Continuing with memories from the British National Championships in this Centenary year for the Arab Horse Society, we showcase our next British National Champion. Amazingly, this horse is also featured twice on our list, underlining just how great this ridden stallion truly was.
Silver Satyr – by Tina Bennett
Back in 1986, I was introduced by my late husband, Rodney, to friends Liz and Roger Titterington, some of the first people that I had the pleasure to meet in the Arabian world. Not long after, I was encouraged into the world of stewarding ridden Arabian horse classes at the International show held at Towerlands and it was there, in 1989, that I was offered the privilege of exercising a magnificent grey stallion, Silver Satyr.
Liz was very trusting of Satyr, leaving him to look after me even though Liz said: “He needs all the work we can give him!” I was a total novice to Arabs (I came from eventing) and had never before ridden a stallion. I found his stable and his tack and proceeded to get him ready to exercise. What a super-natured horse, what a joy he was to ride, I came away thinking that’s what I want to do, ride Arabs, show Arabs, judge Arabs and so my track was set.
Silver Satyr, by Silver Chastindi (Indian Silver x Silver Perle) and out of Shamasque (Bey Shadow x Masqueen), was born on 24 April 1980. Bred by Norman Jackson and Liz Titterington at Birkrigg Park and produced by Caroline Whittaker and her sister Janet Chadwick, he had many show successes including in 1985: First and Best Ridden Stallion, AHS Ascot Summer Show; First and Ridden Champion AHS Northern Show, Haydock Park; First and Ridden Champion, Three Counties Show. In 1986, he continued with Reserve Champion Ridden Arab and first Ridden Stallion AHS Northern Show, Haydock Park, and British National Champion and Ridden Champion of Show, AHS Summer Show, Ascot.
Silver Satyr had many other successes at county level, a successful in-hand career and he also spent a season as a racehorse, resulting in second place at Goodwood.
He is a truly versatile horse that has sired some of the best-ridden performance horses in all disciplines including: Silver Mercury, winner of the 160km ride at Wicklow Hills in Ireland in June 2006; Crown Prince of Silver Blue who has just completed his first 40 mile ride without breaking sweat; the hugely successful part-bred Silver Katriana; and HOYS contenders Silver Lil and Silver Tiffany. I am sure that Satyr still has one or two more waiting in the wings.
Silver Satyr himself is fit and well and still very much the alpha-dominant male on the yard. He still stands at Birkrigg Park in the beautiful countryside of the Lake District, enjoying his retirement at the grand age of 26.
I like to think my short time with him made an impression on how well he did in the show-ring – but I know it’s not what I did for him, it’s what he did for me. A moment I will never forget. Thank you Liz and Roger for that moment. I now judge, ride, show and produce ridden Arabian horses because of his influence on me and maybe one day, I will produce a champion like him!
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This post comes from a series we first ran in The Arabian Magazine in 2005. Called Malvern Calling, the series celebrated British National Champions from Malvern, Ascot and even Kempton Park, and different readers shared their favourite memory from the British Nationals. There is always something special about watching the moment a horse is crowned British National Champion, so please enjoy the memories that will be shared here over the coming month.