North Salem, N.Y. – May 11, 2018 – Ireland’s Captain Brian Cournane stormed to a victory in the $35,000 New York Welcome Stake CSI2*, presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, on Friday, May 11, riding Armik, at the 2018 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, running May 8-13 and May 15-20 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY.
Cournane was one of 24 to advance to the jump-off track set by course designer Ken Krome of Westminster, MD. From a starting field of 52, only 20 elected to return and jump for the top prize.
“The course walked more difficult than it jumped,” said Cournane, who is competing at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows for the first time this week. “It was up to height, but the footing here is just so good the horses jump so well off it. I think that is why there were so many through to the jump-off.
“I made up time from [jumps] one to two and went nine strides,” continued Cournane of his course, which he finished in 42.35 seconds. “From there, I went as fast as I could and tried to turn inside when I could. I wanted to be a little cautious to the last jump, so I added a stride, but I was very happy with the round.”
Cournane got the ride on Armik, a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Armitage x Justinian xx at the end of 2017 when his wife’s parents, Bob and Christine Stiller, purchased the mount for him to produce.
“He was jumping 1.45m before they got him for me and I am very grateful for their support because he is a really nice horse,” said Cournane, who is also competing at Old Salem Farm with an Irish-bred mare, Penelope Cruz. “It has been a great week so far and I am really looking forward to the grand prix [on Sunday]. It’s a beautiful show and you’ve got some of the best footing in North America. It’s great to be here.”
Fractions of a second separated the top four finishers with Katherine Dinan (USA) taking second aboard Dougie Douglas in 42.61 seconds for owner Grant Road Partners, and Lucy Deslauriers (USA) finishing in third with Hester, owned by Lisa Deslauriers, in a time of 42.77 seconds. Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) took fourth in 42.95 seconds riding Toulago for Starlight Farms, LLC, and Mattias Tromp (USA) rounded out the top five with Beyaert Farm’s Crack Elle Chavannaise in 45.40 seconds.
Also competing on the Grand Prix Field on Friday, U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Peter Wylde topped the $6,500 Open Jumper 1.35m riding Bella Donna for owner Oakridge Farm.
International jumper competition continues Saturday with the $15,000 Old Salem Farm Speed Derby, presented by TownVibe, while the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion will be crowned in the Main Hunter Ring. Also on Saturday, the $5,000 Equitation Challenge will welcome top junior riders to the Sand Ring to battle it out for the 2018 title.
Spectators are welcome at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows with free general admission to Old Salem Farm Wednesday through Friday. On the weekends of May 12-13 and 19-20, admission is $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and children under 12.
$35,000 New York Welcome Stake CSI2*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults / R2 Faults | Time
1. Armik / Capt. Brian Cournane / IRL / 0 / 0 | 42.35
2. Dougie Douglas / Katherine Dinan / USA / 0 / 0 | 42.61
3. Hester / Lucy Deslauriers / USA / 0 / 0 | 42.77
4. Toulago / Adrienne Sternlicht / USA / 0 / 0 | 42.95
5. Crack Elle Chavannaise / Mattias Tromp / USA / 0 / 0 | 45.40
6. Javas Keltic Mist / Jonathan Corrigan / IRL / 0 / 0 | 45.64
7. Audi’s Dimple / Kevin Mealiff / USA / 0 / 0 | 46.08
8. Dubai / Mavis Spencer / USA / 0 / 0 | 46.48
9. Jasmijn / Christine McCrea / USA / 0 / 0 | 46.54
10. Dali de Vy /Christine McCrea / USA / 0 / 0 | 47.99
11. Caracho / Lucy Davis / USA / 0 / 0 | 48.70
12. Qui Vive Des Songes Z / Heather Caristo-Williams / USA / 0 / 0 | 49.08