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Cyberhorse 2008
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22/12/2007 - ROLEX FEI WORLD CUP™ JUMPING 2007/2008 - PRESS RELEASE NO. 10



Ireland's Jessica Kuerten and Castle Forbes Libertina produced a runaway victory in the sixth leg of the 2007/2008 Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping series at Olympia in London this afternoon and shot to the top of the Western European League leaderboard in the finest of style.

The 38 year old rider is now well-qualified for the Final in Gothenburg next April and has relegated long-time Western European League leader Rutherford Latham from Spain, her total of 53 points giving her a five-point advantage at the top of the order.

As always at this Christmas fixture the competition took place in front of a packed house and the home supporters had plenty of interest with three British into the seven-horse jump-off. However none could match the sheer courage, speed and determination of the Irish partnership who have been kicking up a storm in recent weeks and Nick Skelton had to settle for runner-up spot with Arko while Malin Baryard-Johnsson finished third for Sweden with Butterfly Flip.

Course designer Bob Ellis looked a worried man when, with 16 of the 35 starters gone, there was still no sign of a clear round but his face lit up when Michael Whitaker showed the rest how to do it with a foot-perfect performance inside the time from Suncal Portofino. Before the class began Kuerten described the track as "fair", but she predicted that the time would be tight and that it proved to be with many horses thrown out of their rhythm in their efforts to avoid time penalties.

Baryard-Johnsson's mare belied her 16 years of age to ensure a jump-off with a lively tour of the track and then Tim Stockdale, a great favourite with the home crowd due as much to his media-friendly personality as his skill in the saddle, steered the 10 year old grey Fresh Direct Corlato to join her. Dutch stars Albert Zoer and Oki Doki, winners of Thursday's Grand Prix, were next to find the key and when that great British hero John Whitaker was added to the mix the crowd was ecstatic.

John had taken his top horse, Peppermill, into the first round of Friday night's Puissance in order to encourage a bit of attitude adjustment. He wanted the 10 year old stallion, who is much more at home in the broad expanses of a Nations Cup arena than the tight confines of an indoor ring like Olympia, to pay a little more attention and it worked a treat as, having been taken by surprise by the massive red-brick wall the previous evening his mind was well-focused this time out.

Kuerten and Libertina were next to go clear and then, last into the ring, Skelton and Arko rounded up the jump-off start-list. Amongst those who failed to make the cut were reigning Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping champions Beat Mandli and Ideo du Thot and World No. 1 Markus Fuchs from Switzerland who both collected just four faults while both Britain's Mark Armstrong riding Sefana and Italy's Omar Bonomelli and Quintero were particularly unlucky when just a single time penalty kept them out of the second round. Bonomelli, continues to impress with the 11 year old Quidam de Revel gelding but for the home supporters there was disappointment when cousins Robert and William Whitaker went out in the first round. The Whitaker dynasty continues to grow with every passing year and John's son Robert had been heading up the Leading Rider leaderboard all week with a superb run of form while William, John's 18 year old nephew, secured an historic victory in Friday night's Puissance.

Uncle Michael was pathfinder against the clock and was setting them a tidy target until cutting it too tight to the penultimate vertical. Suncal Portofino is nothing if not a tryer however and although she found herself on top of the fence with no stride at all she still did everything in her power to clear it, going into helicopter mode but lowering both that and the final oxer for eight faults in 40.68 seconds.

Malin Baryard-Johnsson decided to play it safer, going outside the vertical second fence on her approach down the final line to set the first real target when clear in 39.09 seconds and when Stockdale's mare left a fence on the floor the Swedish rider still held the whip hand. She remained out in front when Zoer and Oki Doki did likewise and although John Whitaker squeezed a tremendous run from Peppermill who took out a stride to the last the British partnership were still not quick enough with the clock showing 39.37 seconds.

With just two left to go Kuerten arrived into the ring and anyone who has seen her operate over the last few months had no doubt what she had in mind. With Castle Forbes Libertina she scooped the honours in the IJRC Top-Ten final in Geneva two weeks' ago before coming out to finish joint-second in the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping qualifier the following afternoon and, with trademark determination, she had the hand-brake off from the start today giving Libertina the freedom to do what she does best. Turning down the final line she found herself way off the penultimate vertical but she just kicked on and then raced down the next distance on five strides to gallop through the finish in 38.54 seconds to take the lead.

Now only Nick Skelton stood in her way, and, in typical style he wasn't going to hand it to her on a plate. In an amusing live TV moment after coming out of the ring he admitted to BBC TV's Clare Balding that he had not even checked the jump-off track because he wasn't sure how Arko would go in the first round. Still in front of the cameras he found the course-plan but had to admit he couldn't read it "because I don't have my glasses!" he said. So, with the great British public enjoying every minute of it, he was given his riding instructions by Ireland's Cian O'Connor who was co-presenting the Olympia coverage at that very moment having gone out in the first round with a single fence down from his ride, Complete. There was nothing wrong with Skelton's eyesight as he set off with John and Pat Hales' brilliant but temperamental stallion however and the rider, who will celebrate his 50th birthday in eight days time, showed as much courage as he did when first winning this class with St James back in 1983. Arko has moments when his sense of self-preservation takes over and as Skelton risked everything with a driving ride down the final line the horse had every chance to throw in a stop but "he was really good today" as his rider said after racing through the finish in 38.77 seconds - fast enough to relegate Baryard-Johnsson from runner-up spot but not quick enough to catch the whirlwind Irish partnership.

Kuerten suffered food poisoning during the week and was particularly queasy before going into the ring this afternoon. "Libertina was feeling very strong today, but I was not so strong myself" the rider pointed out. "I was up all night, not feeling well, and I couldn't sleep but I began to feel a little better today and when I went into the ring I went in to win. I had set myself a target of getting 50 World Cup points before Christmas and when there were only seven into the jump-off I knew I could not get less than 10. I knew going into today that if I could keep a clear head Libertina would do well. She is the most amazing horse, I trusted her and she trusted me - she is so brave and so wonderful - this was the best Christmas present I could wish for!" she added.

She will now give the mare a rest and intends taking her other top ride, Quibell, to the Rolex FEI World Cup™ final in Gothenburg next April. For many others however the work is far from over and they have just over a week to prepare for the next leg of the series which takes place in Mechelen, Belgium.......

RESULTS: 1, Castle Forbes Libertina (Jessica Kuerten) Irl 0/0 38.54; 2, Arko (Nick Skelton) GBR 0/0 38.77; 3, Butterfly Flip (Malin Baryard-Johnsson) Swe 0/0 39.09; 4, Peppermill (John Whitaker) GBR 0/0 39.37; 5, Fresh Direct Corlato (Tim Stockdale) GBR 0/4 40.23; 6, Oki Doki (Albert Zoer) Ned 0/4 40.69; 7, Suncal Portofino (Michael Whitaker) GBR 0/8 40.68; 8, Quintero (Omar Bonomelli) Ita 1/71.73; 9, 9, Sefana (Mark Armstrong) GBR 1/73.69; 10, Ideo du Thot (Beat Mandli) Sui 4/68.40; 11, La Toya (Markus Fuchs) Sui 4/68.53; 12, Grim St Clair (Thomas Velin) Den 4/68.91; 13, VDL Groep Fleche rouge (Leopold Van Asten) Ned 4/68.95; 14, Sherry mury Marais Z (Patrick McEntee) Bel 4/69.99; 15, Air Jordan Z (Daniel Deusser) Ger 4/70.59; 16, Opium VS (Marc Houtzager) Ned 4/70.89; 17, Itot du Chateau (Michel Hecart) Fra 5/71.71; 18, Ronaldo (Robert Smith) GBR 5/71.95; 19, Cornet obolensky (Marco Kutscher) Ger 5/72.90; 20, Complete (Cian O'Connor) Irl 5/73.10; 21, Nairobi (Leon Thijssen) Ned 5/73.48; 22, Meautry's Locarno (Luciana Diniz) Por 8/69.38; 23, Pherna (Julia Kayser) Aut 8/69.59; 24, Arielle (William Whitaker) GBR 9/71.70; 25, Camiro (Tony Andre Hansen) Nor 9/71.86; 26, Jalisca Solier (Steve Guerdat) Sui 9/71.99; 27, Gitania (Marcus Ehning) Ger 12/67.65; 28, Candy (Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst) Ger 12/68.51; 29, Lorenzo (Christian Ahlmann) Ger 12/70.68; 30, Isaac du Jonquet (Mikael Forsten) Fin 13/73.80; 31, Cortaflex Billy Birr (William Funnell) GBR 13/73.60; 32, JPC Modesto (Jean-Marc Nicolas) Fra 18/77.73; 33, Cabri d'Elle (Paola Amilibia Puig) Esp 21/71.38; 34, Lacroix (Robert Whitaker) GBR 22/77.03; 35, Skip Two Ramiro (Guy Williams) GBR Ret.


1. Jessica Kuerten - 53
2. Rutherford Latham - 48
3. Helena Lundback - 41
4. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum - 36
5. Albert Zoer - 36
6. Rolf-Goran Bengtsson - 32
7. Ludger Beerbaum - 31
8. Steve Guerdat - 31
9. Nick Skelton - 30
10. Malin Baryard-Johnsson - 28
11. Michel Hecart - 25
12. Michael Whitaker - 24
13. Heinrich-Hermann Engemann - 23
14. Markus Fuchs - 22
15. Piet Raymakers - 21
16. Daniel Deusser - 20
17. Omar Bonomelli - 20
18. Julie Kayser - 19
19. William Whitaker - 19
20. Luciana Diniz - 19

PHOTO CATALOGUE - Photographs of the winning riders in high and low resolution can be downloaded from the FEI online catalogue. To access it, please visit www.horsesport.org>Media Centre>Catalogue. There is no reproduction fee, but please credit photographer (photographer's name will appear under each photo)/FEI. Usage is strictly for editorial purposes.

For further information on the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping qualifer at Olympia in London check out WEBSITE www.olympiahorseshow.com. Show President is Lord Vestey, Show Director is Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Secretary is Penny Henderson and Press Officer is Jo Peck - Tel +441753 847900, Email info@hpower.co.uk. The next leg of the series takes place in Mechelen, Belgium on 30 December 2007. For all information check out WEBSITE www.jumping-mechelen.com or contact Press Officer Edith De Reys Tel (mobile) +32 475 659281, email edith.dereys@skynet.be.

MEDIA GUIDE - The FEI is pleased to provide you with a Media Guide for the 2007/2008 season. The Guide is filled with useful facts, figures and statistics including the list of winners since the series began in 1978 and contact details to help you access all the information you need. You can download it from the Media Centre on FEI website www.horsesport.org or order a hard copy from FEI Communications - Email o.robinson@horsesport.org.

1, Oslo (Norway) 12-14 October; 2, Helsinki (Finland) 18-21 October; 3, Verona (Italy) 8-11 November; 4, Stuttgart (Germany) 14-18 November; 5, Geneva (Switzerland) 6-9 December; 6, London-Olympia (Great Britain) 17-22 December; 7, Mechelen (Belgium) 26-30 December; 8, Leipzig (Germany) 17-20 January; 9, Amsterdam (The Netherlands) 24-27 January; 10, Bordeaux (France) 1-3 February; 11, Vigo (Spain) 8-11 February; 12, 's-Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands) 27-30 March; FINAL - Gothenburg (Sweden) 24-27 April.


Live/Delayed Live
BBC (UK) - Saturday 22 December 14.30
Equidia (France) - Sunday 23 December 20.45, Monday 24 December 18.30, Wednesday 26 December 10.00
SVT (Sweden) - Sunday 23 December 15.45
RAI - Check local listings

CBC Country (Canada) - Check local listings
CNBC Asia - Sunday 6 January 14.00
CNBC Europe - Saturday 5 January 17.00
ESPN Brazil - Check local listings
ESPN Star (Pan Asia) - Wednesday 9 January 02.00, Friday 11 January 18.00, 19.00, Saturday 12 January 02.00, 15.00,
Wednesday 30 January 02.30
Eurosport - Wednesday 2 January - check listings for time
Finnish Sport TV - Check local listings
Fox Australia - Check local listings
Fox Middle East - Wednesday 16 January 14.30, Monday 21 January 18.00
M-Net (Pan Africa) - Friday 11 January 18.00, Saturday 12 January 00.30, 07.00, Sunday 13 January 09.00, Monday 14 January 11.00,
Tuesday 15 January 13.30, Wednesday 16 January 16.00, thursday 17 January 19.00, Friday 18 January 23.00
Sport TV (Portugal) - Check local listings
Sport Plus (France) - Thursday 3 January 21.30, Friday 4 January 14.45, 21.30
WCSN (USA) - Check local listings


FEI World Cup™ Jumping has entered its 30th season. The series, created in 1978, today comprises 14 leagues on all continents. The best riders from 132 preliminary competitions will qualify for the final in Gothenburg, Sweden which takes place from 24-27 April 2008. The title-holder is Switzerland's Beat Mandli.

The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), founded in 1921, is the international body governing equestrian sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and includes 133 National Federations.

Equestrian sport has been on the Olympic programme since 1912 with three disciplines - Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. It is one of the very few sports in which men and women compete on equal terms. It is also the only sport which involves two athletes - horse and rider. The FEI has relentlessly concerned itself with the welfare of the horse, which is paramount and must never be subordinated to competitive or commercial influences.
Next events
London Olympia (GBR)
17/12 - 22/12/07
Doha (QAT)
CEI2* 100km / CEIYJ2* 100km
22/12 - 22/12/07
Mechelen (BEL)
26/12 - 30/12/07
Riyadh (KSA)
26/12 - 29/12/07
Wierden (NED)
27/12 - 29/12/07
La Mesa, NM (USA)
CEI3* 160km+ / CEI2* 80km / CEIYJ3* 160km / CEIYJ2* 80 km
30/12 - 30/12/07
Bragança Paulista (BRA)
CEI1* 60km / CEIYJ1* 60km
31/12 - 31/12/07
Bou Thib (UAE)
CEI3* 240km (3) / CEI3* 120km
03/01 - 05/01/08
Neustadt-Dosse (GER)
CSI2* /CSI A Amateurs /CSI B Amateurs
03/01 - 06/01/08
Zuidbroek (NED)
03/01 - 05/01/08
Dannevirke (NZL)
05/01 - 06/01/08
Harwaden (NZL)
CEI3* 160km+ /CEI3* 120km /CEI2* 100km /CEIYJ3* 120km /CEIYJ2* 100km /CEI3* 160km+ (2) /CEIYJ3* 160km+ (2)
05/01 - 06/01/08
Dubai (UAE)
10/01 - 12/01/08
Dubai (UAE)
CEI3* 160km+
12/01 - 12/01/08
Waitemata (NZL)
12/01 - 13/01/08
Denver, CO (USA)
13/01 - 13/01/08
Quito (ECU)
16/01 - 22/01/08
Leipzig (GER)
CSI4*-W /CSI B Amateurs /CSI A Amateurs /CAI-W Final
17/01 - 20/01/08
Sharjah (UAE)
17/01 - 19/01/08
Al Asayl (UAE)
CEI2* 100km Ladies
18/01 - 18/01/08
Pehuen, Buenos Aires (ARG)
CEI3* 160km+ /CEI3* 120km /CEI2* 80km /CEI1* 40km /CEIYJ3* 120km /CEIYJ2* 80 km
18/01 - 19/01/08
Al Wathba (UAE)
CEI3* 120km
19/01 - 19/01/08
Doha (QAT)
CEI2* 100km / CEIYJ2* 100km
19/01 - 19/01/08
Green Cove Springs (USA)
19/01 - 19/01/08

Cyberhorse 2008 FEI



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