Horse and pony - site index.Horse chat message boards.Horse breeds, types and breeding gallery.Search for horse information on Equiworld.Horse information and equestrian news horse and pony magazine.Horse web links.  

“Stuart Black and Fleeceworks Pacific Storm on their way to victory in the CIC** division of the Red Hills Horse Trials.”
Photo credit – Shannon Brinkman
Canada’s Stuart Black Captures Victory at Red Hills Horse Trials

Tallahassee, Florida – Two-time Canadian Olympian Stuart Black successfully captured the CIC** division of the Red Hills Horse Trials held March 12-14 in Tallahassee, FL.

Originally from Orangeville, ON, and currently training in Bluemont, VA, Black bested a large field of 43 entries to win the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) sanctioned CIC** division in front of approximately 30,000 spectators.

In third position following the opening phase of dressage, Black overtook the lead after incurring only 10.4 time penalties during the difficult cross-country phase. Heading into the third and final phase of stadium jumping, Black could afford to have two rails down and still claim victory, but the breathing room was not required. A clear jumping effort from his horse, Fleeceworks Pacific Storm, gave Black the win with a total of 56.1 penalty points.

“He is very good in dressage for such a young horse,” noted Black who purchased Fleeceworks Pacific Storm in the fall of 2002 from breeder Barbara Marks of British Columbia. “In the cross-country, I felt that I went as quickly as I could while still allowing my horse to be comfortable and jump well. The time was ridiculously tight and we were one of the fastest. Not one rider made the time in the whole CIC** division.”

“It is one of the best show jumping rounds I have ever had,” continued Black in praise of his eight-year-old Canadian thoroughbred/Westphalian-cross gelding who is by Pacific Sunset, a son of the famous European show jumping stallion, Polydor. “It is not my strongest phase, but I have been working on it. If I have a rail in stadium with this horse, it is my fault. When I first looked at buying him, I thought his technique and style were perfect for this sport. He is a modern day event horse, good at all three phases.”

Fleeceworks Pacific Storm’s first outing at the preliminary level was one year ago at the Red Hills Horse Trials where he and Black won their division. While Black has since successfully campaigned the horse at the advanced level, including a second place finish at the Pine Top Horse Trials two weeks prior to Red Hills, he plans to continue moving between the advanced and intermediate levels to give the horse more experience before contesting a three-star three day event in the fall.

In addition to his victory in the CIC** division with Fleeceworks Pacific Storm, Black also placed 11th in the CIC*** World Cup Qualifier division from a field of 58 starters to finish as the highest-placed Canadian. Despite being tied for 30th position following dressage, Black incurred minimal time penalties on cross-country and enjoyed one of only eight clear stadium jumping rounds to make a substantial move up the leader board with Midnight Magic.

“I have been doing a lot of work on my dressage, especially in the collected work, and Magic has been super,” said Black of the 11-year-old black English thoroughbred gelding he has owned in partnership with Mr. Elkins Wetherill since purchasing him as a six-year-old. “Unfortunately, I made a change to his warm-up routine, but it was a mistake I will not make again. The cross-country was considerably difficult, they have changed the track and really stepped it up, and it is quite twisty through the woods and hard to make the time over. I didn’t plan to be as quick as I was, but Magic and I know each so well that we ended up having one of the fastest times. After being so honest and handling the cross-country so well, he then jumped a beautiful clear in the stadium phase.”

Black and Midnight Magic are qualified to compete at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and will be looking to be among the five horse-rider combinations selected to the Canadian Eventing Team.

“We competed at Red Hills just to get mileage over a tougher course,” explained Black, who will contest the short-format division of the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event at the end of April. “I wanted Magic to have experience over challenging courses, and it was exactly what we needed to tune-up for Rolex. Midnight Magic feels the best he has ever felt, he is a lot fitter than we have ever had him. We have him feeling as comfortable as possible thanks to our new sponsor, Fleeceworks. Magic used to have back problems, but since we started using the Fleeceworks sheepskin saddle pads, we have been able to avoid invasive therapy.”

Fleeceworks, designers and manufacturers of high quality sheepskin products for equestrian use, have bought the names to three of Black’s horses – Fleeceworks Pacific Storm, Fleeceworks Mullingar, a nine-year-old New Zealand thoroughbred gelding, and Fleeceworks Starlight, a seven-year-old thoroughbred/Holsteiner-cross mare.

“It is very exciting to ride for Fleeceworks,” claims Black. “They are a new company that is taking the world by storm with their products, and they have helped me by providing great product and great sponsorship. I feel that these three new horses are three of the best I have ever had and it is exciting to find a sponsor who shares my enthusiasm.”

A veteran of the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games as well as the 1998 World Equestrian Games, Black is one of Canada’s most accomplished three day eventing athletes. He was a member of the silver medal team at the 1987 Pan American Games and became the first foreign competitor to win the prestigious Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, claiming victory in 1992 aboard Von Perrier. Married to fellow international three day eventing competitor Momi Black, the couple recently celebrated the arrival of their first child, Kayleigh



Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.