First published in The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine Volume I Issue II December 2016.
Celebrating the Champions – Bankswood Savoir Faire
The picture perfect brown hack mare Bankswood Savoir Faire took the Overall Supreme Ridden Championship at the Cherif Finals in September, rounding off another incredible season. The seven-year old, by Comberton Cadet (Cusop Finger Print x Tarplee Sea Egret) and out of Fairlyn Finesse (Fairlyn Gemini x Countesswells), was bred by the late Chris Sandison and Annie Eccles of the UK.
She has been owned and ridden by Hayley Patterson for the past two seasons, with Hayley travelling from Northern Ireland to England most weekends during the summer in order to compete. Hayley explains: “Last year, I contracted mumps just before the Cherif Championships, so Samantha (Quiney) took the ride and did an excellent job deputising, to win Supreme of Show. I was ecstatic, but so sad to have missed it.”
‘Saffy’, as she is known at home, is produced by Samantha and Julian Quiney from their base in Somerset. At home, she is a pleasure to deal with, a kind mare that loves her work and is easy to do. She is great with children and has a particular soft spot for their six-year-old son, Tom. At a show, she has presence to burn, and she oozes that certain ‘look at me’ air that never fails to catch the judge’s eye. Hayley adds: “It sounds silly, but Saffy knows she is special! She is such a poser and can spot a camera from 100 yards away. She is a bit of a Princess and won’t go anywhere near puddles or step in another horses’ droppings, so we sometimes dance and sidestep our way to the arena. But once she’s in there, she knows how to give her all.”
During the past two seasons, Saffy has enjoyed great success in both small hack and part-bred Arab classes, qualifying for the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) and the Horse of the Year Show both years. Some of her 2016 results include winning the inaugural Restricted Part-bred Arab Championship at the BSPS Winter Championships; Hack Champion at the Ponies UK Winter Championships; Reserve Champion Part-bred Arab at BSPS Area 10; second in the Small Hacks at Royal Windsor; and second in the Small Hack section at the Hickstead Derby Meeting.
Bankswood Savoir Faire. Credit Photography by Real Time Imaging.
“This year, I was determined to make my debut at the Cherif Championship Show,” says Hayley “There was a certain amount of pressure riding the defending champion, so I knew I had to be at the top of my game. The set show was causing problems for a lot of established combinations. Luckily, everything went according to plan. Saffy went beautifully for the ride judge and answered all the questions I asked of her in the set show.
“When I was called forward as section winner I was absolutely thrilled. Never did I think I would be able to repeat Sam’s 2015 success and win the Supreme. Saffy gave me an amazing ride and really galloped. It was a remarkably special result, made even more so by the fact that the double has only ever been done once before by the great Kingsford Silver Spray (Court Crooner x Kingsford Blue Mink).”
Like so many other exhibitors, Hayley is full of praise for the Cherif, saying: “Lynda Temple and her team do a fantastic job with the organising. If you show an Anglo or part-bred and haven’t yet been, I couldn’t recommend it more!”
With another season done, Saffy is currently having a couple of months off. Looking ahead, 2017 she will come back into work in January ready to contest the first of the RIHS hack and part-bred Arab qualifiers. And, as Hayley excitedly adds: “We hope to be back at the Cherif Championships in September to defend our title!”