Archive | February 24, 2013

The Equestrian High Jump Record, At 8.1′, That Has Stood For 64 Years Seems Incongruous To Me.

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by
Anura Guruge


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eqhighjumpdoodleClick here to get to this Google Doodle.


The record being set in Chile.

I have learned a lot of late by making a point to study Google Doodles.

I saw the above Chilean Colonel Alberto Larraguibel Morales (May 30, 1919 – April 12, 1995) Doodle on February 5, 2013 — the day after they produced a Doodle for Sri Lanka Independence Day.

I had no idea what they were talking about. Though I used to watch equestrian show jumping on TV, as all Brits are expected to do, I wasn’t familiar with the term ‘Puissance’. Maybe I did know it at one point but had forgotten it because I haven’t seen horse jumping on TV in the 29 years I have lived here (this time around).

Google has actually used the WRONG terminology. Puissance involves an upright fence. As you can see from the Doodle, Alberto Larraguibel was jumping over a sloped fence. That is the equestrian high jump competition ad it involves a single, sloping fence — the bottom half is hedge, the top made out of rails. So the Doodle is accurate in that respect.

Larraguibel (who at the time was a captain) broke the record for the the equestrian high jump, on February 5, 1949, at an official international event, in his native Chile.

He was riding quite a famous horse, chestnut stallion named ‘Huaso‘ (née ‘Faithful’).

They cleared, as officially ratified by the relevant sporting body, 8.1 feet (2.47 meters).

To beat the record somebody needs to jump 8.2 feet.

Same record jump, but head on. Does look quite high to me.

I like horses. Always have. I have done a very small amount of riding. I have watched Devanee taking riding lessons. But, I don’t know much about horses.

That height surprised me. 8.1′ Didn’t seem that high. I commented about this to Deanna.

Yes, I know the horse has a person, weighing at least 120 pounds, sitting on them — and I know the difference that 6 pounds make when I strap on my wrist weights to slog up Prospect Mountain Road.

Tonight I had some time. So I did what I had been meaning to do.

The World and Olympic records for High Jump. [I was in the ball park in what I had thought they were.]

Want to guess?

Men: …..8.03′ [2.45 m] World (set in 1993) and 7.84′ [2.39] Olympic (set in 1996).

Women: 6.86′ [2.09 m] World (set in 1987) and 6.76′ [2.06] Olympic (set in 2004).

So, the horse record is less than an 1″ different from the men’s high jump — obviously without the 120(+) burden.

Seems incongruous to me — especially since the horse record has stood for 64 years, one of the longest standing records in sports.

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