Lexington, KY - May 19, 2011 - The USET Foundation is pleased to announce that this year's recipient of the Pinnacle Cup Trophy at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI**** is Sinead Halpin of Gladstone, NJ. Halpin rode Manoir de Carneville to a third place finish at the top event and was the highest placed American rider, which earned her the trophy.
Manoir de Carneville is owned by Carrig, LLC. This was his first CCI****, and the 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding showcased his skills in all three phases. They finished the difficult competition with a score of 53.1 after incurring just 4.4 time faults in the cross-country phase.
This was also Halpin's first time competing at a CCI**** and she was thrilled with her mount's performance. "He's very good in all three phases, which is rare," she explained. "I don't think there is one that he excels at more than the others, he's great across the page. He has an unusual jumping style, but he's got the heart and the brains, and he's very physically athletic. At Rolex he felt great, it didn't feel like it was a push for him."
Halpin added, "The whole time I thought I had bit of an edge over some of my competition, because being the underdog is a little easier. Since it was my first Rolex, the expectations for my horse and me were that it should just be successful. Whenever it got stressful I reminded myself that I am just happy to be there and do the best we can do."
Winning the Pinnacle Cup is an achievement that Halpin hopes will mark the start of a very bright future. She began riding at the Advanced level in 1999, and contested the Boekelo CCI3* last fall in Holland as part of the USEF Developing Rider program. Halpin excels in the training of young horses and bringing those with talent successfully through the ranks of the sport. Over the years, she has trained under the careful tutelage of Stuart Black, the O'Connor Equestrian Team, Sandy and Mark Phillips, and William Fox-Pitt.
"The people that have won this award before me are riders that I am in awe of, and to actually have my name on that list is a little intimidating," expressed Halpin. "It's certainly a pat on the back that you are on the right path and doing the right thing. I am really flattered."
The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America's elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.
For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.
Previous Pinnacle Cup Trophy Winners:
2010: Phillip Dutton and Woodburn
2009: Buck Davidson and My Boy Bobby
2008: Phillip Dutton and Connaught
2007: Phillip Dutton and Connaught
2006: Heidi White Carty and Northern Spy
2005: Kim Severson and Winsome Adante
2004: Kim Severson and Winsome Adante
2003: Bruce O. Davidson, Jr. and Mystic Mike
2002: Kim Vinoski (Severson) and Winsome Adante
2001: David O'Connor and Giltedge
2000: David O'Connor and Rattle N Hum
1999: Karen O'Connor and Prince Panache
1998: Dorothy Crowell and Molokai
Previous to this date, the top American finisher was awarded the Gladstone Challenge Trophy.
Photo Credit: Sinead Halpin was awarded the USET Foundation's Pinnacle Cup Trophy as the highest placed American rider at the 2011 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI****. Photo © 2011 Amy Dragoo.