Huaso (horse)

Huaso (1933 - August 24, 1961) was the horse that, ridden by Chilean Captain Alberto Larraguibel, set the high-jump world record on February 5, 1949, by jumping 2.47 meters (8 ft. 1¼ in.), in Viña del Mar, Chile, one of the longest-running unbroken sport records in history (59 years as of 2008.)

* Color: Chestnut
* Markings: Star, forehead
* Height: 16.1 hh (165 cm)
* Sex: Stallion
* Breed: Chilean Bred
* Breeding: By Henry Lee; out of Trémula
* Riders: Gaspar Lueje & Alberto Larraguibel

The horse was born in Chile in 1933, and was originally named "Faithful". He started as a race horse, but never managed good results because he was too nervy and more than somewhat unruly. After six years of total failure, the horse was purchased by Chilean Army captain Gaspar Lueje, in the early 1940s, who thought he could be trained for Dressage. When "Faithful" was just starting his training he suffered an accident, impaling himself on the back quarter, and almost having to be put down. The horse eventually recovered, but acquired a slight limp in the left hind, which effectively put an end to any chances in that discipline.

So, as a last option he was moved to Show jumping. "Faithful" still retained his potency, but nonetheless, he was still too nervy and difficult to control, so he wasn't showing any promise in that area either. One afternoon, while he was being trained riderless on the enclosure, he simply bolted and jumped over the surrounding wall, which was over 2 meters high. Casually, he was spotted by an Army horse master who happened to pass by, and who right away decided to purchase and destine him for high-jump.

The horse was then taken to the Army Cavalry Academy, in the city of Quillota. There, the name was changed to "Huaso" and he was handed to Captain Alberto Larraguibel for training. He trained the horse for over two years specifically for the world record. He first targeted the national record, then the south-american and finally, the world one. On February 5, 1949, both rider and horse were finally ready. The attempts were held at the Coraceros Regiment in Viña del Mar, Chile. On the words of Captain Larraguibel:

When they broke the world record at 2.47 meters (8 ft 1¼ in), "Huaso" was already 16 years old, quite old for a result of that magnitude. After the record, the horse was retired and never ridden again. He roamed freely until it died naturally on August 24, 1961, at the age of 29. "Huaso" is buried on the same Cavalry Academy where it spent his last years.

The High Jump world record should not be confused with the Puissance world record. The Puissance is a series of bricks built as a wall rather than angled poles as used in the high jump. The word ‘Puissance’ means ‘power’ in French. The current indoor Puissance world record stands at 7ft 10 inches and was set in 1991 in Chaudfontaine, Belgium by German rider Franke Sloothaak on Leonardo.


External links

* [ Video of "Huaso" jumping the world record]
* [ Complete article on the jump and biography of "Huaso"] es icon
* [ Biography of "Huaso"] es icon
* [ Pictures]
* [ Chronology of high and long jump records]
* [ Video]
* [ Picture]
* [ 50th Anniversary Commemorative Chilean Stamp]

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