September 2016 Issue - page 4

Page 4
September 2016
Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice Win Olympic Bronze
Phillip Dutton, West Grove,
PA, won the Individual Bronze
medal in eventing at the Rio
Olympic Games with a final
score of 51.8. Michael Jung of
Germany won Gold and Nicolas
Astier of France took home the
Silver medal.
Dutton posted “WHAT A
HORSE! HND Group’s Mighty
Nice had just one rail down
between his two show jumping
rounds today to win the indi-
vidual bronze medal at the 2016
Olympic Games. Considering
the incredible effort he made
yesterday on cross country, I
could not be more proud of the
way Happy jumped today. I’ve
never had a horse with a bigger
heart. Even when he is tired or
not feeling his best, he just keeps
“I truly think he genuinely
loves the sport, and I’m thrilled
for the horse and his owners,
Caroline Moran, Kevin Keane,
Annie Jones, Michael Bombar
and Evie Dutton. His late owner
Bruce Duchossois believed very
strongly in the talent of this
horse. We wish Bruce could
have been here to see Happy win
a bronze medal at the Olympics,
but we know he is watching over
“We wouldn't be here
without the help of many, many
people. Thank you to Emma
Ford — who deserves this medal
as much as I do — my family,
my owners, my sponsors and
especially to everyone who has
cheered us on back home. We
have been overwhelmed by the
support and are so excited to
bring an Olympic medal home to
the USA.”
The US team stood in sixth
place, tied with New Zealand, af-
ter dressage. Dutton and Mighty
Nice had a personal best score
at the four-star level, a 43.60
and stood 15th individually, the
highest-placed American combi-
The trailblazer for the
U.S. team was Boyd Martin
(Cochranville, Pa.), riding the
Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate
LLC's Blackfoot Mystery. Mar-
tin guided the gelding brilliant-
ly in the electric atmosphere,
scoring 47.70. Martin was proud
of the gelding, stating, "He's still
a bit inexperienced and he did
get a little bit excited with the
cheering, but he kept his cool
and did a good job. I was thrilled
there were no big mistakes. I
couldn't have asked for much
more." Martin was in 17th place
individually at the end of the
first day of dressage.
Cross Country
Cross-country, the heart of
eventing competition, proved to
be demanding for the 64 athlete-
and-horse combinations, as only
three entries finished double-
clear, and only 26 crossed the
finish without jumping penalties.
U.S. veterans Phillip Dutton and
Boyd Martin rode brilliantly and
stood fifth and sixth, respectively,
entering Tuesday's concluding
show jumping phase. Dutton and
Martin were the only members
of the U.S. team to complete the
course, dropping the U.S. from
contention in the team competi-
Technical and bold, Pierre
Michelet's course was packed
with angles, skinnies, and cor-
ners, and it radically changed
the individual and team stand-
ings. At the end, Australia led
the team competition with a
score of 150.30, followed by
New Zealand in second with
154.80, and France in third with
Riding penultimate in the
order, Dutton and Mighty Nice
set out on course focused on
taking the most direct route. They
survived a suspenseful bobble
at fence 6b, a corner brush,
and were able to keep on target
and finish with only 3.20 time
penalties, heading into the show
jumping phase with a score of
"That (fence 6b) actually sur-
prised me a bit," said Dutton. "He
must not have quite understood
it, and then I held him in and
just got it done, and then I was
just trying to catch up for time.
He jumped beautifully after that.
He's not the fastest horse; he's not
a Thoroughbred, but he fought
really hard right to the very end
and came home nicely."
Leading the charge as first
out for the U.S. on cross-country
was Martin and Blackfoot Mys-
tery. Cruising out of the start box,
Martin produced a fast, clean
round, and even after taking the
alternate route at two obstacles,
picked up just 3.20 time penal-
ties. Adding to his dressage score
of 47.70, he finished the day with
a score of 50.90.
"This was one of the most
physical and demanding courses.
It was intense," Martin said. "He
[Blackfoot Mystery] is a race-
horse from Kentucky, and he kept
fighting the whole way home; he
tried his heart out for every jump.
He has speed and endurance; I'm
so pleased with him."
Leading the individual
standings after the cross-country
phase was Australia's Christo-
pher Burton riding Santano II
on his dressage score of 37.60.
(Continued on page 12)
Though the US team did not medal as two riders failed to complete
cross country, Phillip Dutton, right, earned individual Bronze.
Photo credit: Shannon Brinkman
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