Mighty Nice

Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman
(2004 – )
Owned by HnD Group
Inducted: 2017

Photos

Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman
Photo courtesy of RedBayStock.com
Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman
Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman
Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman
Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman
Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman
Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman
Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman
Rio was not going the way the United States Eventing Team had planned. There did not appear to be hope for the makings of a magical Olympic moment. That is until Mighty Nice stepped up to earn Phillip Dutton the Eventing Individual Bronze Medal.

The individual bronze medal finish marked the first individual medal for the six-time Olympian, who won two team medals when he competed with Australia. It also marked the biggest career finish for Mighty Nice.

Even more remarkable, Mighty Nice was not Dutton’s first pick and stepped in when Fernhill Cubalawn was withdrawn due to veterinary concerns. Mighty Nice, known as "Happy", was previously owned by the late Bruce Duchossois. After he passed away, a group of Bruce’s friends came together to support Happy and formed the HnD Group named after Bruce’s HnD Farm.

"I’ve had better gallopers in my time, but I don’t think I’ve had a horse with a bigger heart," Dutton said. "Happy just keeps trying. If he’s not feeling so good or he is tired he just wants to do it. He’s really maturing as a horse. I think he really genuinely loves the sport."

In 2016, Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice earned fourth-place finishes in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover CCI4* and The Fork CIC3*, and was named the 2016 International Horse of the Year by the US Equestrian.

"It takes a lot of dedication and hard work for a horse to be successful in the sport of eventing, especially at the three- and four-star level - the harmony between horse and rider that characterizes dressage, the contact with nature and stamina essential for cross country, and the precision, agility and technique involved in jumping. Happy's a pretty cool horse to be around . . . and very special to me. It's been a great achievement. Bruce [Duchossois] would be really proud of him," said Dutton.