Castle Forbes Libertina, the world-famous mare competed until recently by showjumper Jessica Kurten, was retired at Mullingar Show, Co Westmeath, last week.

Libertina, owned by Lady Georgina Forbes, had been back on Irish soil for around three weeks after being removed from Jessica’s German yard following a disagreement between the long-standing business partners (news, 3 February).

Mary Slattery, stud manager for Lady Georgina, said Libertina will be put into foal to Lady Georgina’s stallion Vivaldo.

A spokesman for Horse Sport Ireland said: “It is always disappointing when a top horse is no longer available to the Irish team, but we respect the right of owners to do as they wish with their horses.

“Lady Georgina makes a substantial contribution to Irish showjumping through her breeding operation in Ireland and we wish her well.”

Jessica Kurten told H&H: “I have lovely memories [of Libertina] and have enjoyed producing horses for Lady Georgina. Every day is a new challenge and I remind myself that I am only as good as the horse I am sitting on.”

The other horses who left Jessica’s yard remain in Europe. Paddington and Cosma are in Normandy and will be brought back to work shortly. Vivaldo and Myrtille Paulois are with French showjumper Roger Yves Bost.

Roger said: “They will be a good help for the transition between Ideal De La Loge and my young horses.

“Myrtille is an outstanding mare. They will need to return slowly to work as they had a four-month rest.”

There is much speculation as to why relations broke down between Lady Georgina and Jessica. Neither wished to comment futher as legal discussions are taking place but the row is thought to involve who should pay tax on winnings.

A new law is being introduced in Germany whereby a further 19% VAT is to be taken off any winnings won outside of the country.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (9 June, 2011)

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