Canadas Stuart Black and Fleeceworks Starlight
Light Up Plantation Fields
Pennsylvania Canadian three day eventing competitor Stuart
Black riding Fleeceworks Starlight captured the Open Intermediate
division of the Plantation Field Spring Horse Trials held April
10-11 in Unionville, Pennsylvania.
from Orangeville, ON, and currently training in Bluemont, VA, Black
took the early lead in the opening phase of dressage with a score
of 31 penalty points. Despite incurring four penalty points for
a dropped rail during the stadium phase, Black maintained his lead
going into Sundays challenging cross-country phase where he
added just 2.8 time penalties to his score. Not only did the two-time
Canadian Olympian win his division with a final score of 37.80 penalty
points, Black also had the lowest overall score of all Open Intermediate
competitors, divided into three separate divisions in order to accommodate
the large number of entries.
Starlight, a seven-year-old Holsteiner/thoroughbred-cross mare by
Cavalier, was competing in only her second Intermediate level event,
having placed second in her first outing two weeks earlier at Morven
Park Spring Horse Trials in Leesburg, VA.
has been first or second in every event since I bought her,
praised Black, who purchased the mare exactly one year ago from
eventing competitor Jane Sleeper. At Plantation Field, she
had the best dressage score of all the intermediate competitors,
and it is a big jump from preliminary to intermediate level dressage.
She has handled it well, every week she gets better. She is getting
stronger and carrying a more advanced frame. Sarah Spofford, an
experienced dressage rider who trains in our area, has been helping
me at home with my dressage and riding the horses while I have been
we had the very first fence down in show jumping, continued
Black. We had had a lot of rain so the footing was a bit deep
and I think that surprised her, but then she adjusted herself. Over
the cross-country, I went quickly but comfortably, and worked on
jumping and turning. She is not the fastest mare, but Phillip Dutton
has been helping me with my jumping and overall rideability, and
it has really helped.
addition to his victory with Fleeceworks Starlight, Black experienced
déjà vu when he was back in the winners circle
with his former mount, Wolftown. Sold last winter to his student,
Elena Weeks, who competed the American thoroughbred gelding at the
intermediate level, Black has taken over the ride again as the owners
educational commitments have forced her offer Wolftown for sale.
Black won the Open Intermediate Division 1 with a final score of
41.30 after adding only minimal time faults to his opening dressage
Field was quite a bit tougher than Morven Park had been two weeks
earlier and I think it caused a bit of trouble, remarked Black.
The footing was a bit deep from all the rain and the organizers
did a good job of giving us an event. Because a lot of the cross-country
course is built on the side of a hill, it is possible for them to
remove the fences that are down in the flat areas, so they revised
the beginning and the end of the course.
will next compete at the prestigious CCI**** Rolex Kentucky Three
Day Event held April 21-25 in Lexington, KY. Blacks long-time
partner Midnight Magic is already qualified to compete at the 2004
Olympic Games in Athens later this year and will run in the short-format
at Rolex in the hopes of earning an Olympic berth with the Canadian
Eventing Team. In preparation, Black and Midnight Magic competed
in the CIC-W*** World Cup Qualifier division of the Red Hills Horse
Trials in Tallahassee, FL, where they were the top Canadian combination,
placing eleventh overall from a large field of 58 entries. Three
weeks later, they were again the top Canadians, this time placing
ninth from 69 starters in the CIC*** division of the Beaulieu North
Georgia Classic in Chatsworth, GA.
was working on trying to put in a stronger dressage performance
at North Georgia, said Black of his preparations with Midnight
Magic, an 11-year-old black English thoroughbred gelding he owns
in partnership with his sponsor, Mr. Elkins Wetherill. At
North Georgia, Midnight Magic once again proved that he can jump
clear under pressure, moving up into the top ten. It was a huge
division, and all of the best horses in the country were there,
most of them using it as their final warm-up before Rolex.
will also have a new mount to compete at the Rolex Kentucky Three
Day Event. In partnership with Wetherill, he has purchased Fleeceworks
Blackout, a nine-year-old black New Zealand thoroughbred gelding,
from Kelli McMullen Temple, his teammate at the 1996 Olympic Games.
will be going for a conservative round together, hoping to get a
qualifying score for Athens so that Fleeceworks Blackout can be
a back-up to Midnight Magic, explained Black who will ride
Fleeceworks Blackout in the regular CCI**** division at Rolex Kentucky.
who battles Chrons disease, also noted, I have been
out of the picture a bit with my health problems as far as the Team
is concerned for the last Olympic Games and World Championships,
so it is nice to be back in the thick of things for Athens.
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 became the first foreign competitor
to win the prestigious Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, claiming
victory in 1992 aboard Von Perrier. Having enjoyed numerous top
ten finishes since, Black hopes this years Rolex Kentucky
Three Day Event leads him to his third Olympic Games.
designers and manufacturers of high quality sheepskin products for
equestrian use, sponsor three of Blacks horses Fleeceworks
Pacific Storm, Fleeceworks Starlight and Fleeceworks Blackout. Fleeceworks
also sponsors Fleeceworks Mullingar, a former mount of Blacks
who is now ridden by his wife and fellow international eventing
competitor, Momi. For more information, please visit www.fleeceworks.com.