Florida-based Nicholas Fyffe Gets Ride on Lumberjack with Goal to Make Australian Olympic Team

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Nicholas Fyffe working Lumberjack in preparation for the first competition for the pair with the goal of seeking a place on Australia's Olympic team. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Nicholas Fyffe working Lumberjack in preparation for the first competition for the pair with the goal of seeking a place on Australia’s Olympic team. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 16, 2016–Florida-based Nicholas Fyffe has been given the ride on the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding Lumberjack  as a prospect for the Australian Olympic team this summer.

The horse was competed by the USA’s Susan Dutta through Medium Tour on both sides of the Atlantic for two years and was offered to Nicholas by Tim Dutta, the owner of the global horse transportation company based in New York and Florida.

Lumberjack (Laurie’s Crusador x Landadel) returned from Europe earlier this month where he had been stabled with Susie at Hof Beckerode the training center of Jürgen and Christoph Koschel in Hagen, Germany. Christoph Koschel rode Lumberjack at Small Tour for Germany in the Nations Cup in Florida in 2014.

Nicholas, 33 years old, was placed on the ownership passport ahead of the Jan. 15 deadline for registration to include a citizen of the nation for which the horse plans to compete in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August.

“It is an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often,” he said of the opportunity on Lumberjack that he rode in training two years ago.

“This is super, super exciting. There is no pressure. We want to enjoy the journey.”

Susan Dutta competing Currency DC. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Susan Dutta competing Currency DC. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Nicholas coaches Susie on her Currency DC and other horses and he is helped by the Canadian Olympic and World Games rider David Marcus whom he married last year as well as Susie–“who knows the horse better than anyone.”

The immediate “journey” is a national Grand Prix later this month with the intention of moving to CDIs during the Global circuit that runs into April.

Nicholas left Australia in 2010, first moving to Germany for six months and then to Wellington where he initially worked with the Florida-based Israeli Oded Shimoni, who competed on three World Games.

He has ridden on the Australian Nations Cup team in Wellington for the past four years on different American-owned horses.

He and David, American-born but who rides for Canada which he did on Chrevi’s Capital at the 2012 Olympic and 2014 World Games teams, moved to the Toronto area after last winter’s Global Dressage Festival.

However, they returned to Wellington in the Fall to establish a year round business based out of Stillpoint Farm. Among the riders they work with is Leah Wilson Wilkins who was the leading Canadian on Fabian in this kickoff World Cup event.

Nicholas Fyffe and Lumberjack at their Florida base at Stillpoint Farm in Wellington. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Nicholas Fyffe and Lumberjack at their Florida base at Stillpoint Farm in Wellington. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Susie Dutta, a member of the U.S. Pan American Games gold medal team in 2007 as well as riding on other teams, began riding Lumberjack after her husband, Tim, bought him as a four-year-old at the Performance Sales International auction in Germany.

“I’ve always loved the horse,” said Tim who competes along with his son, Timmy, on their polo team here.

“He’s a quirky horse with a lot of character. I love his character and his heart… like the Thoroughbreds that we ride in polo.”

Lumberjack had been tentatively sold to Taiwan but Tim decided to put a deadline on the deal and to take the horse back if it was not met.

“Nick and David and us have a good working relationship for the past three years,” he said. “We have a lot of respect for them. We’ve always believed in giving a chance to people and this was an opportunity to give this young man a chance.

“There is no pressure on Nicholas. We’ve seen him ride the horse and they have good chemistry. We’ll see where it goes and enjoy the journey with him.”

The plan is for Nicholas and Lumberjack to go to Europe with Susie and her horses after the Florida circuit with the intention of competing in the Australian selection competitions if the horse qualifies.

“We’re happy to support him on this journey and see where it goes,” Tim said.