Black and Fleeceworks Pacific Storm on their way to victory
in the CIC** division of the Red Hills Horse Trials.
Photo credit Shannon Brinkman
Stuart Black Captures Victory at Red Hills Horse Trials
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pacific Storms 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.
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.
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 didnt 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.
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.
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.
designers and manufacturers of high quality sheepskin products for
equestrian use, have bought the names to three of Blacks horses
Fleeceworks Pacific Storm, Fleeceworks Mullingar, a nine-year-old
New Zealand thoroughbred gelding, and Fleeceworks Starlight, a seven-year-old
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.
veteran of the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games as well as the 1998 World
Equestrian Games, Black is one of Canadas 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