POYNETTE, Wis. (AP) — The world’s tallest horse has died in Wisconsin.
The 20-year-old Belgian named Big Jake lived on Smokey Hollow Farm in Poynette. Valicia Gilbert, wife of the farm’s owner, Jerry Gilbert, said Big Jake died two weeks ago but declined to give the exact date of death when The Associated Press reached her Monday via Facebook.
“We would rather not remember him by a date — it’s been a traumatic event for our family,” she said.
Big Jake was 6-foot-10 (nearly 2.1 meters) and weighed 2,500 pounds (1,136 kilograms). The Guinness Book of World Records certified him as the world’s tallest living horse in 2010.
Jerry Gilbert told WMTV that Big Jake was a “superstar” and a “truly magnificent animal.” He said Big Jake was born in Nebraska and weighed 240 pounds (109 kilograms) at birth, about 100 pounds (45 kilograms) heavier at birth than a typical Belgian foal.
He said he plans to memorialize Big Jake by keeping his stall empty and inserting a brick on the outside of it with his picture and name.
“It’s very quiet (at the farm),” Jerry 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.”
The story has been corrected to indicate that Big Jake was certified as the world’s tallest living horse in 2010, not in 2020.