Phillip Dutton won back-to-back gold medals as a member of Australia’s equestrian teams at the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. He also represented Australia at the 2004 Olympics, and the United States at the 2008 Beijing Games. He was born at Nyngan, NSW, educated at Newington College and the Murrumbidgee College of Agriculture. His passion for riding began as a very young child, competing in pony-club events on his family’s farm. In 1991 he moved to the US with one horse, True Blue Girdwood, to enable him to train in a more competitive environment. He established a farm in Connecticut. As a three-day event rider, he distinguished himself on the American circuit. When he was named as the Leading Rider of the Year by the US Eventing Association in 1998, it was the first time that honour had been awarded to a non-American rider. He subsequently won the accolade in 2000, 2001 and 2002. In 2006 he announced that he was changing citizenship, allowing him to ride for the US in future.
On the victory dais with Andrew Hoy, Gillian Rolton and Wendy Schaeffer after the Australian team’s three-day victory in Atlanta, Dutton quipped: “I’m feeling a little left out” … a reference to the bruised and broken limbs suffered by Rolton and Schaeffer. In Sydney four years later, he shared the gold with Hoy (again), Matthew Ryan and Stuart Tinney. His mounts were True Blue Girdwood (Atlanta) and House Doctor (Sydney). In April 2007, riding for the US for the first time, Dutton finished second in the Rolex Kentucky three-day event. One year later he won it for the first time.
Harry Gordon, AOC Historian