Stark hopes to score on Rangitoto

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The Independent Online

Ian Stark's two Olympic mounts remain in quarantine at Eddy and Mandy Stibbe's yard near Sandy in Bedfordshire this weekend, while the Scot rides Rangitoto in the Scottish Open championship at the Thirlestane Castle Horse Trials.

Ian Stark's two Olympic mounts remain in quarantine at Eddy and Mandy Stibbe's yard near Sandy in Bedfordshire this weekend, while the Scot rides Rangitoto in the Scottish Open championship at the Thirlestane Castle Horse Trials.

The New Zealand-bred grey had a frustrating start to the year, having pulled out of Badminton after the dressage because of a poisoned leg. Later that month the horse was withdrawn after the steeplechase at Punchestown in Ireland, where he slipped on boggy ground and crashed through a fence.

Rangitoto had been back in work for six weeks when finishing 14th earlier this month in the British Open championship at Gatcombe Park. Stark had a few hairy moments there with the athletic grey, who managed to extricate himself from all sorts of trouble at the three corners of the Land Rover Folly.

Stark, who last won the Scottish title in 1988 with another spectacular grey, Murphy Himself, will be up against a field that includes the new partnership of Polly Clark on Oscar and Christopher Ward with Evening Masquerade, the horse he lent to Michael Whitaker when he was runner-up in the Eventing Grand Prix at Hickstead last month.

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