Kurten runner-up in World Cup qualifier

Jessica Kurten gave Ireland a top class result to end the year when she took second place in Belgium's World Cup Qualifier class at Mechelen this evening.

Jessica Kurten gave Ireland a top class result to end the year when she took second place in Belgium's World Cup Qualifier class at Mechelen this evening.

The result also signalled a return to world class form for Lady Georgina Forbes's 13-year-old bay mare 'Castle Forbes Libertina', who had been out of action with injury for a substantial part of the 2009 jumping season.

Added to Cian O'Connor's World Cup second place and Grand Prix win at London's Olympia earlier this month, Kurten's result today showed the strength of Ireland's current show jumping form, with no less than five riders in the world Top 50.

Only eight riders from a starting field of 40 made it through the first round at Mechelen without incurring penalties, and in the jump- off the 40-year-old German-based Kurten was just half a second off the pace of eventual winner, Japan's Eiken Sato with the stallion 'BV Project Cartoon Z'.

Sato picked up a car and €10,000 for his win, but Kurten collected €20,000 for her runner-up spot, as well as World Cup points.

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