Video: Irish rider flies over 6’8″ wall sidesaddle, breaking world record

Six feet, eight inches. In a skirt. Shara Rutberg gets the scoop.

Irish rider Susan Oakes and her stallion SIEC Atlas soared over the side saddle high jump world record last week in Blanchardstown, near Dublin, reports Horse & Hound.

The World Record Academy, an FEI steward, among other were there to officially recognize their flight.

It was incredible,” Oakes told H&H. “I was so determined to do it. It’s been a long and rocky road.”

After breaking the record, did she pop the cork and raise a glass?

Nah. She changed horses to SIEC Oberon and sailed over a 6’5″ triple bar, breaking that world record too.

Susan Oakes and SIEC Oberon soar over a 6'5" triple bar

Susan Oakes and SIEC Oberon soar over a 6’5″ triple bar


Oakes had set a British side saddle high jump record last year, then began a quest to beat the unofficial record of 6’6″ set by Esther Stace in 1915.

The unofficial record of 6'6' set in 1912 in Australia

Esther Stace clears 6’6″ (unofficially) at the 1915 Sydney Royal Show

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However, her attempts were hampered when her side saddle was sidelined.

“I’ve been begging, borrowing and stealing saddles for the past two years, because I sent my good [side] saddle away to be fixed and it was never completed,” she told H&H.  A new saddle helped give her the leather wings to break the record.

In case you’re wondering, yes, this is the very same wild Irish woman who led Horsenation reader and cancer-survivor Susan Corwin on a whirlwhind quest to break the record for most ladies aside on a hunt, including (muddy, bloody) Irish facials, flasks, scrambling out of a ditch (sans horse) in a skirt, mounted huntsmen in ballrooms. Read how that went and check out the incredible pix.

Oakes started riding aside  as a kid after finding an old side saddle in the tackroom. First it was the donkey, then all the ponies, then it was side saddle point-to-point and on the hunt. This great video from P2P tv tell a bit of her story, with a great scene where she convinces a couple point-to-point pals to try to jump sidesaddle:

Oakes is not even a full-time horsewoman. She’s a businesswoman who works in the dental industry.

The horses are … a side.

Go Riding.


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