In the equine world, people consider horses as animals with strength, swiftness, and intelligence. Another exciting feature about them is their enormous size. Below, we’ll learn more about the biggest horse breeds.
For several centuries, over 350 breed varieties have been bred for different purposes. Perhaps the most significant reason for producing the largest horses is to support farm work like pulling carts and plows. However, it wasn’t until the 1800s before most draft horse breeds started reaching enormous sizes. Let’s look at the top ten largest horse breeds in the world.
The Shire horse breed is a breed of British short horses or draft horses. They’re very powerful horses and the biggest horse breeds. They weigh between 900 and 1,100 kilograms and are between 65 and 70 inches tall.
Mammoth, the largest horse ever, is a Shire horse. Its weight is 1,500 kilograms, and its height is 86 inches. Another Shire horse, Goliath, had its name in the Guinness Book of Record for being the tallest horse in the world before it died in 2001.
The Percheron horse is a breed of draft horse that originated in river valleys from France. The standard size of the Percheron breed varies among different countries.
The weight of Percherons in France ranges from 500 to 1,200 kilograms, and their height ranges from 61 to 73 inches.
In the US, they weigh between 860 and 1,200 kilograms and stand about 60 to 76 inches tall. In the United Kingdom, their weight ranges between 820 and 1000 kilograms, and the minimum height is 66 inches. The Percheron is among the tallest horse breeds.
The Clydesdale is another draft horse breed from Scotland farms. Despite their small size initially, Clydesdales are rapidly growing and are now recognized as one of the biggest horse breeds in the world.
A Clydesdale horse now weighs between 820 and 910 kilograms and stands between 64 and 72 inches tall. Some adult Clydesdales are more prominent, weighing almost 1 ton (2,200 pounds) and standing 19 hands tall.
The Royal Cavalry of Britain used Clydesdales to lead parades in national feasts and festivals. Before accepting a horse for such purpose, it must be at least 68 inches (17 hands) tall. The selected horse must also carry a police officer while putting on two silver drums weighing 56 kilograms.
Belgian Draft (Brabant)
The Belgian draft horse can also be called Belgian heavy horse or Brabant horse. They originated from Brabant in modern Belgium and are one of the most energetic breeds among heavy horses. The chestnut-colored race often has a unique white-colored tail, mane, and lower legs.
The Belgian draft horse breed stands about 168 cm to 173 cm (16.2 to 17 hands) tall. The average weight of an adult Belgian is more than 900 kilograms. European Brabants are slightly taller than Belgian draft horses in the US, though they have the same stature.
A Belgian horse named Big Jake is currently the tallest horse alive. He was born in 2001 and is 82.7 inches tall. The largest Brabant, Brooklyn Supreme, stands at 19.2 hands high (78 inches) and weighs 1,451 kilograms.
The Cream horse (also called American White horse) is a breed that originated from the US, used by American nobles in the 1900s to tow cars. They’re also famous for impressing tourists and giving carriage rides due to their white mane, cream-colored coat, and impressive size.
The height of female Cream horses ranges between 60 and 64 inches, and they weigh between 630 and 680 kilograms, whereas the males weigh more at 820 kilograms and are taller at about 67 inches. Some American White horses weigh more than 820 kilograms.
The Dutch draft horses are a giant cold-blooded breed. The ebony-coated race mostly pulled carriages and worked on farms.
Some of their outstanding features include good stamina, calm temperament, and free movement. They have a healthy and large body build. From the rear – and a distance – they look like a rhinoceros due to their black and grey speckled coat and massive torso.
An adult male Dutch Draft weighs 750 kilograms and stands about 63 inches tall. A Dutch Draft mare weighs about 700 kilograms and is 60 inches tall.
Suffolk, Suffolk Sorrel, or Suffolk Punch is a horse breed that originates from Britain. They’re one of Britain’s most outstanding and oldest horse breeds. Due to their impressive strength and massive appearance, they mostly pulled heavy carts. Suffolk horses are typically energetic and hard-working animals.
Suffolk Sorrels are among the biggest horse breeds due to their 1000-kilogram weight and height range between 16.1 and 17.2 hands (65 and 70 inches).
Russian Heavy Draft
The Russian heavy draft horse breed (also known as Heavy Soviet draft horse) originates from Russia. It has its bloodline from the Belgian Brabant draft horse.
The respective average weight and height of a Russian heavy draft stallion are 850 kilograms and 163 centimeters. The adult mares of this breed are slightly shorter at 160 centimeters, and they weigh 700 kilograms. The biggest Soviet draft horse weighs around 1,000 kilograms.
Dole, Dole Gudbrandsdal, or Dolehest is a harness-type draft horse breed that originates from Norway. It has a deep and broad chest and muscled body. Furthermore, Dole horses have a long tail and large dense and round nails.
An average adult Dole horse weighs between 1,190 and 1,390 pounds (540 and 630 kilograms) and stands between 14.1 and 15.3 hands (57 and 63 inches) high.
The Fjord Horse is an agile and robust draft horse breed that originated from Norway’s western mountainous parts.
The average height of an adult Fjord horse ranges between 13 and 14.2 hands (52 and 58 inches). Their weight usually ranges between 880 and 1,100 pounds (400 and 500 kilograms). The Fjord horse is the largest horse breed.