Nov 21, 2023

Dutton Announces Z’s Retirement

By Lindsay Berreth - USEA Staff
Phillip Dutton and Z. USEA/Lindsay Berreth photo

Phillip Dutton announced today that his longtime five-star partner Z has been retired from upper level competition after incurring an injury at the Pau CCI5*-L (France) in October.

The pair completed the cross-country, but Dutton withdrew the 15-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Asca Z x Bellabouche) before show jumping.

“Z sustained some injuries on the cross country at the CCI5* Les Etoiles de Pau last month, and his rehab and recovery will be extensive,” said Dutton in a Facebook post. “At 15 years old, it would not be in Z’s best interest to try to bring him back to the level of fitness and training needed for the international level. He will get all the medical attention and rehab that he needs to set him up for the next, easier chapter in his life.”

A group of owners purchased Z for Dutton as a 6-year-old on the advice of Carol Gee of Fernhill Sport Horses. He’s now owned by Ann Jones, Suzanne Lacey, Caroline Moran, Thomas Tierney, Dave and Patricia Vos, and Dutton’s wife Evie Dutton.

Francisco Seabra of Portugal started Z in his first international competitions, but after his death in a cross-country accident in Spain in 2015 on another horse, his brother, Duarte Seabra, took over the ride and campaigned him in a few international events and show jumping competitions. When Duarte turned his focus to international show jumping, he decided to sell Z.

Phillip, West Grove, Pennsylvania, competed Z at his first CCI5*-L at Land Rover Kentucky in 2018 where they finished fourth. They went on to represent the U.S at the FEI World Equestrian Games at Tryon in North Carolina that fall where they finished 13th individually.

The following spring, they returned to Kentucky to finish seventh, won the Stable View CCI4*-S (Aiken, South Carolina) in September, and finished seventh at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International (Elkton, Maryland) in October.

In 2020 the pair had a light year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the highlight being a second-place finish at the Tryon International CCI4*-L (Mill Spring, North Carolina) in November.

An eighth-place finish at in 2021 helped Dutton and Z earn a spot on the U.S. team for the Tokyo Olympic Games where they finished 21st individually and in sixth place with the team.

They headed to Badminton (England) in 2022 where they finished 26, then went on to the MARS Maryland 5 Star (Elkton, Maryland) where they were fourth.

This spring they were fifth at Kentucky, then went on to win team silver and finish in individual sixth at the Aachen CCIO4*-S (Germany). They won their final prep run before Pau at the Stable View CCI4*-S in September.

“Z is an incredible athlete who always gave his all. Sometimes he gave too much, as many of you witnessed us before the start box!” said Dutton. “I will never have a horse with a bigger heart.”

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