Video of the Week: Bareback High Jump

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The puissance is a favorite spectator event at some hunter/jumper shows. In it, riders attempt to clear a high jump. If they have a knockdown or a refusal, they’re out of the competition. After each round, the jump is raised until one rider remains. At top level competition, the fence heights can exceed 7 feet. The record, which was set in 1949, is a terror-inducing 8′ 1″.

As if the puissance weren’t enough of a nail-biter already, some riders have found ways to stir up the competition. For example, Susan Oakes recently set a sidesaddle puissance record at 6′ 7″. But why ride sidesaddle when you can ride no-saddle? That’s what Robert Whitaker thought, apparently, when he rode Waterstone II to a new bareback puissance record at 6′ 9″ at the 2011 Stockholm International Horse Show. Well done, Robert. We hope Waterstone does not have prominent withers.

 

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