Canadian Michael Vaillancourt riding Wrong Number scored the right number last night as they flew over the simulated stone wall set at 7-foot-3 for a Washington International Horse Show record in front of a record crowd estimated at 10,000.
Vaillancourt was one of three riders who made it into the fourth round.
First to go at the wall set at the record height was Sanyo Hi Fi and British rider Harvey Smith. The big gray gelding balked. Smith again headed the horse at the wall and Sanyo Hi Fi jumped but he hit a section of the wall and it came down, as did the rider, who was thrown over the horse's head.
Vaillancourt, silver medalist in the 1976 Montreal Olympic games, was the next to go. The 6-year-old horse -- one of the youngest in the class -- took off like a jet down the runway and sailed confidently over.
"When he finally jumped, he jumped perfectly," said Vaillancourt. "Although earlier I was concerned about his front end, there was always plenty of power in the back legs."
Leslie Burr on Chase The Clouds was the last to go and they toppled a small section of the yellow bricks, thus giving the title to Vaillancourt.
An original field of 18 horses began the Puissance high jump class over six jumps, with the wall set at 5-9. Sixteen horses survived the test to come back for the second round with the wall set at 6-4.
In the second round with only three jumps set up and the wall at 6-4 1/2, nine horses went clean. The wall then was raised to 6-10 1/2 for the third round.
It was during the third round that the Iron Duke (with Dennis Murphy up), a horse previously known as Lucky Hit, and the holder of the North American high jump record of 7-5 took down the capstone of the wall, thus eliminating any chances of a North American record being set at the show.
The previous Washington record was held by Katie Monahan on The Jones Boy at 7-1.