Manoir de Carneville

Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman/USEF Archive
(2000 – )
Owned by Carraig LLC
Inducted: 2013

Photos

Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman
Manoir de Carneville loves the spotlight. And his competitive success shows that he knows when to shine. Tate, as he is nicknamed, compiled a sensational eventing season in 2012 to be named a United States Equestrian Federation Horse of Honor. With rider Sinead Halpin, he turned setbacks in the Olympic selection process into success at the Land Rover Burghley CCI**** in England, where his second-place finish represented the best American result in almost two decades.

After Tate and Halpin struggled in the final mandatory outing for U.S. Olympic Games team candidates and were not named to the team, Halpin pushed past her disappointment and channeled her energy into preparing Tate for Burghley. Burghley, often called the world's most difficult four-star event, demands courage and fortitude from the horses and riders who attempt it. Just completing the event is an impressive accomplishment: in 2012, 33 of the 85 starters withdrew, retired, or were eliminated by the end of the event.

"Burghley was the American Dream," Halpin explained. "You get knocked down, you get up, do it again, and do it better! We didn't go to the Olympics, so we went back to the drawing board and got to work."

And that work certainly paid off. Tate's exceptional dressage mark of 36.3, the only sub-40 score in the field, sent him straight to the top of the leaderboard. Halpin and Tate then made light work of the arduous cross-country course, jumping clear as one of just four pairs to make the optimum time. Although he knocked down one rail too many in the show jumping phase to slip to second in the final standings, Tate's outstanding effort against a first-class field earned him worldwide recognition.

While Tate's brilliant showing at Burghley stands out as his best performance to date, he has consistently found success at the upper levels of eventing. Earlier in 2012, he finished eighth in a field of nearly 100 competitors at the Hartpury CIC*** (England) and second at the Jersey Fresh Horse Trials CIC*** (New Jersey). A remarkable third-place effort in his first four-star event, the Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event, highlighted his 2011 season.

The strong placing at Rolex earned Halpin a grant to compete Tate at Burghley in the fall of 2011, where a respectable 15th place laid the groundwork for his success in 2012. Tate's other accomplishments include second place at the 2009 Plantation Field CIC3* and a U.S. team silver medal in the 2010 FEI Nations Cup at Holland's Boekelo CCI3*.

At first glance, Tate may not look like one of the world's best event horses. He has good movement and a nice jump, but relies on more subtle qualities to distance himself from the pack: intelligence, animation, and sheer athleticism. On the cross-country course, he is bold when tackling challenging questions but also adjustable and responsive to his rider. He loves having spectators and performs his best in front of a crowd.

"He is a natural performer," Halpin said. "He lights up when there is an audience to watch him, and when he feels confident, he floats in the arena. I know he loves eventing and loves the atmosphere of big competitions "“ we have that in common!"

Halpin describes Tate as a bright, gifted, "wonderfully honest horse" whose training has posed some challenges. "When he was a bit younger, he was so tough when you tried to train him, like he took offense to being told what to do," Halpin said. By convincing him that training is "his idea" and taking his personality and thought process into account, Halpin has seen Tate make dramatic progress, including dressage score improvements of over ten points.

"Now that he is a bit older, he is learning in leaps and bounds," she said. "He understands the game a bit more and is happy to train, but again, it's his idea."

Tate's remarkable accomplishments have already earned him a place in eventing's record books, and he may continue racking up the awards for years to come. As long as he is healthy, happy, and still enjoying himself, Halpin plans to compete him at all the major championships.

"He owes me nothing and I owe him everything," said Halpin.