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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Sylvia Mary Finola Stanier, LVO 1928-2019



Sylvia Mary Finola Stanier, LVO, scion of the Stanier baronets, and one of the greatest lady equestrians of her age, died 12 October, 2019. She was 91.

She was born 9 May, 1928, daughter of Brigadier Sir Alexander Stanier, 2nd Baronet [1899-1995] by his wife the former Dorothy Gladys Miller [died 1973].

Her uncle was Colonel Sir John Miller, GCVO [1919-2006], Crown Equerry to the Queen, 1961-87.

Riding from an early age, she grew up with a hunting and showing background and was a pupil of Sam Marsh in her early years. She then became a student of Lt. Col ‘Joe” Dudgeon, himself a pupil of Paul Rodzianko. In addition she studied Haute Ecole with two of the greatest dressage minds of the 20th Century for many years namely Einar-Schmit-Jensen and Nuno Oliveira. Between the three masters she learnt both the art of showjumping and Haute Ecole from some of the finest equestrians at the time. She trained horses as a result for the Olympic Games in Japan in 1964, Mexico in 1968 and Munich in 1972.

Not only had she trained extensively in the above disciplines but was also an expert in Side-Saddle, winning the Ladies Championship at the Dublin Horse show on Bachelor Gay in 1965, as well as winning the Lightweight Hunter Championships in 1966 and the Irish Dressage Championships in 1967. Bachelor Gay was trained by both Schmit-Jensen and Sylvia and went onto become the Duke of Edinburgh’s horse for the Trooping of the Colour.

In 1966 she gave a display of her long reining skills – which she learnt from Schmit-Jensen - in the presence of both her Masters Oliveira and Schmit-Jensen at the Horse of the Year Show – Oliveira marvelled at long reining skills with Le Marquis.

She worked for many years at Burton Hall – which at the time was the centre of all equestrian excellence in Ireland, for Col. Dudgeon, and then with the Galvins schooling their international horses.

For many years Sylvia also worked for her Majesty the Queen and Burmese in side saddle preparing for the Trooping of the Colour and was awarded an LVO by her Majesty for her services.

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