A new British side saddle high jump record has been set.
Susan Oakes, from Co Meath, Ireland, cleared 1.80m (5ft 9in) on grand prix showjumper Brandy And Red at the National Showing Show at Aintree on 28 July (news, 5 July).
“This was a brilliant result,” Susan told H&H. “We travelled here with the plan of setting some sort of record.”
The previous record was set by Carolyn Wofford, who cleared 5ft 7in in 1995.
Susan is now attempting to have her feat recognised as a world as well as a British record.
A record of 1.98m (6ft 6in) was set in 1915 by an Australian woman, but Susan believes that it should not stand because the horse jumped off a springboard.
An American woman, “Madame Marantette”, is believed to have cleared (2.42m) 7ft 10in around the same time.
Susan told H&H: “We tried to clear 6ft 6in but he just rolled a pole. Our 1.80m jump has been recognised by the [US-based] World Records Academy, but the Guinness Book of Records is still looking at it.”
Two other competitors took part in the competition; Emma Brown and Lauren Allin, both from Leicestershire.
Emma and former three-star eventer French Connection NJ (Harry) cleared 1.60m (5ft 3in).
“I’ve nearly come back down to earth,” she told H&H. “It was an amazing, electric atmosphere — there was so much enthusiasm from the crowd.
“Harry is a real multi-tasker; he won the side saddle equitation in the morning,” she added.
Previous record-holder Mrs Wofford donated a cash prize to Susan and rosettes for the other competitors.
But Susan believes that Brandy And Red can go higher and hopes to jump 6ft over the puissance wall at the Dublin Horse Show (18 August) before the puissance competition. Watch this space...
This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (10 August 2012)