By Marietta Henry
In preparation for White Pine County Horse Races, the Ely Times will have a special feature that Marietta Henry will be authoring. The features will be about horse owners and trainers of the horses that race on the track. These articles will be specific to the participants who will be coming for the White Pine County Horse Races scheduled for August 16, 17, and 18 this yea.
This week, I’m featuring Stuart Pope. Stuart has been working around and racing horses for 44 years, and is from Sandy, Utah.
Stuart’s story is truly inspirational and noteworthy, given the fact of the serious accident he had with his horse, Silver Sensation in Elko, Nevada in 2014. Stuart was in the saddling paddock when the accident occurred and ended up breaking his neck in two different places. It was actually between two and four hours before he was flown to University of Utah hospital for surgery, after being checked at Elko’s hospital. The doctors (four surgeons) put in 2 rods, 4 plates and 14 screws in his neck. This surgery took a total of 10 hours to complete. As a result, Stuart has limited movement with his neck.
In spite of all of this, Stuart continues to train and race horses, even though the doctors have warned him about the dangers of any further injury to this area of his body, could result in total paralysis.
This is a true testament to his love of racing and determination to continue doing what he truly enjoys doing best of all. Stuart’s daytime job has been working as a welder for many years. This year, he was hired by Salt Lake County Equestrian Park to manage their track.
His current racing horses are: Continental Song, Prater Sixty-four, and Shack of Love. He still has Hot Fusion (now retired), which he won the Elko Futurity and Elko Derby in, and Silver Cinders. Hot Fusion gave him his highest winning overall purse earnings of $44,062.
All of Stuart’s horses are Thoroughbreds.
Silver Sensation is retired as a racing horse, as is being used for Show Jumping in Arizona.
Stuart’s idol was his Grandfather, Harold (H.O.) Turner who was from Wells, Nevada and he raced in Wells, Ely, Elko and Winnemucca.
Happy Trails to you, and hope to see you at the races this year!