On the heels of the USEF’s naming of Phillip Dutton as the 2016 Equestrian of the Year, the HND Group’s Mighty Nice has now been crowned the 2016 International Horse of the Year.
Mighty Nice, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, was Phillip Dutton’s Rio Olympic partner, helping him earn an individual bronze medal for Team USA. He also finished fourth at Rolex Kentucky in 2016, marking his third finish in the top 10 at the North American CCI4*.
The HND Group, consisting of Evie Dutton, Annie Jones, Caroline Moran, Michael Bombar and Kevin Keane, stepped up to support Phillip’s journey with “Happy” after his owner, Bruce Duchossois, lost his battle with cancer in 2014. Bruce is certainly smiling as a wonderful year comes to a close for a very special horse.
“Thank you so much to all who voted for HND Group’s Mighty Nice to be named US Equestrian International Horse of the Year. It’s an incredible honor and very humbling for our team and Happy’s owners, Annie Jones, Caroline Moran, Kevin Keane, Michael Bombar and Evie Dutton,” Phillip said.
“He’s such a deserving horse, not just in the way he competes but in how he loves life. He is a wonderful example of an event horse because while he’s not super brilliant in any one phase, he genuinely loves competing and puts his heart into it. It’s amazing what you can achieve when all that comes together.
“His late owner Bruce Duchossois believed strongly in Happy’s talent and loved this horse, and our team dedicates this win to him and also to Lee Lee. We have been overwhelmed by the amount of love and support our family has received in the past 24 hours. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Please join us in congratulating Phillip and Happy on their 2016 haul of awards: USEF Equestrian and International Horse of the year, USEA Overall Horse of the Year and Advanced Horse of the Year, USEA Advanced Rider of the Year and EN Horse and Rider of the Year. Additionally, thanks to all who chose to #VoteHappy during the voting process for the USEF awards.
Mighty Nice, owned by the HnD Group, is the 2016 International Horse of the Year! Congratulations! #DiscovertheJoy
Posted by US Equestrian on Saturday, January 14, 2017