Twins, medals and Irish-breds: eight things you didn’t know about three-time Olympic medallist Phillip Dutton

  • Olympic eventing medallist Phillip Dutton is one of the US’s leading event riders – find out all about him here…

    1. Originally from New South Wales, Australia, Phillip moved to the USA in 1991 and changed nationality to ride for the USA in 2006.

    2. He has twin daughters, Olivia and Mary, with his wife Evie and a stepdaughter, Lee Lee Jones. Lee Lee is in rehabilitation following a serious brain injury just before Christmas 2016, when a horse she was cantering bucked, slipped over and landed on her.

    3. Phillip has ridden at six Olympics – three for Australia, winning two team golds in 1996 (on True Blue Girdwood) and 2000 (on House Doctor) – and three for the USA. He has also won two Pan American team golds with the US squad and individual silver in 2007 on Truluck.

    4. He picked up his first individual medal at Rio 2016, where he rose from 15th after dressage to take the individual bronze on Mighty Nice, known as Happy. The horse was one of Phillip’s reserve mounts originally, stepping up when Fernhill Cubalawn strained a tendon in his final gallop before travelling to the US training camp. Rio was an eventful competition for the pair who had an incredible save at fence six across country and suffered a tack malfunction in the showjumping, plus Mighty Nice was held at the final horse inspection.

    5. Phillip’s daughter Olivia events and competed Phillip’s former five-star horse Mr Medicott before he retired in 2018. Mr Medicott was an incredible servant to eventing, competing at the top level with Germany’s Frank Ostholt (Olympic team gold in 2008), Karen O’Connor (ninth individually at the London Olympics in 2012) and Phillip, who finished fourth on him at Pau and Kentucky five-stars.

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    6. Phillip Dutton is a fan of Irish-bred horses, including his Rio medallist Mighty Nice. Agent Carol Gee found Mighty Nice – previously called Over The Vee – for Phillip as a six-year-old, even putting up part of the money herself and letting him pay her back when he had the funds. Carol’s prefix is Fernhill and Phillip has also ridden several Fernhill horses.

    7. The rider is based in Pennsylvania but usually spends part of the year in Aiken, South Carolina, where he can take advantage of better weather and more competitions earlier in the season.

    8. He has finished in the top 10 at five-star (previously four-star) multiple times, including at both Badminton and Burghley, and won once at this top level – at Kentucky 2008 on Connaught.

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