilbert, says the record-setting equine actually died a couple of weeks ago.
Big Jake stood at darn near 6 feet 11 inches (not including the height of his head and neck), and weighed in at 2,500 pounds. Jake was accepted into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s tallest living horse over a decade ago.
Belgian horses, also called Belgian draft horses, were first bred in Europe after World War II to be strong and tall for use as working animals on a farm. A typical horse of the breed stands around 5-foot-6 measured at the withers and weighs a bit over 2,000 pounds. The American Belgian has a similar build as its European counterpart but is generally a bit smaller.
Gilbert said to maintain all that bulk Jake ate more than a regular horse, consuming a full bucket of grain twice a day, plus a full bale of hay.
While he’s not getting a full concert memorial like Little Sebastian, those who feel Big Jake’s death deeply can soon visit his empty stall, which Gilbert plans to turn into a memorial for the huge horse. While ol’ Big Jake was big, he wasn’t the biggest horse ever. The tallest and heaviest horse on record was a Shire gelding named Sampson (aka Mammoth). The horse was bred by Thomas Cleaver of Toddington Mills, Bedfordshire, UK, and in 1850 he stood at 7 feet 2 1/2 inches tall and weighed a stunning 3,359 pounds.