Photo Credit: Dressage Bits N Pieces
Old Patchwork residency, Bugle Ranges South Australia
Photo Credit: Dressage Bits N Pieces
2000 / Grey / Mare / 16h
Sire: FAX-TOO Dam: Rougelais
Highest Level: Grand Prix CDI
Rider: Susan Paix
Registration: EA, FEI
Australia would be hard pressed to see another horse of this calibre again. Sheer Etiquette sat atop her throne as the queen of Patchwork; aware of her fruitful career at CDI Level. She reigned as Australia's longest standing International Level horse for 7 years, was long listed for the World Equestrian Games in 2014, competed several years in a row at Equitana, sat 7th in Australia for CDI horses, 242nd in the FEI World Listing and was widely acknowledged as "Crowd Favourite for being the Happiest Horse". Ellie had been an integral part of Patchwork Park since humble beginnings.
She was purchased as a wild, unhandled 6 month old foal and began as a project and second horse to Susan, whose FEI schoolmaster was beginning to slow down. Little did she know she had purchased a freak who would one day become one of the best in the world.
Ellie was by the AWHA stallion FAX-TOO. He was one of the last living descendants of the first Warmblood to be imported into Australia, Flaneur (IMP / DEC) in 1968. FAX-TOO would have been very close to 30 by the time Ellie was born, given that Flaneur was born in 1964 and Ellie in 2000... We are dealing with some very old school, old fashioned Holsteiner lines here.
FAX-TOO resided in SA's Adelaide Hills and was owned and competed by Prue Foletta. There were only a handful of foals bred by this stallion.
Some noted half siblings are ADV Level gelding Fourwinds Fancy Fax, D Grade mare Nature Vet Addiction (1.15m), Merlin (sire of many successful horses such as FEI State Squad gelding Patchwork Stolen Moments and successful YH class and Medium Level horse Laurel View Tyson VDS) and many other successful horses), Kellani (DEC) (trained to Medium Level) and Fox Hill Kombat, who is a full sister to Ellie but her whereabouts is unknown.
Ellie was out of a mare called Rougelais (DEC) and is a full sister to the recently deceased FEI mare, Fox Hill Aphrodite, who was a Grand Prix Showjumper and 1* Eventer. She spent 5 years at International Level, secured many wins up to 130cm, never out of the placings at National Level and was even a super mount for a JNR rider at the end of her career, still in the placings. She died at the ripe old age of 25 in 2021. Another full sister, a splitting image to Ellie, named Sweet Satisfaxion, sadly died only recently due to a snake bite. No foals could be successfully obtained from either mare prior to their demise.
To our knowledge, no full brothers were ever sired, and all the sisters are now deceased, which made Ellie the very last heritage FAX-TOO mare, out of Rougelais. Ellie herself has only one foal in existence, who will be discussed below.
Improperly named, considering her bedside manners were atrocious and borderline dangerous, Sheer Etiquette, full of confidence and sass, climbed through the grades confidently and competently. In 2005 she debuted in Prelim, one of her very first scoring 70%. Three years later, she was Medium Level, scoring over 74%. 2010 started in Inter I and ended in Grand Prix CDN. A short time was spent solidifying percentages at this level, until 2011 when the combination was invited to compete as a CDI competitor and compete in Equitana, which only the top 15 horses in Australia can qualify for. In 2014 she finished 7th overall against these top horses and was listed as a back up competitor for the WEG in France. For the years to come, Susan and Ellie ventured around Australia, attending major competitions at Werribee Park, Boneo Park, SIEC, Mornington, etc. Ellie held her game against the biggest and best in Australia and always stepped out the truck with a fiery, "let's do it!" attitude, despite the 18 hour trek to get there.
In 2018, Susan hung up the tall boots and tail coat and retired Ellie from competition. This was the plan... Except in 2021, Ellie headed back into competition! Why? Well, Rosehip Vital EQ had given her a new lease on life and she was back in work and firing! Susan kept saying "She felt sounder than before I retired her" so it made sense to get back into it! Ellie was officially retired in October 2022, only weeks before her demise.
In 2018, we were successful in obtaining an Embryo from Ellie, resulting in a 2019 Grey Colt, (Patchwork Royal Etiquette). He is by Royal Oak II (IMP/EXP) . We attempted for another several times with different stallions to no avail... Late 2019 we inseminated with Furst Love semen, only to be told it was unsuccessful. One year later, a freak occurrence... (Read the story here)
Several months later, we contemplated retrying to obtain another embryo from her. Unfortunately a fascinating veterinary examination revealed that her uterus is in extremely poor condition (polycystic and blood pockets) and the risk of pregnancy to her survival was simply too high (and even Embryo Transfer posed a risk that the follicle could be missed...again.) So, unfortunately, Patchwork Royal Etiquette remains as the only living heir of this superstar mare and no more in the pipeline.
SADLY DECEASED 12/11/22 DUE TO AGGRESSIVE COLIC. SHE WILL BE MISSED TERRIBLY
VIEW HER TRIBUTE BELOW (YOU'LL NEED TISSUES)