Articles: Horse News
Dutton Leads American Olympic Eventing Team After Dressage
Phillip Dutton and Mystery Whisper
(photo by Shannon Brinkman)
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2012
By Joanie Morris
Greenwich, UK - The Olympic Eventing dressage concluded today and the
U.S. put in two strong performances to settle into seventh place after the
first phase. The Germans have a commanding lead on a combined score of
119.10, just clear of Australia on 122.10. The home team sits third on
127. The next five teams are separated by less than 11 points, meaning that
Monday's cross country is destined to be influential.
There is an unlikely leader at the top of the leaderboard as Yoshiaki Oiwa
took control for Japan with Noonday de Conde on a score of 38.1. He leads
the six horses from five countries who broke the 40 mark. Stefano
Brecciaroli from Italy sits second with the horse he placed second on
following the dressage at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games,
Apollo WD Wendi Kurt Hoev. Seven-time Olympian (and two-time Individual Gold
medalist) Mark Todd rounds out the top three for New Zealand with Campino.
Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) leads the way individually for the USA. He
rode Jim and
PD and Whisper
Phillip Dutton and Mystery Whisper (photo by Shannon Brinkman)
Arden Wildasin's Mystery Whisper to an impressive performance - scoring 44.1
for the effort and into 19th place. Judged by Anne-Mette Binder, Nick Burton
and Gillian Rolton, Mystery Whisper had small mistakes in each halt, the
first one preempted by a spook going around the main arena, but was
otherwise all class.
"He got right down to business in there but I would have liked a slightly
better score," said Dutton. "You're always aiming pretty high, I'm pleased
without being thrilled. He cantered quite well and I got the trot going - I
probably didn't have as much trot as I did outside because of the
atmosphere, I probably could have pushed a little more. I thought he
executed the movements well. My plan was to go in there and have him as soft
as possible, the judges want to see a soft picture so I wanted to get the
trot without holding him and making him tight in his neck - that was the
This is a new partnership, Mystery Whisper arrived from Australia in
December and settled right in to Dutton's program. The 12-year-old
Australian Warmblood was bred by Heath Ryan to be a dressage horse, but rose
to the CCI4* level in eventing instead.
"His dressage has always been there - I am trying to learn what he knows,"
said Dutton. "He was with Heath Ryan who is a brilliant dressage rider - I
can't take any credit for the way he goes. We've been working on his fitness
a bit. He's a great horse and he loves to compete, this is his life. He
loves big shows and being the center of attention."
Dutton, one of the most renowned cross country riders in the world, is
looking forward to tackling Sue Benson's cross-country course tomorrow - he
will have a significant wait - with a start time of 4:34. The five-time
Olympian will again ride in the anchor position for Team USA. The course is
built on the side of the hills of Greenwich which offers spectacular viewing
but undulating ground. While the jumps are not the most difficult - the
terrain will be the factor.
"It should be good, although he's not a thoroughbred he's a pretty nippy
little guy and so far we've had a good record on the cross country," said
Dutton. "I don't go until the end of the day so I'll have a fair idea of how
quick you've got to go. I think it's a case of having to go as fast as you
can and having something left at the end."
Will Coleman (Charlottesville, VA) had a super test on Jim Wildasin's
Twizzel - scoring 46.3 on the 16-year-old veteran Westphalian
gelding. Twizzel coped remarkably well with the atmosphere that was
affecting a lot of horses throughout the day. They
finished up in 26th place.
"Maybe I had 10 minutes too much in the warm-up but it's hard to judge,"
said Coleman. "You're never know how they are going to react he just went
down there like nothing even happened - like he was in another warm up, he
was good but I think I left a few marks on the table."
Always a perfectionist, Coleman was disappointed with a few movements in his
test but the overall picture was relaxed and forward and the judges rewarded
"I think we got a decent score up there for our team and that is the
important thing," said Coleman. "I would love to have it back to do over
again but they don't give you second chances. For the time being I'm pleased
and I am going to go ahead and look forward to tomorrow."
Coleman echoed Dutton's sentiment's on the cross country course -
reinforcing the fact that the optimum time of 10 minutes and 3 seconds would
be hard to get. He's aiming for a double clear when he starts at 3:30.
It was a big day for the Wildasin family, to have both of their horses
top-placed for the United States. Jim, Sarah and their daughter Arden were
all on hand.
Cross-country begins at a very civilized 12:30 PM and Boyd Martin will lead
the way for the United States on the Otis Barbotiere Syndicate's Otis
Barbotiere. They are in equal 36th place after the dressage. Karen O'Connor
will be second out for the U.S. on the Mr. Medicott Syndicate's Mr. Medicott
at 1:26, they are on an overnight score of 48.2 in 29th place. Tiana Coudray
will ride Jatial, Inc's Ringwood Magister in the third position, taking
their score of 52.0 on to the cross country course at 2:26.
The American dressage horses have arrived in fine form and had their first
taste of the venue today. Calecto V, Rafalca, Ravel and Wizard got to see
the sights and have an easy school in Greenwich Park. Their competition
begins on August 2nd.
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation is to provide
for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
of its human and equine athletes