Six feet, eight inches, one Irish rider and a world record. Ireland’s rider Susan Oakes is now celebrating after achieving her long-avowed aim of breaking the side saddle high jump world record. She and her stallion SIEC Atlas soared over the side saddle high jump world record in Blanchardstown, near Dublin.
Her story as a rider starts at the age of four when she found an old side saddle in the tack room. She first began riding a donkey, then all the ponies, then it was side saddle point-to-point and on the hunt. Since then, she’s unstoppable!
Oakes now holds the sidesaddle world record over the puissance divider, 6’8”, and also the triple bar, 6’5”. She broke the two records on 24th October 2013, at the National Sports Campus, Blanchardstown. The first as highest height jumped side saddle over the puissance wall. And the second, as highest height jumped side saddle over the triple bar.
“[Steeplechase] racing keeps my adrenaline up,” says Oakes. “I race every weekend. I’ve also done sky diving and some of the biggest bungee jumps in the world.”
Even though Oakes keeps her eyes focused on the stars, she has already seen some of her dreams come true. “[Most memorable] was riding sidesaddle in the U.S. at the first race at the Cheshire Point to Point in Pennsylvania,” says Oakes. “I had been sick for the previous two years with an immune virus, and it was my first major competition back. It was a dream come true because I’d always wanted to ride aside in the U.S.”
While working toward her goal of breaking her own sidesaddle puissance world record of 6’8”, Oakes will travel to the United States, sharing her passion for and knowledge of sidesaddle riding.
There is also a video below of Oakes stunning performance, breaking the world record.