Top 8 Biggest Horse Breeds in The World And Their Origin

Top 8 Biggest Horse Breeds in The World And Their Origin

Horses are large, powerful animals and their size can frighten people, despite the fact that they are generally calm, intelligent, and harmless creatures, especially draught breeds.


Horses have been selectively bred into over 600 breeds for various purposes for thousands of years. Humans admire some of the world’s largest horse breeds for their majestic appearance and phenomenal strength.

These large horse breeds were bred to work on farms, pull carts, and transport heavy loads. These animals became indispensable assets to society due to their exceptional work ethic and docile temperament.

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Table of Contents


Top 8 Biggest Horse Breeds in The World

The top 8 biggest horse breeds in the world are represented in the table below with their height and also weight:

Horse Breeds Origin Height Weight
Shire Medieval England 21.25 hh 3,360 lbs (1,524 kg)
Percheron France 19.1 hh 2,500 lbs (1,134 kg)
Belgian Draft Belgium 20 hh 2,600 lbs (1,179 kg)
Clydesdale Scotland 21 hh 2,995 lbs (1359 kg)
Australian Draft Australia 19.2 hh 3,200 lbs (1,450 kg)
Dutch Draft 15-17 hh 1,650  lbs (750 kg)
Friesian Netherlands 15.3-17 hh 1,400 lbs (635 kg)
Suffolk Punch Great Britain 16.1-17.2 hh 2,000 lbs (900 kg)

1. Shire Horse Breed

Shire Horse Breed
Image Credit: Deep Hollow Ranch

The Shire Horse, which has held the world record for both the tallest and largest breed of horse, is a native of Great Britain. The weight ranges from 850 kg to 1,524 kg on average. The shire “Mammoth,” who was 219 cm tall, was the tallest horse ever documented in history (21.2hh).

Unfortunately, the number of Shire horses has decreased to almost extinction levels as a result of World War II and the industrialization of agriculture. The breed has recently begun to steadily rebound, nevertheless, in part due to organizations like the American Shire Horse Association.

2. Percheron Horse Breed

Percheron Horse Breed
Percheron Horse Breed

The fourth-largest breed of horses is the French-bred Percheron. It is the most popular of the heavier breeds since it frequently mixes breeds and has a more “elegant look.” A mare from Australia who pulls 1500 kg over 4 meters holds the record. Dr. Le Gear is another well-known Percheron horse. When he was alive, he was 2.13 meters tall and was the tallest horse in the world.


Percherons exhibit a strong Arabian horse influence, unlike other draft breeds. This happened as a result of the breed’s introduction of Arabian genetics in the 19th century. The Percheron’s elegant head, slender neck, and athletic physique are obvious indications of its oriental heritage.

3. Belgian Draft Horse Breed

Belgian Draft Horse Breed
Belgian Draft Horse Breed

The breed’s name implies that it is Belgian in origin. The Belgian draft horse has grown in size during the past 100 years. Its primary function is as a carriage horse. They have a short, very wide back. They are more well-liked among the huge horse breeds since they are reputed to be extremely clever and calm-natured.

Belgian Draft horses are utilized for both pleasure riding and the hard labor associated with farming and forestry. Fortunately, this breed is not in danger of going extinct like other draft horses.

A typical Belgian Draft measures 16.1 to 18 hands and weighs about 2,200 pounds (1,000 kgs). The breed has a lot of physical power because of its massive size and sturdy bones. Once, two Belgian Draft horses were seen pulling more than 7,700 kg (17,000 pounds).

4. Clydesdale Horse Breed

Top 8 Biggest Horse Breeds
Clydesdale Horse Breed

The Clydesdale horses have a distinctive coloring that makes it easy to identify them right away thanks to their big white socks and thick feathering.

A large deal of Clydesdale’s fame as a draft breed now comes from its appearance in Budweiser advertising. The breed, which is Scottish in origin, has seen significant size and shape changes in the last century.

The current breed standard requires Clydesdales to be in the range of 16 to 18 hands and 800 to 2,000 pounds (820 to 910 kg). However, many horses outgrow these measurements.

5. Australian Draft Horse Breed

Top 8 Biggest Horse Breeds
Australian Draft Horse Breed

The Australian Draft is a very recent invention, much like the Dutch Draft. It is a giant horse breed that originated from the Clydesdale, Percheron, Shire, and Suffolk Punch, among other large horse types. It was only classified as a distinct breed in 1976.

The Australian Draft is available in only solid colors and measures 16.2 to 17.2 hands tall on average. The register does allow larger horses, albeit most of these horses weigh between 1,300 and 1,900 pounds (600 and 900 kg).

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6. Dutch Draft Horse Breed

Dutch Draft Horse Breed
Dutch Draft Horse Breed

The Netherlands is the country of origin for the heavier breed known as the dutch draft horse. It is renowned for having a large body, a wide neck, and short legs. The Dutch draft horse’s ears and eyes are relatively small for their size. These days, their utilization is uncommon and not very common. Its size and majestic beauty frequently fascinate people.

The Dutch Draft is shorter than other draft breeds despite being stronger; its height at the withers is between 15 and 17 hands. They weigh between 1,550 and 1,650 pounds at the moment (700 to 750 kg).

7. Friesian Horse Breed

Friesian Horse Breed
Friesian Horse Breed

Friesians are native to the Netherlands and typically range in height from 15.3 to 17 hands. These magnificent black horses continue to be used in jousting and historical reenactments now as they were in the Middle Ages.

Friesians are taller and stockier than the typical riding horse, despite being classified as a warmblood. This is because the breed’s powerful bones and pulling power come from its draft horse ancestry. They weigh an average of 1,200 to 1,400 pounds (545 to 635 kg), making them bigger than the majority of riding horses.

8. Suffolk Punch Horse Breed

Top 8 Biggest Horse Breeds
Suffolk Punch Horse Breed

One of the biggest horse breeds in the world is the British horse variety known as the Suffolk Punch. It was created in eastern England’s Suffolk and Norfolk, where draft horses have been used since the 1500s.

One of the oldest and tallest horse breeds in Britain is the Suffolk Punch. These legendary horses are always chestnut in color, stand 16.1 to 17.2 hands tall, and weigh between 1,600 and 2,000 lbs (725 to 900 kg).

What is The Biggest Horse Ever?

Despite the fact that there are many different horse breeds with a range of sizes and shapes, one horse stands out as the biggest ever. He was a Shire horse by the name of Sampson, and he was born in 1846. Sampson was an incredible 21.5 hands tall at the withers, making him a behemoth of a horse.

He was about twice the size of an average horse and weighed more than 3,000 pounds. Sampson was a well-liked attraction at fairs and carnivals despite his enormous size since he was kind and composed. Top 8 Biggest Horse Breeds

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Horse breeds come in a wide variety, although some are more unique than others. Although the largest horse breeds are known for their size and power, they also share other characteristics that set them apart.

The largest horses are typically very strong and muscular, with thick bodies and large feet. They usually have calm dispositions, making them ideal for work purposes.