The Largest Horse Breed In The World

We often relate humans and objects to horses to describe their speed, size, and power, and with good reason. Horses are quite the superlative animal. They have played a pretty sizeable role in the history of humanity's development, helping us pull things and move ourselves that wouldn't otherwise have been possible.

That's why we gauge cars by their horse power, and why we compliment people for being "work horses". Horses get things done.

Even amongst the ranks of this uber creature, some horses rank as bigger and badder than the rest. Which breed ranks as the biggest of all?

Why, it's the Shire horse, originally hailing from the United Kingdom, according to Where else would you get your size facts from?

The Shire horse sounds like something straight from the mind of J.R.R. Tolkien, but Bilbo would be absolutely dwarfed by one of these hulking beauties.

Shires go bigger and higher

The breed holds both the record for the largest average horse size, and for the single biggest horse of all time. Oh yeah, and the strongest horse in the world. Similar to the famed Clydesdale, another contender for biggest horse, Shires were often used to haul beer around in pre-Industrial times.

On average, they clock in at 2,600 pounds and 18 hands tall, one of those antiquated terms of equine measurement. One hand is equal to four inches, meaning that Shires are on average six feet tall, and that you'll probably need a ladder to mount one. 

In fact, to even be considered a Shire, a horse must be 17 hands tall, which would be 5 feet 8 inches tall.

But what about the biggest horse of all time? His name was Sampson, a Shire who weighed 3,360 pounds and measured 21.25 hands, over seven feet tall by the time he was four years old. Unsurprisingly, his nickname was Mammoth, according to Modern Farmer.

Don't mess with Sampson. And while you're at it, don't trifle with Big Jake either, the Guinness World Record holder for world's tallest living horse, at around 6 feet 8 inches tall. He's too big to race, but he'd make a fine NBA player.