Brian Cournane has taken a less than traditional route to five-star show jumping success.
In June, the Glenbeigh, Kerry native was a part of the winning Irish team in the CSI 5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Canada at Thunderbird Show Park. Aboard the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Dino, alongside teammates Conor Swail, Richie Moloney, and Daniel Coyle under the tutelage of Chef d’Equipe Michael Blake.
Brian honed his trade in the Army Equitation School in Dublin,
“When I finished school, I was 17 years old. Back then, I didn’t have any money or horses, and I wasn’t very good at riding! It was a great opportunity if you could get into the Army Equitation School. Horses are a huge industry in Ireland, and they really promote the Irish horse. I managed to get in. There were 350 applicants, and they took two.”
Cournane was displaying an aptitude for show jumping, but Ireland was in need of event riders, and he was recruited to change disciplines. Brian evented for 10 years, reaching four-star level. While eventing, he also met his wife, Jules Cournane (formerly Stiller), in 2008. Jules, a four-star eventer in her own right, hails from Vermont, USA,
After marrying in September of 2014, Brian relocated to Berkshire, England, and later that year became a civilian.
“Jules and I got married in 2014. I was still in the army when we got married, I moved to England to be with her, and I was show jumping and eventing there. The show jumping was taking up so much time traveling, and I couldn’t do both.”
Brian recommitted himself to show jumping and began competing solely in that discipline in 2015, operating as Glenbeigh Farm now based in Wellington, Florida.
|Aboard Javas Keltic Mist, he jumped double clear for Ireland in his Nations Cup debut at CSIO 3* Drammen|
|Member of the winning Irish team in the CSI 5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Canada|