Ireland’s Jessica Kurten secured a second sensational victory with Castle Forbes Libertina in the 2007/2008 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series when coming out on top in Leipzig, Germany (20 January, ’08).

Irish team manager Robert Splaine said: “Jessica was in a class of her own and Libertina was unbelievable. They are such an amazing partnership.”

Robert Smith was Britain’s only representative in the 12-horse jump off. Taking the role of pathfinder, he was unfortunately eliminated after Kalusha stopped twice at the double. Ireland’s Denis Lynch and Lantinus collected four faults in 35.26sec to set the early pace but Germany’s Lars Nieberg and Lucie immediately demoted him with a clear in 36.10.

German amateur Max Kuhner produced a steady clear (42.75sec) with Acantus, which was good enough for eighth place at the end of the day.

Marcus Ehning and Sandro Boy then raised the bar by crossing the finishing line without any penalties in 34.42, to finish marginally ahead of Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and the exciting stallion Ninja La Silla by just 0.01sec.

Ludger Beerbaum and Couleur Rubin posted a keen time of 34.89sec to stay well in the frame, but no-one could match Jessica’s performance. Second-last into the ring, she set off with Libertina at full gallop and after getting a great turn-back at the fourth fence, she came home in an unbeatable 33.60sec.

“When Libby is in this kind of form then I just have to stay on board and let her take all the decisions,” said a delighted Jessica Kurten afterwards. “She is a super-intelligent horse and I’m so very lucky to have her!”

World Cup qualifier results

1, Castle Forbes Libertina (Jessica Kuerten) Irl 0/0 33.60;
2, Sandro Boy (Marcus Ehning) Ger 0/0 34.42;
3, Ninja la Silla (Rolf-Goran Bengtsson) Swe 0/0 34.43;
4, Couleur Rubin (Ludger Beerbaum) Ger 0/0 34.89;
5, Lucie (Lars Nieberg) Ger 0/0 36.10;
6, Levisto Z (Judy-Ann Melchior) Bel 0/0 36.35;
7, Le Mans (Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum) Ger 0/0 40.95;
8, Acantus GK (Max Kuhner) Ger 0/0 42.75;
9, Meautry’s Locarno (Luciana Diniz) Por 0/4 35.12;
10, Lantinus (Denis Lynch) Irl 0/4 35.26

Western European Leaderboard after round eight

1. Jessica Kuerten – 79
2. Rutherford Latham – 45
3. Rolf-Goran Bengtsson – 47
4. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum – 46
5. Ludger Beerbaum – 44
6. Helena Lundback – 41
7. William Whitaker – 39
8. Albert Zoer – 38
9. Judy-Ann Melchior – 33
10. Steve Guerdat – 31
11. Nick Skelton – 30
12. Malin Baryard-Johnsson – 28
13. Luciana Diniz – 27
14. Marco Kutscher, Michel Hecart- 25
16. Marcus Ehning – 24
17. Max Kuhner – 24
18. Michael Whitaker, Daniel Deusser – 24
20. Heinrich-Hermann Engemann – 23