Olympic gold-medallist and five-star eventer dies aged 24 after happy retirement

  • Olympic team gold medallist and five-star campaigner Mr Medicott has died in retirement aged 24.

    The Cruising son was campaigned by five riders to represent two nations during his international career, which boasted two Olympics and a World Equestrian Games.

    Mr Medicott scored placings at CCI5* with Frank Ostholt, Karen O’Connor and Phillip Dutton. He was also part of the German gold medal-winning team at Beijing 2008 with Frank and finished ninth at London 2012 with Karen.

    “He was certainly a character,” said Philip. “He enjoyed life and was one of those ones that pinned his ears and tried to bite you as you were doing up the girth, but he liked the attention and liked to be hugged.

    “He was pretty prepared to express himself, it didn’t matter whether it was good or bad. He was very confident in himself. He was certainly one of those horses who truly loved what he did.”

    The Irish Sport Horse gelding was bred by Donal Geany in Ireland and was produced by Francis Connors, before Herman Horst acquired him as a six-year-old for Frank. The pair were fifth at the seven-year-old World Championships and two years later would finish third at Pau CCI5* and help Germany to top the podium at the 2008 Olympics.

    They finished 21st at the World Equestrian Games in 2010, and the horse would return to the US the following spring – this time under new ownership.

    He was bought by the Mr Medicott Syndicate, which included Sarah Broussard, Jacqueline Mars and Suzanne Lacy, as a prospective London 2012 Olympic ride for Karen. The pair were fourth at Kentucky in 2012 before finishing ninth and the highest-placed US combination at the London Games.

    After London, Mark Hart and the Event Owners Task Force joined the Mr Medicott Syndicate to secure the ride for Philip.

    “Unfortunately for me, I got him towards the end of his career, but it was still a great experience to have a horse of that quality,” said Philip. “He had three very good phases. He wasn’t a dead-quiet horse at the show; you had to work him down to get a good test out of him, but he had a very good dressage and was a brilliant cross-country horse, and then a phenomenal show jumper as well.”

    Their achievements included fourth place at both Pau and Kentucky. In 2017, Phillip passed the reins to his daughter, Olivia, with Mr Medicott enjoying a schoolmaster role in his senior years.

    He was formally retired in a ceremony at Rebecca Farm in 2018 and lived out his days at Mrs Mars’ Stonehall Farm in Virginia.

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