tallest horses

tallest horses


Standing: five breeds of the tallest horses in the world

All breeds of horses, which often exceed 6 pm, compete for the title of the tallest horses in the world. Some of the tallest individuals of these heavy breeds can reach heights of over 20 hours. There is some debate about the tallest horse ever recorded, as it depends on whether the records refer to height or weight. The tallest horses recorded are Shire Sampson, born in Bedfordshire in 1846, at 21.2 cm; While the Big Jake at the Belgian Pond was measured at 20.3 hours in Wisconsin, the Guinness World Record was set in 2010.

The largest breeds of horses

the tallest horses
the tallest horses

The five breeds that tend to produce the largest horses are the Shire, Clydesdale, Belgian Draft, Percheron and Suffolk.

Shire horse

The counties are known for their size and strength and have set several records for tallest and tallest horse. These are wonderful workhorses that have traditionally been used for agricultural work, pulling brewery drains and barges. This breed, bred in the UK, is still used for timber harvesting and as a draft horse for some traditional breweries, as well as a leisure horse for riding.

Tallest Shire:  19th century giant Sampson, 21.2 cm, who was renamed Mammoth when he was four years old.

the tallest horses
the tallest horses

It usually stands at least 17 hours tall, but is lighter than other large breeds due to its lighter build. Clydesdale is known for his height and strength, but he is also sleek, with flashy, fast action. Although the breed originated in Scotland, it is popular in America due to its appearance in Budweiser advertisements.

Longest in Clydesdale:  digger, 19.2 hours, rescued as a pony and trained as a drum horse for the Royal Parades.

Belgian project

He holds the record for the world’s tallest horse , although the limit is usually 5 p.m. The Belgian design is particularly renowned for its ability to carry heavy loads and has won championships in this area. Belgian draft horses were exported throughout Europe and to the United States, where they are now known as American Brabant horses and are generally more compact than the European version. They can be ridden but are especially popular for forestry and agricultural work and even for pulling sleds.


Perhaps a surprise inclusion on this list as this French horse can run up to 15.2 hours. However, most are much longer and sometimes have the most horsepower. They are also among the strongest in terms of pulling power. They have traditionally been used for transport – be it artillery and soldiers in times of war or carriages in times of peace – as well as for agricultural work. Today they are used in conservation and forestry work, as well as in riding and driving horses.

the tallest horses
the tallest horses

Suffolk or Suffolk Punch

Always chestnut (and spelled without a T), the Suffolk Punches are another British heavy horse breed originating from the eastern Anglican county of Suffolk. Traditionally used to work on farms and also to carry artillery during the war, today they are used for both riding and driving. They are somewhat more compact than Clydesdales and Shires and usually peak at 17hh, although there have been instances of individuals exceeding 17hh and being particularly hardy. They may not be the largest, but they are said to be the oldest British breed of heavy horse, dating back to the 16th century.

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