Jul 24, 2021

Tokyo Team Member: Phillip Dutton and Z

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
Erin Gilmore Photo

Phillip Dutton and Z are on the road to Tokyo! Dutton, the 6-time Olympian, is going into his 7th Olympic Games. Dutton’s first three Olympics he represented Australia and helped secure the team gold medal twice (1996 - team gold, 2000 - team gold, and 2004). The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games were the first Olympic Games that Dutton rode for the U.S., and he has been on the U.S. Olympic team ever since. Dutton’s most recent Olympic performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, he earned the individual bronze medal with Mighty Nice.

For 2021, Dutton’s Olympic mount is Z, a 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Ann Jones, Caroline Moran, Simon Roosevelt, and Suzanne Lacy. Z and Dutton have a strong and successful partnership together - they were the highest placed American pair at the 2018 Tryon World Equestrian Games. They have completed the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4*-L three times and have finished in the top 10 every time. They have jumped double clear in show jumping at every outing for the past two years, and they most recently finished second at the 2020 Tryon International CCI4*-L, second at the 2021 Stable View CCI4*-S, and eighth at the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L.

This strong combination has also earned over 14 national titles as Dutton has been the USEA Rider of the Year an impressive thirteen times (1998, 2000 - 2010, 2012), and Z was the 2019 Horse of the Year.

USEA/ Leslie Mintz Photo


Get to know more about the veteran Olympian and the horse he’ll be riding from Dutton himself.

  • How did you find out that you made the team for Tokyo?

“I had heard from Jenni [Autry] that we would be notified by email about the selection before it was announced publicly. So, I kept checking my emails.”

  • Who will be traveling with you to Tokyo?

“In Tokyo, I will obviously have Emma looking after Z. Because of the COVID restrictions, none of Z’s owners decided to come - this made it possible then for Evie and Olivia to attend.”

  • Do you have any superstitious/unique routines before cross-country with Z?

“I’m superstitious about not being superstitious.”

  • What other Olympic sports interest you the most?

“I like watching all sports. I guess the 100m dash is the highlight.”

  • Can you share a little about what Z is like around the barn?

“Z started in our barn originally being pretty quiet and shy. As he has moved up the levels, he’s gained much more confidence and interacts with people a lot more easily now. His favorite [person] is definitely Emma, though.”

Z was also the January USEA Horse of the Month in 2020, and more details can be found here: USEA Horse of the Month: Z.

USEA/Claire Kelley Photo


The USEA would like to wish Dutton, Z, and Team USA the best of luck in Tokyo! Make sure to tune in as the eventing competition is in less than a week, with dressage starting on Friday, July 30 (Tokyo time).

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