Captain Brian Cournane Leads the Victory Gallop in $40,000 Desert Classic CSI3*-W, Presented By Purina Animal Nutrition

Thermal, Calif. – Nov. 7, 2019 – With over eighty entries, it was Ireland’s Captain Brian Cournane who led the victory gallop Thursday in the $40,000 Desert Classic, presented by Purina Animal Nutrition CSI3*-W.

Capt. Brian Cournane and Penelope Cruz Photo: © ESI Photography
Capt. Brian Cournane and Penelope Cruz
Photo: © ESI Photography

Eleven competitors were clean, and nine returned for the jump-off. Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) took the lead with Starlight Farms LLC’s Bennys Legacy, after riding the shortened course clean in a speedy 43.43 seconds. Eighteen-year-old Alessandra Volpi (USA) came close to catching Sternlicht on her new Selle Français gelding Taiwan du Landey. This is the pair’s first show together, and they completed it double clean in 43.83 seconds. Cournane aboard his 11-year-old Irish mare Penelope Cruz was last to go. Knowing exactly what he had to do, without fault the pair ticked the timers in a quick 43.28, edging Sternlicht out of the lead, and pushing Volpi into third place.

“She has been a great 1.50m horse and has jumped a few grand prix classes, as well will jump in the World Cup here on Saturday,” Cournane said. “The course was a great 1.50m track. It was certainly up to standard with only 11 clears out of almost 90 horses.”

Sternlicht also praised the Alan Wade designed course. “I am a huge fan of Alan Wade’s building. I think he is one of, if not the best course builder in the world. It shows having a field as big as he did today and having poles falling everywhere.” And of her mount, she explained that they are a relatively new pair. “This is actually my third show with him so he is a very new ride. This only my second jump-off with him, so we are still trying to learn the ropes but he jumped great.”

Forty horses and riders from this class will qualify to compete in the feature FEI CSI 3*-W event of the week, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Thermal on Saturday, November 7, 2019.

Eve Jobs and Charleville Photo: © ESI Photography
Eve Jobs and Charleville
Photo: © ESI Photography

The first FEI class of the National Sunshine Series Week II, the $40,000 Desert Welcome Stake CSI3*, presented by Boehringer Ingelheim, set the stage Wednesday for a competitive week. With 74 taking to the Alan Wade speed track, 18th to go Karl Cook (USA) and Signe Ostby’s E’Special set a smoking time in 64.52 seconds, only to be beat by a mere half of a second by next rider in the ring Mathis Schwentker (GER) aboard NKH LLC’s Caruso, who finished in 65.08. Twenty rounds later Eve Jobs (USA) came in on her second mount Charleville. The young phenom left both those times in the dust, stopping the clock in a blazing 61.52. Almost thirty rounds after Jobs topped the class, Nicolaj Hein Ruus (DEN), on his third mount, Crusador Z, made a fabulous effort in 61.61 just a tenth of a second slower, but taking over second place, relegating Schwentker to third and Cook to fourth.

“Charleville is great at the shows and knows when it is game time. He is a fighter and a real winner,” Jobs noted of her 12-year-old Dutch gelding. She went on to say, “I love Alan Wade’s courses and I think he is absolutely brilliant and I think he nailed it today, it was really fun to ride.”


$40,000 Desert Classic CSI3*-W
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Penelope Cruz / Capt. Brian Cournane / IRL / 0 | 76.24 / 0 | 43.28
2. Bennys Legacy / Adrienne Sternlicht / USA / 0 | 76.29 / 0 | 43.43
3. Taiwan du Landey / Alessandra Volpi / USA / 0 | 71.90 / 0 | 43.83
4. Kaiser van het Lambroeck / Cassio Rivetti / BRA / 0 | 76.67 / 0 | 44.48
5. NKH Carrido / Mathis Schwentker / GER / 0 | 76.50 / 0 | 45.76
6. Georgie d’Auvray EC / Karrie Rufer / USA / 0 | 76.55 / 0 | 46.07
7. Victorio / Abigail McArdle / USA / 0 | 74.27 / 4 | 41.87
8. Camira / Sarah Segal / USA / 0 | 71.46 / 4 | 43.66
9. Charly Chaplin S / Kerry Mc Cahill / USA / 0 | 76.27 / 4 | 49.39
10. Cadillac / Nikolaj Hein Ruus / DEN / 0 | 74.18 / WD
10. Hadja van Orshof / Kelli Cruciotti / USA / 0 | 76.89 / WD
12. Dexter R / Kasey Ament / USA / 1 | 78.58

For full results, click here.

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