William Martin, 18, the youngest rider in the international competition, and Barney Ward, 38, a 20-year veteran of show jumping, tied in setting a puissance jump record of 7 feet 4 at the Washington International Horse Show last night at the Capitol Centre.
Texan Martin rode his 8-year-old thoroughbred chestnut gelding, Hole In One. Ward, from New York, who holds the indoor puissance mark of 7-5 (set in 1970 on Lucky Hit at Toronto) rode his bay mare, Springer, a former field hunter.
Both riders made an attempt to set an indoor record with the simulated "yellow brick wall" set at 7-6, but failed.
"We gave it a shot for the people. We're trying to make this a spectator sport," Ward said.
"I have had the horse since he was 2; it was a rodeo horse. My dad could have sold him a million times, but he didn't. He's just incredible."
The 13 horses who started went clean over the first course of six jumps with the wall set at 5-6. In the second round, two jumps were eliminated and the wall was raised to 6-3. Again, all went clean.
Three riders -- Alan Brand of Canada; Melanie Smith of the U.S. team and Brenda Watson of Alvin, Tex. -- withdrew from the third round when the wall was set at 6-9 1/2 with only three jumps remaining.
In the third round, three of the 10 horses were eliminated. Gilles Bertran de Balanda of France picked up four faults on Galoubet A after knocking down the easiest jump -- a blue and white vertical. Gary Young on New Castle hit the wall and knocked another fence down for eight faults. Ian Millar of Canada withdrew after his horse, Saskia, ran head-on into the wall, refusing to jump.
"She just stopped," said a flushed Millar, who won the pair relay class Wednesday night.
In afternoon events, Mary Jane Hunt of Reddick, Fla., rode her mare, Canadian Voyager, to the amateur owner championship after gathering 10 points in one of the toughest divisions of the show.
Tragedy struck in the junior hunter class when Rumors, owned and ridden by Lisa Tarnopol, took a bad step, suffered a broken ankle and had to be destroyed. The horse was champion last year in the same division.