Ann Couch Stern, who raced record-setting timber horse Saluter, died Friday, Sept. 27, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, Va. She was 86.
An avid tennis player and golfer, she acquired an interest in steeplechasing in her later years. With her late husband, Henry, she enjoyed the exploits of Saluter, who the National Steeplechase Association’s timber champion in 1994, 1995, 1998, and 1999.
Trained and ridden by Jack Fisher, Saluter won the Virginia Gold Cup in six consecutive years from 1994 through 1999. Saluter also won the International Gold Cup twice, in 1998 and 1999. Henry Stern, who served as an NSA director, died in December 2011.
She is survived by her brother, Billy Couch; sister, Fay Sandridge; sons, Sidney Stern, Hank Stern and wife, Olga; daughter, Connie Moore and husband, Glenn; grandsons, Henry Stern, Charlie Moore, and Peter, Jacob and Michael Stern; granddaughters, Hampton Eubanks and husband, Ben, Annie Moore, Rachel Kirchman and husband, Sam, and Abigail, Emily, Erin and Leah Stern; and great-grandson, Guy Eubanks. Mrs. Stern was preceded in death by her husband, Henry; brothers, Beverly, Rosser, and Allen Couch; and sisters, Kenneth Moser, Mildred Russell, Doris Sandridge, Alta Duckworth, and Betty Lee Clements.
The family offered special thanks to Clarence Dabney, Nancy Gitati, and Esther Gitati for the care and love that they gave Mrs. Stern over the years. A private service was to be held Tuesday, Oct. 1. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Christopher’s School.