Update: Charges against Stuart Black were withdrawn on Oct. 29, 2015.
This article was first published on July 10, 2015.
EN has confirmed that Stuart Black withdrew from the Canadian Pan American Games team after being arrested earlier this week on domestic assault charges in Mono, Ontario. He was granted bail yesterday in Orangeville and will return to court on Aug. 27.
Stuart told The Caledon Enterprise this morning that there was no misconduct on his part and “everything will be proven in court.” He also said he stepped down from the team due to a flare-up of his Chrohn’s disease. “This is not in my nature,” he said. “I’m a good person.” Click here to read more of Stuart’s comments.
Equine Canada declined to comment on the arrest, as “the circumstances around Stuart’s withdrawal” from the team are “not an Equine Canada matter.” The organization did confirm that Stuart “voluntarily withdrew” as the team’s traveling reserve. Selena O’Hanlon has subsequently been instated as the traveling reserve, though Equine Canada has still not officially confirmed that.
The arrest follows Stuart’s controversial naming to the team as the traveling reserve. He was not originally announced as a member of the team in Equine Canada’s official announcement on June 13 because his sport nationality status with the Pan American Sport Organization (PASO), the governing body of the Pan American Games, still listed him as American.
Stuart originally changed his nationality to Canadian after moving from England in 1977. He represented Canada at the Olympics, World Equestrian Games, and the Pan American Games before switching to ride for the USA in 2004 after he was not named to the Canadian Athens Olympic team that year.
He expedited a Canadian passport on December 9, 2014, in order to compete for Canada in the Pan American Games and was subsequently named the traveling reserve on the team with Orin Tre’ Book’s 8-year-old Selle Francais gelding Tre’ Du Kurnat.
Selena and John and Judy Rumble’s Foxwood High are now training with the Canadian team and participated in an outing with the other team members in a 1.25-meter jumper class yesterday at Angelstone Farms in Rockwood, Ontario.
The eventing portion of the Pan American Games starts next Thursday with the first horse inspection. Click here to see the full schedule for the competition.