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PREPARTION PERFO A close look at the US Eventing Team members as the


athlete-and-horse combinations for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Squad for the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018. The Games take place September 11–23 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, North Carolina. The team horses competed


I


in a combined test at Great Meadow (Virginia) on July 6-7, and will have a mandatory outing at Bromont (Canada) in August. Before the Games, the team will spend about a week at a training camp at Will Faudree’s Gavilan Farm near Southern Pines, North Carolina, before shipping to TIEC. How did each horse and rider


become qualified? What kind of preparation for the WEG is in store for each horse? Each rider shares his or her individual game plan for the weeks leading up to Bromont and the WEG.


16 September/October 2018 By Amber Heintzberger


n early July, the US Equestrian Federation announced five


Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) and the bay gelding Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide (by Asca Z out of Bellabouche) owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Caroline Moran and Ann Jones.


Phillip is a six-time Olympian and has competed at every Olympic Games from 1996 until 2016, the first three times for Austra- lia and then for the U.S. since 2008. He has competed at the World Equestrian Games in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Bred in Belgium by


Thomas van Bezouw, Z was purchased through Fernhill Horses after he had placed seventh in Le Lion d’Angers CCI1* 6-year-old World Cham- pionships in 2014. Z also competed briefly as a Grand Prix show jumper before being sold. He won his first CIC3* at The Fork in the spring of 2018 at the WEG Test Event, then went on to finish fourth in his first CCI4* at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event at the end of April, a performance the selectors could not ignore. “It’s rewarding because we bought him as a six-year-old and have brought


Phillip Dutton and Z at the WEG Test Event at The Fork in early April.


him along,” says Phillip. “The group of people in his ownership are really dedi- cated to him as well as to the sport, and they’ve been a great support to me.” Phillip says Z has always been a talented athlete, but can also be volatile and gets wound up in all three phases of an event, so his focus is on getting the horse to perform his best on the “big stage.” “He’s a horse that really catches your eye—even an inexperienced person


can tell he’s a talented horse, and we all knew it was there, so it was a matter of being patient,” he says. “Obviously the team selection came on a bit early in his career—some of the horses in my barn, like Mighty Nice and Fernhill Cubalawn, were sidelined so Z had to step up.” In the past couple of years the Dutton family has experienced extreme


 All photos by Amber Heintzberger


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