Aussie turned American medals in eventing

Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:26pm EDT
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By Caroline Stauffer

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Phillip Dutton's individual eventing bronze medal was not his first time on an Olympic podium, but it was his first medal for the United States.

Dutton, 52, a six-time Olympian, twice took team gold representing Australia before he became a U.S. citizen in 2006 and began competing for the country he has lived in since 1991.

"In Australia people learn to ride not quite so much in an orchestrated way... they learn to ride on their own a bit more," said Dutton, who grew up riding on his parents' sheep and wheat farm. "In America it's a bit more managed," he told Reuters.

"The U.S. has had some great riders as well traditionally, hopefully there will be more medals ahead."

Eventing, one of three Olympic equestrian competitions, requires galloping over giant obstacles in an open cross country field and also completing a dressage test and stadium jumping.

Dutton needed to turn to sheer grit as well as skill to get through Monday's tough cross country course when he lost a stirrup but still managed to clear a difficult combination with the horse Mighty Nice.

The 2004 Irish Sport Horse had a personal best in dressage, and was in fourth place with Dutton, who is based in Pennsylvania, going into Tuesday's final show jumping round.

"I had a rail down and was thinking hopefully I’d stay in fourth, then the guy in front of me had two rails down," said Dutton, who was seen hugging Mighty Nice after the competition.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Equestrian - Victory Ceremony - Eventing Individual Victory Ceremony - Olympic Equestrian Centre - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 09/08/2016. Astier Nicolas (FRA) of France, Michael Jung (GER) of Germany and Phillip Dutton (USA) of USA celebrate their medals. REUTERS/Tony Gentile