Jaz Middleton and In The Black | An Eventful Life

Jaz Middleton and In The Black

      In The Black, Jaz and David Middleton


It isn’t often that you see a 13 year old girl riding a stallion but when the stallion is as laid back as In The Black and the rider is Jaz Middleton, daughter of David and Michelle Middleton, it seems to make sense

David may not have been seen on the eventing competition circuit for a while (“I almost brought some young ones with but when Jaz decided to ride, I thought I’d just focus on helping her”) but he has a long list of high level success dating back to 1995 when he won the Gawler 3DE riding Unprovoked Vengeance.

The thoroughbred Willowbank Jack was the horse that then partnered with him to win the 1996 Asia Pacific 3 Day Eventing Championships and the Adelaide International 3DE in 2000. In 2001 they returned to Adelaide for second place, won the Melbourne 3DE Australia in 2002 and were part of the Australian squad at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain where they finished 11th.

Following the WEG, David sold Willowbank Jack to England and went on to produce several notable horses include, RUNVS, Dragonfly, Armitage Downie Warlord, Figjam, Mr Shirvington and Figja the Boss

While David aim is now establishing another team of young performance horses at his Warragul base, it was his daughter’s turn to start her eventing career at Wandin Park last weekend, having focussed for a while on dressage. Riding the 16h black stallion, she finished in fourth place in the Training 4-1 on Saturday as her dad watched on from the finish

Despite being a stallion In The Black showed what a fantastic temperament he has, looking all the world like a very calm, gentlemanly pony as they trotted back up from the final fence and stood patiently as Jaz told her dad all about her ride. In The Black has a great pedigree through his sire Olympic Ferro, who many will remember as part of the silver medal winning Dutch team at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 but he started life as a show jumper and boasts a strong show jumping pedigree that includes names such as Le Mexico and Farn.

David has ridden In The Black in the past but the reins have now been well and truly passed over to Jaz – a lucky girl and one to keep an eye on in the future


      " I don't think I can jump that small a fence!" says In The Black as he takes the last fence on course