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The ‘heart’ to jump 7 foot walls

For a blue-collar boy from rural Pennsylvania, Thoroughbreds were his ticket to an elite world of competitive show jumping that put him and his ex-racehorses on the map. On board his all-time great Thoroughbred Ilion, Jimmy Paxson got to do things most people only dream about doing. Including riding a 17-hand gelding over a seven-foot three-inch wall in 1966 to win the puissance (high jumping) at the Youngstown Charity Horse Show. “That’s the highest I ever jumped,” says Paxson, 63. “That wall started out at four-foot nine-inches and was raised in three-inch increments until it got to over seven feet. […]