Aiken riders head to China

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Two riders with Aiken connections, Heidi White and Phillip Dutton, have been named to the equestrian team that will represent the United States in this year's Olympics.

White and Northern Spy, a 15-year-old bay English thoroughbred gelding, will be one of five horse/rider combinations that will compete in eventing, the U.S. Equestrian Federation announced Tuesday.

The pair has enjoyed success in eventing, which consists of dressage, cross-country and show jumping. White and Northern Spy won The Fork CIC***W division at The Fork Horse Trails earlier this year and competed at Rolex Kentucky CCI****.

White, 42, represented the U.S. in the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Germany and was a reserve rider for the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.

Dutton, of West Grove, Pa., will ride Connaught, a 15-year-old Irish gelding that is owned by Aiken's Bruce Duchossois.

Dutton, 44, is a former Olympic gold medalist who has a farm in Aiken where he trains and teaches.

A native of Australia, Dutton became a U.S. citizen in 2006. He has been the leading rider in his sport nine times in the United States.

He also is listed as an alternate with Woodburn, a 13-year-old gelding.

The team leaves this week for England and will ship out to Hong Kong, where the equestrian events will take place, at the end of July.

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