Aiken riders make Olympic team

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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 also competed at Rolex Kentucky CCI****.

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

Phillip 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 and changed his competitive nationality, according to his Web site. 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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