Equestrian: Kuerten and Castle Forbes claim second World Cup win of the season
Jessica Kuerten nearly brought the roof down at the Scandinavium arena in Gothenburg, Sweden, with a rip-roaring ride from Castle Forbes Libertina that secured their second victory of the 2009/2010 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping season.
It is getting down to the wire now with only one qualifying leg remaining but Kuerten has earned her place in the FEI World Final with the greatest of ease and her performance suggests she will be one of the favourites to take the title at Geneva next month.
Germany's Marco Kutscher galloped into second place with the deceptively fast Cash, while Ireland's former World Champion Dermott Lennon slotted into third with the gelding Hallmark Elite. The third Irish contender, Billy Twomey, went out of contention after the first round.
Lennon set the target in the nine-horse jump-off with Woods Rosbotham's relatively inexperienced 10-year-old gelding, which has been showing great potential over the last 12 months.
They jumped clear in the Nations Cup in Calgary in September before taking top placings in the World Cup qualifiers at both New York and Toronto over the winter months and yesterday put it up to the rest of them when second in against the clock.
No one came near their target time of 38.52 seconds until Kuerten produced an ace run from Libertina in 37.42 secs, but Kutscher and Cash -- third-last to go -- separated the two Irish names when breaking the beam in 38.23 seconds.
The Western European League World Cup leaderboard now shows Kuerten in third and Lennon in 16th place. Ireland could be three-handed at the final as Darragh Kenny has also qualified.