Tallest horse ever
2.19 metre(s)
United Kingdom ()

The tallest and heaviest horse ever documented was a Shire gelding named Sampson, who was later renamed Mammoth.

He was bred by Thomas Cleaver of Toddington Mills, Bedfordshire, UK.

This horse, foaled in 1846, measured 21.25 hands or 2.19 m (7 ft 2.5 in) in 1850 and was later said to have weighed 1,524 kg (3,359 lb).

For some context on just how tall Sampson was, the average horse measures between 14 and 17 hands tall from the ground to the withers, which is the area right behind the neck.

Shire horses are known for being a tall breed, and their large stature means they are able to pull heavy weight, which is why they’ve been used as working horses on farms and for transport, among other things.

A horse named Big Jake is the most recent holder of the tallest horse living title, although he sadly died in July 2021.

Big Jake wasn’t much shorter than Sampson, standing at 210.19 cm (20.3 hands).

He lived at Smokey Hollow Farms in Poynette, Wisconsin, USA, and was verified as the record holder in January 2010, holding the title until his passing.

This record currently has no holder.

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Header image: Stock image by Lucia Macedo/Unsplash