Information obtained from the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records
High Jumping Records
Unofficial World Record Jump
A visitor wrote in to tell us that the "unofficial" world record jump is 8ft, 3 1/2 inches, jumped by Fred (Freddie) Wettach, Jr. riding his horse King's Own. They jumped in front of 25 people with motion picture photographers capturing the occasion. The record was not considered official because it was not made in front of a public gathering.
Official World Record Jump
Huaso, the horse, and his rider Captain Alberton Larraguibel Morales, jumping the world-record breaking jump of 8 feet 2 inches, or 2.47 meters. The red marks the top of the jump.
This horse was a Thoroughbred born in Chile, and originally called "Faithful". He was a racehorse and retired from racing in 1944 to begin training in the Chilean Cavalry School. There he was taught dressage and jumping. His training was overseen by Chilean Cavalry Officer Major Raphael Monte, who was in charge of several other horses at the time and hoped to train one that could beat the current world record, set by Captain Antonio Gutierrez of the Italian Cavalry on an Irish horse named Osoppo.
On October 27th 1938, Gutierrez and Osoppo set a new world record of 2.44m while jumping at the National Championship in Rome.
Faithful and another horse, Chileno (ridden by Lieutenant Louis Raquelme, I'm not sure of the spelling), both showed great jumping ability. Chileno and Faithful continued to beat each other in progressively higher jumps in 1947 and 1948. Neither one had yet tied or beaten the current world record. Faithful jumped a height of 2.18m, which set a new Chilean high jump record. A few months later, Chileno jumped 2.33m, setting the South American high jump record. Just a few days later, Faithful jumped 2.37 breaking Chileno's record. His name was then changed to Huaso (meaning "Cowboy" in Chilean).
A jump off was held for Huaso & Chileno on the show grounds of Vina Del Mar, Chile, on February 5th, 1949. Each horse was to be given 3 tries at a jump. Chileno was first, and cleared a 2.20 meter fence. He raced toward the 2.47m-- higher than the world record jump-- and sadly crashed, destroying the jump. He was retired from competition after that
Huaso's turn at the gigantic 2.47m fence came next. On his first try, he refused. On his second, with much effort, and showing correct form, he jumped... but his belly grazed the top rail. On his third, and last chance, he and his rider soared over the fence in perfect form and harmony. They broke the world record that day.