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Posted by Samantha Duffy on 30/05/2024.
Elliot Patterson. Image: Australian Equestrian Team/Kirsty Pasto.

A tribute to Elliot Patterson written by Roger Fitzhardinge and published by Equestrian Life


By Roger Fitzhardinge

Elliot Patterson passed away 26 May 2024 in hospital after a fall from a horse at his property, the Pines Performance Centre, a wonderful establishment he and his fiancée, Alexis Hellyer had produced with the support of Elliot’s parents Angie and Ron.

Elliot, despite wearing a helmet, sustained a head injury that cost his life. He fought valiantly in ICU for nearly three weeks with his family, best friends, and Alexis by his side.

Elliot Patterson was a name synonymous with the sport of dressage in Australia and internationally. He was a role model, especially to the younger generation of riders who looked up to him as an inspiration, friend, mentor, and one to aspire to.

At the modest age of 32, Elliot had managed to produce more outstanding dressage horses and performances than many top international riders far older. He was renowned for his amazing ability and empathy with young horses, having produced and ridden the Young Dressage Horse Champion of Champions at the last two consecutive Dressage & Jumping with the Stars at Werribee. He also produced many successful FEI mounts. 

Not only with the young horses was Elliot outstanding, but as example of his ability, he took up the reins on the young Grand Prix horse Santiago when his rider, Matthew Dowsley, was unable to travel overseas with the horse to compete. Elliot competed with Santiago in Europe at several big competitions, including CDI Hagen and CHIO Aachen, and won an Inter II and a Grand Prix with 72.8% and 73.2% respectively at Kranichsteiner Summer Festival in Germany. His short association with this horse and ability to immediately take up the reins and compete at the highest level just showed his prowess.

The list of Elliot’s successes and amazing horses he produced, and his ability to compete at the top level of the sport, was an absolute credit to him.

This ability and talent pales into insignificance when you realise what a truly gracious man he was. Honest, modest, genuine, humble, happy, down to earth, and above all a lover of life and one who was never side-tracked by the innuendos of his sport’s ups and downs.

He was never one to complain but took life day-to-day with a clear vision of where it was leading to. There was always a way around things. He was unstoppable in his determination to make the most of every day and every ride. His adoration of Alexis was infectious; they were a team. They helped each other through thick and thin. Their ability to bring each other’s strengths to the fore shone.

Elliot was a very serious competitor who took his sport to heart. His ability to read each horse as an individual and to produce the best performances that his horses could achieve was really quite exceptional – and not only once or twice, but many, many, many times on horses with various temperaments and abilities.

This ability to communicate with his horses was also transferred to all he met. He made you feel proud of yourself. He brought a positive attitude to everyone’s life. He always had a kind word, no matter how tough the going became. He always saw the good… the glass was half full, never half empty! He was an absolute sportsman of the highest accolades. He was a man of distinction.

Elliot, we were so fortunate to have had you in our lives. Unfortunately, not long enough. All who had the pleasure to know you will be ingrained with your joie de vivre, happiness and gratitude. You certainly made a huge mark in your 32 years.

A life so full. Cut short too soon.

Equestrian Life and all our friends and followers express our sadness to his parents, Angie and Ron, and to the love of his life and soul mate, Alexis.

Elliot, you will always be near.

Elliot's funeral will take place at 12pm (11.30am arrival), Friday the 31st of May at Brookfield Showgrounds, Brookfield QLD.

Published 27 May 2024 by Equestrian Life.  Article written by Roger Fitzhardinge


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