For the third time in his career, Stuart Black won the CCI** Radnor Hunt Three Day Event held from October 7-10 in Paoli, Pennsylvania. " /> For the third time in his career, Stuart Black won the CCI** Radnor Hunt Three Day Event held from October 7-10 in Paoli, Pennsylvania. " /> For the third time in his career, Stuart Black won the CCI** Radnor Hunt Three Day Event held from October 7-10 in Paoli, Pennsylvania. ">
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Stuart Black Scores Third Career Victory at CCI** Radnor Hunt Three Day Event

Stuart Black and Fleeceworks Starlight on their way to victory at the CCI** Radnor Hunt Three Day Event held October 7-10, 2004. Photo © Charles Mann

For the third time in his career, Stuart Black won the CCI** Radnor Hunt Three Day Event held from October 7-10 in Paoli, Pennsylvania.

Riding his seven-year-old mare, Fleeceworks Starlight, Black opened the three-phase competition with a dressage score of 46 penalty points to place third among the 83 starters. Never looking back, Black turned in faultless cross-country and show jumping performances to move into the top spot, claiming victory just as he had in 1993 riding Jasper V and in 1995 aboard Paint The Town. However, for the first time, the former Canadian Equestrian Team member won the prestigious event representing the United States.

“What can I say, she was Starlight,” said Black, referring to his mare’s tremendous talent and track record which includes a win in the CCI** Colorado in May. “She did one of her best dressage tests. I had done quite a few warm-ups because the atmosphere can be a bit overwhelming. She is a gorgeous mover and a good-looking horse, but it takes more than that to win the dressage. I was really pleased with the way she handled herself, and I was happy with our score and placing.”

Over the cross-country track set by 2000 Sydney Olympic course designer Michael Etherington-Smith of Great Britain, Black came home double clear, without jumping or time penalties.

“The course was very well designed, it had some new twists and turns that rode very well,” commented Black. “Fleeceworks Starlight has become very bold, very confident in herself, and she sometimes jumps herself into trouble. She is a powerful girl, but she doesn’t always listen to me. I think the roads and tracks and steeplechase helped to settle her down, and she became more and more rideable out on course. Even though I hadn’t planned to, we ended up taking the straight routes everywhere. There had been a few turns that I was concerned about, but she was so rideable I was able to be a little more aggressive.”

Still in third place heading into the final phase of show jumping, Black was less than two penalty points behind the leader. Both the first and second-placed riders incurred rails, catapulting Black to the top of the scoreboard.

“Going into show jumping, I was hoping we would be able to stay where we were in the placings or maybe even move up,” said Black, one of only six riders to enjoy a clear show jumping performance. “Phillip Dutton helped me in the warm-up and walked the course with me which was good because it has been such a busy fall, I haven’t been able to train with him as much as usual. I was nervous on Sunday, it was a bit of a pressure cooker situation, and I really wanted to do well. Fleeceworks Starlight is such a good show jumper and if we have a rail, it is definitely my fault, not the mare’s!”

In addition to claiming victory, Fleeceworks Starlight was awarded the ‘Jonathan R. Burton Trophy’ as the National Young Horse Champion aged 6 or 7, and was also recognized with the ‘Third Chance Trophy’ as the Leading Mare in the CCI** division.

“I always want to do well at Radnor, it is a prestigious event, and to win it with this mare is very special,” said Black who purchased Fleeceworks Starlight from fellow eventing competitor, Jane Sleeper. “We planned all season around going to Radnor, so I am thrilled. Winning an event is all about your program and the people who help get you there. Fleeceworks Starlight has done really well this year, and she won at Radnor against some great horses.”

The win also marked the first for Black riding under the ‘stars and stripes’ as the 45-year-old rider just became an American citizen.

“I don’t plan to ride for Canada again,” said Black, who appealed a last-minute decision to remove him from the Canadian Olympic Team headed to Athens. “I have really enjoyed the times I’ve had with Canada, and it has been a give and take from both sides. But I felt I had to do something for my American owner, Mr. Elkins Wetherill, who has supported me for many years despite not being able to take advantage of the Canadian tax maintenance program, and my wife and daughter are both Americans. I think riding under a new flag will push me to train harder, do things more thoroughly and do things even better.”

As a member of the Canadian Eventing Team, Black became one of the most successful athletes in its history, competing at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games as well as the 1998 World Equestrian Games. In 1992, Black became the first Canadian to win a foreign three day when he claimed victory at the CCI*** Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event riding Von Perrier.

Black makes his home in Bluemont, VA, with his wife and fellow eventing competitor, Momi, and their one-year-old daughter, Kayleigh.

Fleeceworks, designers and manufacturers of high quality sheepskin products for equestrian use, sponsor three of Black’s horses – Fleeceworks Pacific Storm, Fleeceworks Starlight and Fleeceworks Blackout. Fleeceworks also sponsors Fleeceworks Mullingar, a former mount of Black’s who is now ridden by his wife and fellow international eventing competitor, Momi. For more information, please visit www.fleeceworks.com
 


 

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