Meet Big Jake and Thumbelina: The tallest and smallest horse in the world

    Story highlights

    • Big Jake is the tallest horse in the world, according to the Guinness World Records
    • At 17 years old, he is 20 hands, 2.75 inches tall (82.75 inches)
    • Thumbelina, on the other hand, is the world's smallest horse at just 17.5 inches tall.

    (CNN)Horses come in all shapes, colors and sizes. From the Falabella miniature horse, to the tall British Shire. And just like horses that hold records for being the fastest, there's also a record set for the tallest and the shortest horse.

    Big Jake became famous in 2012 after he was crowned the tallest in the world by the Guinness World Records. While he's not a Shire, he comes from a breed that's admired as one of the strongest and heaviest among draft horses: the Belgian.
      "He was purchased as a foal -- he was probably three -- from a relative of mine and he just grew too big for them," Jerry Gilbert explains to CNN Sport. Gilbert and his family own Smokey Hollow Farm in Wisconsin -- they're fifth-generation horse breeders and competitors.
        Gilbert says when the family set eyes on him, they knew Jake -- now 17 years old -- was one of the biggest horses they'd ever seen.