The German Federation confirmed on Nov. 17 that Mr. Medicott, the Olympic mount of German 2008 Olympic team gold medalist Frank Ostholt, has been sold to top U.S. eventer Karen O’Connor.
The German eventing scene was shocked by the news, since the 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cruising—Slieveluachra, Edmund Burke) is the third mount under consideration for the 2012 German Olympic eventing team that has been sold out of the country, along with Andreas Dibowski’s Butts Leon (to Thai eventer Nina Ligon) and Kai Ruder’s Charlie Weld (to U.S. rider Julian Stiller). This may make defending Germany’s 2008 Olympic team gold more difficult.
Ostholt also competed Mr. Medicott at last year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, but he won European individual bronze aboard Little Paint in 2011.
Reinhard Wendt, manager of the German Olympic Committee for Equestrian Sports and sport director of the German federation said, “We regret the sale of the horse very much. We had been in contact with the owner of the horse, and we’d worked out some models for how we could have secured Mr. Medicott. But we understand they made a different decision that was not in our favor.”
Mr. Medicott’s previous owner, Gerd-Hermann Horst, has announced that he will continue to sponsor the German eventing scene and will invest part of the money he received for Mr. Medicott into young horses for Ostholt.
Wendt was still optimistic about the German eventing team’s chances. “In the eventing discipline we still have sufficient top mounts to have a chance to successfully defend our Olympic title, but further drop-outs of potential Olympic mounts would weaken us very much,” he said.
Ostholt told German equestrian magazine St. Georg that he would have loved to continue to ride Mr. Medicott, but he also understood the decision of his owner. “When you pay the bills each month, there comes a point when you want to see some money coming back,” he said.
German team coach Hans Melzer told St. Georg: “Mr. Medicott was a fixed quantity in our plan for London, especially the London cross-country course, which would have been his thing. What makes it worse for us is that he will come to a very strong rider, which will reinforce our competitors.”