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Mr Medicott Shows Star Potential
Strzegom, Poland

Frank Ostholt (GER), a key member of the senior German team on the experienced Air Jordan, proved he has strength in depth with his horsepower when his eight-year-old Mr Medicott became the youngest horse to win an FEI World Cup Eventing qualifier this year, at Strzegom (POL).

Ostholt, 31, holder of world team gold and European team bronze medals and a the 2006 winner of Luhmuhlen CCI 4* (GER), now leaps into second place in the FEI World Cup Eventing rankings on 143 points, 33 behind the clear leader, Oliver Townend (GBR). Jonathan Holling (USA) is third on 138.

At Strzegom, which is a permanent competition site near Wroclaw and where the FEI World Cup Eventing qualifier was shown on live television, Ostholt added just 0.8 cross-country time penalties to his third-placed dressage score of 45.3 to finish on a total score of 46.1.

Mr Medicott's early promise was proved when finishing fifth at the Young Horse World Championships in Le Lion d'Angers (FRA) last year, a competition which regularly points to future champions. The Irish-bred Mr Medicott (by Cruising) was bought from former British team rider Nigel Taylor, with whom Ostholt once trained.

Last year's Strzegom winners, Piia Pantsu (FIN) and Ypaja Karuso, world bronze medallists in 2002, finished second. They were the only combination to achieve the optimum cross-country time but had one show jump down to finish on 50.6.

Juan Carlos Garcia (ITA), a member of Italy's top show jumping team who is now showing keen interest and talent for Eventing, provided a boost to Italy, host of the forthcoming FEI European Eventing Championship at Pratoni del Vivaro (13-16 September), when finishing third on a new ride, Derby de Longueval, and jumping one of only two clear show jumping rounds (with Frank Ostholt) to finish on 55.9.

Derby de Longueval won Saumur CCI 3* in 2005 with his former rider, Jean-Lou Bigot (FRA), and should be a useful recruit for the Italians who, as host nation in Pratoni, are allowed to field 12 riders.

The dressage leader, Dirk Schrade (GER) on Adm.v.Schneider, who scored the only sub-40 mark (39.4) led after cross-country on 43.4, but dropped to eventual fourth place with 16 show jumping faults.

Alice Bertoli was fifth for Italy on Oakengrove Milan (61.1) and Pawel Spisak (POL) was best of the home side in sixth on Del Piero (73.9).

Eleven nations were represented among the 34 starters with the dressage phase a German whitewash, with Simone Deiterman in second (43.7) on Free Easy NRW, but she was one of 10 riders who failed to complete the cross-country designed by Christian Zehe (GER).

The most problems occurred at the water complex and several riders opted for the long route there. Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR), course-designer for the Hong Kong Olympics next year, who was paying his first visit to Strzegom, described the cross-country as: "Not an easy site on which to design. It is long and narrow, and therefore involves several loops and intense jumping. The organisers do very well to run so many varied courses on one site."

He added: "It was a very well-run event and had a great atmosphere. I was most impressed."

The 2007 FEI World Cup Eventing series stays in Eastern Europe, with the next qualifier taking place at Minsk (BLR) on 12-15 July.  

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