Kürten hoping to find ‘common ground’ with Forbes

SHOW jumper Jessica Kürten is hoping to find “common ground” with horse owner Lady Georgina Forbes which will result in an end to their dispute.

The Antrim rider has been stopped by Forbes from competing her top horses and has, in turn, refused to release them from her yard in Rheinland, Germany.

In a statement, Kürten revealed that a Duisburg court had rejected an application for a temporary injunction to return the Castle Forbes horses and transmitted the judgments in writing to both parties on February 28. She suggested dialogue with Forbes as the best way to solve the dispute. “I hope that we will be able now to find common ground to come to a final solution soon in order to minimize the disadvantages in regard to the sport and in regard to the financial deficits for all parties concerned,” Kürten said. “Especially, because of the long-term co-operation, I wish for an open and respectful dialogue.”

Previously, she said financial commitments needed to be cleared up, while issues with the German tax authorities were also outstanding.

However, Forbes, who resides at Castle Forbes in Longford, earlier this year said she had terminated her contract with Ms Kürten on December 31 and said the rider has no grounds for claims against her.

Kürten’s statement said the Duisburg court found that any disagreement over financial arrangements should be ruled on prior to the return of the horses.

“The Court does not see imperative reasons to return the horses before the financial court decision. There is also no indication that the horses are not kept well and are not thoroughly looked after. The financial shortcomings affect both parties and the court regards it as reasonable for Lady Forbes that the horses remain in the care of Jessica Kürten until the final court ruling.”

Kürten also said that in it’s decision, the court took into consideration that she had agreed to an inspection of the stables and a medical examination of the horses and that both were “impeccable” and the vets representing both parties agreed on this.

The rider and Forbes have formed one of the most successful partnerships in the sport for the past eight years, with Kurten a long-time presence in the Rolex World Rankings top 10, particularly as a result of her success with the mare Castle Forbes Libertina.

She is one five Castle Forbes horses at Kurten’s Hunxe set-up, including Myrtille Paulois, on whom she won the World Cup class in Mechelen, Belgium last December. However, being denied such a strikeforce has seen Kurten slip to 20th in the Rolex World Rankings. Lady Forbes could not be contacted for comment last night.

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