Sinead Halpin announced on May 3 that her top four-star horse Manoir De Carneville will retire from eventing.
“For those who know ‘Tate,’ let me assure you that his colorful personality is still shining bright. While the scenery has changed, he relives his glory on the jog strip daily, dragging whomever drew the short stick, hand grazing or more ‘hand bucking,’ across the fields,” Halpin wrote. “Like clockwork, if a car drives by or even a bird flies too close, Tate is squealing with all four legs above the ground and me hanging on to the neck strap! Some things never change, but age and a few chronic injuries are catching up to Tate physically, and the maintenance required to keep him fighting fit is becoming excessive and uncomfortable for all of us responsible for his well-being.”
Halpin found the 17-year-old Selle Français gelding (Gaub—Carneville, Matador Du Bois) in 2007 after he’d competed to the CIC** level with French rider Guillaume Le Goupil. Her stepfather Jim Cogdell purchased the gelding at the time.
Tate and Halpin were named to the 2009 U.S. Eventing Team High Performance training list, and they continued to be on it for most of their career together.
In 2010 they represented the United States at the Nations Cup at the Boekelo CIC*** (the Netherlands) and finished with a team silver medal.
They finished their first Rolex Kentucky CCI**** in 2011, earning third, and were 15th at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI**** (England) that fall.
Halpin, 35, Citra, Fla., and Tate were named as the first alternate at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and they went on to finish second at Burghley that fall.
A syndicate was formed to retain ownership of the gelding after that performance, and in 2013 Halpin and Tate won the Plantation Field International CIC*** (Pa.) and then won The Fork CIC*** (N.C.) the following spring.
They were fourth at Rolex in 2014 and named to the U.S. Eventing Team as individuals for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France) where they placed 37th.
Last year the pair was 10th at Rolex and placed sixth at the Millstreet CIC*** (Ireland).
“It is one of the hardest decisions in a horseman’s life to decide when a horse’s competitive journey has reached its limits. After 30 FEI starts, six four-stars, 18 three-stars and five trips across the pond, our team has collectively decided that time is now,” said Halpin.
“I could spend paragraphs more listing Tate’s stats and accolades, but the most important thing this horse has done cannot be represented by a number or a ranking. Without knowing it, Tate has been an inspiration to me, to all those who have worked with him (or for him) and ultimately the country, who has watched and supported us through the highs and lows of his career,” she continued. “He has left a mark on a lot of hearts. He has shown vulnerability, resilience, fierce determination, and at the end of the day he has always shown up for the job asked of him.
“My husband [Tik Maynard] once said, ‘A great horse would jump through fire for you if you asked, and a great horseman would never ask.’ The thought of putting Tate into a position that he physically could not handle would break both his spirit and mine. These words helped us all find peace and comfort with this decision,” she added. “To Tate, my beautiful horse and forever partner, you have changed my world. I have no idea what forces brought us together, but together we have traveled the world, pushed each other for greatness, picked each other up in weakness and together achieved things I only dreamed possible. Thank you with all of my heart.”