Australian Dressage Rider Elliot Patterson Passed Away at Age 32

Mon, 05/27/2024 - 00:19
Elliot Patterson at the 2022 CDI Aachen Dressage Days in Hagen :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Australian dressage rider Elliot Patterson has passed away on 26 May 2024 succumbing to the injuries sustained in a fall of a horse nearly three weeks ago. He was 32 years old.

Love for Horses

Patterson began riding at a young age and savoured an early life with horses at pony club and Ag shows. He won the boy rider classes at the Sydney and Brisbane Royal Shows.

 He started out as a versatile rider competing cross disciplines in interschool competitions. His first main show horse was show jumper Waga. 

Switch to Dressage Thanks to Leandro

Elliot switched to dressage as a teenager when he discovered the horse Leandro during a family holiday in Germany. Leondro is a 2002 born Hanoverian by Lauries Crusador xx out of Aquina (by Akzent I x Glander x Duellant), who was competed in Germany by Andre Hecker in 2006 and 2007.

On Leandro at the 2010 CDI Sydney
(Photo © Venhaus)
Coached by Tor van den Berge since 2008, Elliot and Leandro competed at young riders level as of 2009 and were nominated to represent Australia at the 2011 Trans-Tasman Young Riders Derby in Feilding, New Zealand. Australia won the team competition. In 2011 he spent three months training with Wolfram Wittig in Germany.

They stayed at Young Riders level through 2012 and moved up to Under 25 Grand Prix level in 2013. Their last CDI as a pair was at the 2014 CDI Sydney.

The Pines Performance Center

During his Young Rider time Patterson met peer Alexis Hellyer and they became a couple in 2010. The pair built  their own business, The Pines Performance Centre, from the ground up at their property in Moggill, Queensland.

Patterson proposed on Valentine's Day in 2018, the year Alexis achieved her career highlight, so far, representing Australia at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon aboard Bluefields Floreno. They weren't married yet, but were a strong couple through the years. 

Professional Rider

On Boronia HG at the 2015 CDI Orange
Patterson returned to the international arena in 2016 with Bob and Ela Weight's small tour mare Boronia HG (by Breitling W x Donnerhall) for one season.

Six years later, in 2022, he made a come back at Grand Prix level with Emma Weel's black glding Santiago (by Sandro Hit x Florestan). He got the opportunity to travel to Europe in May 2022 and compete him at the 2022 CDI Aachen Drssage Days in Hagen and CDIO Aachen. He also rode Dopo Domani (by Domani x Boston) at the 2022 Bundeschampionate in Warendorf at the start of September. 

As of 2023 Elliot showed his own and Alexis' Australian Hanoverian Del Piero ZF (by De Niro x Graf Landau, bred by Tracy Zabell) at international Grand Prix level.

Patterson was a sought after young horse trainer and a regular competitor at the Australian Young Horse Championships. He won gold on Hollands Bend Francis (by Franklin x Stedinger) in 2024 and on Selected (by Secret x Gardez) in 2023. He won silver with GT For the Boys (by Follow Me x Catango) in 2024 and on She's Nice (by San Amour x Akribori) in 2018. He captured bronze with Bluefields Doris Day (by Desperados x Florencio) in 2018 and with Almania Felix (by Fiji R x Torlea Van Dieman) in 2017.

Freak Accident

Patting Santiago while leaving the arena
at the 2022 CDIO Aachen
Nearly three weeks ago, Patterson had a freak accident.

"Elliot had an accident at the end of a routine session," his fiancée Alexis Hellyer explained. "Whilst cooling the horse off on a long rein at walk, the horse spooked sideways and lost its back legs and landed on the right side. Elliot was wearing a helmet."

Patterson was transported to the hospital where he remained in coma in the ICU with severe head trauma. He passed away on 26 May 2024.

"I lost the love of my life, best friend and favourite person on this earth," said Hellyer. "My life will never be the same without you Elliot, you were the best human and I will be forever missing you."

A celebration of Elliot's life will be held at Brookfield Showgrounds on 31 May 2024, starting 12pm sharp.

Photos © Astrid Appels - Venhaus - Stephan Mowbray

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