US EVENTER Phillip Dutton is pinning his Olympic hopes on an Aussie mount, Heath Ryan's Mystery Whisper.
Ryan recently sold Mystery Whisper to clients of Dutton, Jim and Arden Wildasin.
And Dutton, at last weekend's Red Hills CIC three-star competition at Tallahassee, in the US, has already had success.
Heath bred the horse and competed him to four-star level before the sale.
Mystery Whisper completed the third-fastest round in the division and, in doing so, became one of that country's best Olympic prospects with a strong finishing on a 35.7 score.
Heath's sound dressage training and the horse's natural talent for this section meant that Phillip's score was about 80 per cent of the available marks, and with a clean jumping round and only a few time faults, they are already being talked about as a star quality combination.
Phillip was born in Nyngan, NSW, and in 1991, moved to the US to train in a more internationally competitive environment, and to prepare for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, at which he was a member of Australia's gold medal three-day eventing team.
Since his move to the US, Phillip has represented Australia in three Olympics and four World Championships.
In 2006, Phillip became an American citizen and changed his competitive nationality so he would be eligible to represent the US.
Apart from Mystery Whisper, Dutton rode another seven horses at the event.
His other three-star mounts were Ben and William Penn.