Six-time Olympian and three-time Olympic medalist Phillip Dutton spent the winter in Wellington doing what most competitive riders with high aspirations do—training with the experts.

Now he’s reaping the reward of those efforts with upcoming mount Carlchen.

“This winter in Wellington served him well, as I had [renown dressage trainer] Scott Hassler and [U.S. Eventing High Performance Director] Erik Duvander training me in dressage every week to 10 days,” said Dutton.

“Being in the Wellington environment where you are exposed to great horsemanship and top dressage riders on a daily basis also makes you aim that much higher and expect that much more.”

It resulted in that much more in the ring, too.

Dutton and Carlchen set a new United States Eventing Association (USEA) record on Friday with a score of 15.0 in the Advanced Test B Division at Pine Top Advanced Horse Trials in Thomson, GA.

“I’m very proud of Carlchen. In dressage, you always feel that you can do things better; I know there’s still some throughness and softness that I can continue to improve, but he is obviously a huge talent,” said Dutton.

Here’s moderately useful footage of that test:

The pair went on to win the Advanced Test B Division on Saturday with a final score of 34.2.

Previously competed through the CCI3* level with Stuart Tinney (AUS), Francis Whittington (GBR) and Michelle Kenny (IRL), Carlchen, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding, was purchased for Dutton in the fall of 2019. A minor injury followed by pandemic event cancellations kept him out of competition until October 2020.

Time off well spent!