USA Eventing Team member Phillip Dutton, along with his mount Mighty Nice, capped off three days of brilliant riding in Rio by scoring the Individual Bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Dutton’s bronze-winning rides totaled up a final score of 51.80, behind gold medalist Michael Jung, of Germany, and silver medalist Nicolas Astier, of France.
The Rio games are the sixth Olympics for Dutton, and his third time competing as a U.S. citizen. The 53-year-old Australian native is the oldest U.S. Olympian.
65 equestrians represented 43 countries in this year’s Olympic Equestrian three day event. Team USA finished in 12th place, and only two Americans, Dutton and Boyd Martin, were part of the 25 that advanced to the individual finals.
The first round of the event included a Dressage test score of 43.6, and a 3.2 time penalty in Cross Country for Team USA. Dutton’s first round of show jumping added only one time fault and no jumping penalties, securing his advancement into the finals and put him in medal contention in fourth place with a score of 47.80.
Dutton’s final round, an individual jumping course with nine fences, included one fence down and ended with a final score of 51.8, boosting him to the podium for the Bronze medal.
“It’s been a great weekend for the horse. It’s a great achievement for him. The guy who owned him, Bruce Duchossois, would be proud of him,” said Dutton. “I was happy with fourth but ecstatic with third! It was a grand achievement, although a disappointing day for the team yesterday. So we just had to get up and do our best today. I’m so pleased with the horse; I don’t think I’ve had a horse with a bigger heart. He genuinely loves the sport.”
The Olympic Equestrian competition continues this week with the Dressage Grand Prix and Individual Show Jumping competitions.