Phillip Dutton recently added another top prospect to his barn when owners Tom Tierney and Simon Roosevelt purchased Fernhill Cubalawn. The horse was formerly ridden by Alexandra Green and owned by Paul Green.
Dutton and “Cuba” are already making a name for themselves with a win in the CIC** at the Cosequin Stuart Horse Trials, July 10-14 in Victor, N.Y.
“I’m excited about that and about his prospect,” said Dutton of the 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Con Capitol—Corse Lawn, Arkan). “I’ve sort of helped Alex on the horse from time to time, so I knew him pretty well before I bought him. I rode him in the intermediate at Surefire [(Va.), in June] and just took him around quietly to get to know him. But [at Stuart] I tried to push a few of the buttons and go a bit quicker. I couldn’t be more pleased with him. He looks like he might be a nice horse for the future.”
With Alex, Cuba finished 14th at the Dansko Fair Hill International CCI*** (Md.) in 2012 and 10th in the Volvo Bromont CCI*** (Quebec) in 2013. They were aiming for the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** this spring until a rider fall on cross-country in their final prep at The Fork CIC*** (N.C.) derailed their plans.
Dutton, 50, West Grove, Pa., hopes for even more improvement with Cuba as they get to know each other.
“He’s doesn’t give you that brilliant look or feel, but he’s very consistent in all three phases,” he said. “He’s a nice, quiet horse and has nice movement without being flashy, and he does all the movements that he has to quite easily. He’s a good, honest cross-country horse, and I think with the right rider it’s going to be a good horse in the show jumping as well. I liked the idea that Alex had done a good job establishing and training him, and he was sort of ready to go and was pretty consistent in all three phases.”
Dutton plans to take Cuba to the Blenheim Palace CCI*** (England) in September if their summer competitions go to plan.
“I think he’s up to it, and obviously I’ll see how he goes at Millbrook [N.Y.] and make a decision. Certainly Fair Hill would be a backup,” he said.