WHO ARE WE?
PATCHWORK PARK IS A FAMILY OWNED BUSINESS RUN BY MOTHER AND DAUGHTER DREAM TEAM, SUSAN AND HEATHER PAIX.
THE BUSINESS ORIGINATED IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S PRISTINE ADELAIDE HILLS IN 1994, HOWEVER IN AUGUST 2017, WE UPROOTED AND MOVED TO VICTORIA'S CENTRAL HIGHLANDS (BALLARAT). EASILY ONE OF THE BEST DECISIONS WE HAVE EVER MADE.
PERSONALITY TYPE: ENTJ-A "THE COMMANDER"
If there's a way, she will make it happen. Susan is famous for her 'gung-ho' attitude; a motivated and unstoppable human force. Accurately claimed as an ENTJ personality, Susan craves progress and results, evidenced in her successful Equestrian career in both Eventing and Dressage.
"Commanders love a good challenge, big or small, and they firmly believe that given enough time and resources, they can achieve any goal. This quality makes people with the Commander personality type brilliant entrepreneurs, and their ability to think strategically and hold a long-term focus while executing each step of their plans with determination and precision makes them powerful business leaders. They are likely to push everyone else right along with them, achieving spectacular results in the process."
--16Personalities.com (Click here to read more)
Susan's passion for riding started as a young girl, addicted to the riding schools every weekend. After saving every cent she could, she purchased her first horse at sixteen and took to the hunt field. Eventually Susan stepped into eventing. In 1979 Susan was one of three in the SA team that went to WA for their 3DE. Susan's mount at the time, Le Bronze, a talented station bred horse, helped secure the win for the SA team.
Susan acquired Eagles Dare (another talented station horse - even with feathered legs!) and competed in the Wimmera Run through VIC eight years in a row, usually winning enough money to stay on the road. Susan's proudest event: 2nd in a 6 Bar under lights at Horsham, with the last jump 5'6".
The plan was always to continue eventing, however the urge to do so had faded once her two children were born (1995 &1997) As soon as her youngest child was six months old, Susan purchased a new horse for dressage. "Brandwood Oasis" (affectionately known as Owl) had only just been started under saddle, had never been rugged or done a lot but was exceptionally trainable and fun. He was an awkwardly built gelding, sired by a Warmblood stallion and out of a 14.1h Arabian mare. He grew to be 17.1H!
Owl was reliable and progressed through the ranks very quickly. By 2004 he was sold as a schoolmaster at PSG / INTER I.
In the meantime in 2000 Susan had purchased a 6 month old WILD WB filly by FAX-TOO and out of an unknown mare. This young grey filly would soon be named Sheer Etiquette (Ellie). Right from the beginning, Susan sensed she was talented and they cruised through the grades with scores up to 74% and a constant ribbon winner.
In 2011 Ellie was renowned and going superbly in FEI. They jumped to Grand Prix CDN, and by the end of the year were transferred to International Level to reign as the longest standing international level combination in Australia (7 years). They sat 7th on the World Equestrian Games List in 2014 with scores between 64-67% consistently. During this time they had been in the top 15 dressage combinations in Australia, which secured invites to events such as Equitana. They were against the top Olympic Level Australian contenders such as Heath and Rozzie Ryan, Brett Parbery, Mary Hanna and Sue Hearn. Heath Ryan himself was fascinated to note that Sheer Etiquette was a mare who was simply "good at everything".
In 2021, Sheer Etiquette is set to return to competition following a 3 year "break" (was meant to be retirement but she isn't done yet! Lots happening here!
While following her own path, Susan encouraged her two children to ride. They attended many pony shows during the early 2000's. Her son, (1995) a very intellectually driven Robotic Engineer lost interest in riding early on, but her daughter is now a part of her passion and dream here at Patchwork Park.
PERSONALITY TYPE: INTJ-A "THE ARCHITECT"
Quite the contrast to Susan, being more reserved and calculating. Heather is a logical, analytical individual with a motivated, optimistic approach to life and business endeavours. Female Architects are exceedingly rare in society, only comprising .8% of the total population. They are a special encounter indeed.
"Architects are proud of how much they know, and enjoy sharing the knowledge they gain. They’re confident in their mastery of their chosen subjects. They are serious and prefer to design and carry out effective plans rather than waste their time with foolish distractions like gossip. Architects are self-confident. Using their insights and logic, they push innovation through by sheer willpower. Architects constantly deconstruct and rebuild every idea and system they encounter and move through life as though it were a giant chessboard, advancing and retreating with considered intelligence. This personality type always looks for new tactics, strategies, and contingency plans. With this, they can achieve any goal they apply themselves to."
--16Personalities.com (Click here to read more)
Heather began riding when she was small enough to fit into a halter (a convenient safety harness!) and many hours were spent hooning around on tiny ponies (coincidentally, all grumpy grey mares). By age 12, however, she had already done the majority of growing, which put her at 5'10" and definitely too tall for ponies; it was time to "more ambitiously" buy larger horses.
Heather's first tall horse was a spotty crossbred greenbroken 4yo Palomino Gelding ("Visible Ghost" (DEC), aka Sebastian) in 2009. They got along like a house on fire. 2020 was a crushing year to lose this special horse to aggressive cancer in the skull, absolutely no expense spared in the attempt to save his life but sadly unsuccessful. He was not particularly talented at Dressage, nor had the most attractive paces, however Heather developed and campaigned him through to Advanced Level EA. His party trick, a line of two time changes.
July 2019 saw Heather put horses aside and she headed off to Kapooka NSW to complete Basic Training for the Australian Defence Force Reserves. She considers it her proudest, most difficult achievement to date; something she never believed she could do. 5 weeks without horses was definitely a challenge!
In 2021, Heather is campaigning two very promising mounts. The first, a Patchwork bred gelding "Patchwork Stolen Moments" who is competitively sitting in EA Advanced with super extended trots and flying changes. He also has a powerful established piaffe in hand and under saddle and is showing serious potential for passage. He is by Sheer Etiquette's brother (Merlin) and out of a Benefit Performer TB mare. In 2021he has been accepted onto the Victorian Dressage Development Squad, acknowledged for his high percentages.
Her second horse is "Patchwork Royal Etiquette", the only Sheer Etiquette foal in existence and still a colt! Look out Australia; the next top stallion is coming soon!
She is also campaigning a talented De Niro gelding, Torvina De Meyer, who is competing successfully at Advanced Level as well. He is available for purchase to a talented, aspiring rider wanting a horse to go to the top!
Heather's main passion is breeding and she is into her third year of breeding Warmblood foals for dressage. All her mares are strategically chosen based on competition careers, paces, temperament and potential. They are all registered and full blooded mares paired to proven IFS WB stallions. She prides herself in knowing as many bloodlines as she possibly can and is very interested in matching strengths up though sires and dams. She can often be found discussing hypothetical pairings, colour genetic probability and bloodline strengths and weaknesses with other breeding enthusiasts.