Phelps Media Group Announces the Death of Founder and CEO Mason Phelps, Jr.

Phelps Media Group Announces the Death of Founder and CEO Mason Phelps, Jr.

 

Wellington, Fla. – May 19, 2021 – It is with great sadness and the deepest regrets that Phelps Media Group announces the passing of its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mason Phelps, Jr. Phelps passed away unexpectedly but peacefully at home of a heart attack. On behalf of the entire team at Phelps Media Group, we extend the deepest condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones.

Mason Phelps, Jr. was the epitome of a lifelong equestrian, maintaining an undeniable relevance in the sport that has defined his personal and professional life. His contributions to the equestrian world include being an Olympic athlete, groom, trainer, event manager, governance leader, media executive, and philanthropy organizer.

“With the passing of Mason Phelps, the entire equestrian community has suffered an unimaginable loss,” said Lenore Phillips, President of Phelps Media Group. “Phelps Media Group and our team of dedicated marketing professionals will continue its professional efforts with the passion Mason would have wished and carry his tenacity of spirit in our future endeavors.”

Born in 1949, Phelps’ passion for horses and equestrian sports started early and he was only sixteen when he was invited to participate in his first training clinic with the United States Equestrian Team. In 1968, he was named US Combined Training Association’s Rider of the Year and was alternate for the U.S. Three-Day Team for the Mexico City Olympic Games. His career as a trainer began in 1972, working first as an assistant at Flintridge Riding Club and later developing his own training stable for hunter/jumpers until his retirement from competition in the late 1990s.

With a proclivity for innovation, Phelps paved the way launching dozens of ingenious events throughout his career. Whether they were equestrian competitions or philanthropic fundraisers, his successful events were often the talk of the town with packed attendance. For example, in 1970, he created and produced the AA-Rated Christmas Show in San Antonio, Texas, an annual event that is still an integral part of the Texas equestrian community. In 1976, Phelps founded the American Jumping Derby (later the International Jumping Derby) in Newport, Rhode Island. The first of its kind, it quickly became a major show on the East Coast jumping circuit through 1988. In 1977, Phelps created the New England Horsemen’s Association Hunt Seat Medal, also still a popular event to this day. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Phelps produced a driving event for the Newport Preservation Society. He was also one of the original organizers of the first World Cup Final in the U.S., in Baltimore in 1980.

In the early 1990s at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Phelps created innovative classes including the first equitation class for previous winners of the Maclay Equitation Championship and Medal Finals; an equitation class for past U.S. Olympic, Pan American Games, and Nations Cup athletes; and the first hunter classic for the American Hunter Jumper Foundation, held in the International Arena. Phelps was Director of Equestrian Operations at Palm Beach Polo in 1993. He served several years as President of the National Horse Show, reestablishing its prominence at its new home in Lexington, Kentucky following its stint at Madison Square Garden. In 2012, he also organized the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida.

Phelps was Chairman of American Horse Show Association’s (now USEF) Zone I for eight years and served on the boards of the AHSA, USET and Show Jumping Hall of Fame. He also served as President of the New England Horseman’s Council and Rhode Island Horseman’s Association. As an AHSA judge, he judged many horse shows including the AHSA Medal Finals at Harrisburg.

A pioneer and natural leader, Phelps has been instrumental in numerous charity and fundraising events, starting with the famed Newport Roundup in the 1980s. He was one of the founders of the Equestrian Aid Foundation (EAF) in 1996 and in 1998, he produced the first Denim and Diamonds, a benefit gala for the USET Foundation that he produced again in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2004, raising millions of dollars that supported the USET.

In 2001, Phelps founded Phelps Media Group which has grown to represent many of the most prestigious equestrian events, organizations, companies, athletes, and businesses. By 2011 he was named to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce President’s Circle for building “America’s most progressive and successful equestrian public relations firm.”

Please direct all inquiries to Phelps Media Group at info@phelpsmediagroup.com and (561) 793-3389.

Stay connected with Phelps Media Group.

Duchossois’ Legacy Shines in ACHS’s Support of Equestrian Aid Foundation

Duchossois at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo by Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com.

May 18, 2021 – Wellington, Fla. – The Equestrian Aid Foundation is honored to be a beneficiary of the 2021 Aiken Charity Horse Show, which culminated Sunday at Bruce’s Field. The two-week annual event is held in memory of Bruce Duchossois, a former EAF board member and champion of tradition, integrity, and excellence across the equestrian disciplines.

As the Equestrian Aid Foundation enters into its 25th year, the charitable donation from ACHS serves as a poignant reminder of Duchossois’ legacy. A member of EAF’s executive committee, Duchossois was an integral part of the foundation’s vision until his death in 2014. “When it comes to horsemen helping horsemen, Bruce walked the walk,” said EAF board member Scot Evans, who counted Duchossois among his closest friends. “His example has been a north star for the Equestrian Aid Foundation for 25 years, and we know he would be so proud of where we are today.”

For 25 years, the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s impact has been far reaching, both geographically and throughout the equestrian disciplines. Incorporated in 1996 as a grassroots relief organization for horsemen and women with HIV/AIDS, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has since expanded its mission in response to the equestrian community’s most critical needs. While maintaining its commitment to those coping with catastrophic illness or injury, the foundation also operates a Disaster Relief Fund that assists communities in crisis due to natural or other unforeseen disasters. In 2020 alone, EAF helped nearly 300 industry professionals across the United States through its COVID emergency grant program.

In Duchossois’ honor, the donation from Aiken Charity Horse Show marks the launch of the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s 25-for-25 Anniversary Campaign. Follow EAF on social media or sign up for its mailing list as the foundation celebrates its first 25 years and carries its vision of horsemen helping horsemen into the future.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Shane Sweetnam and Ideal Win $37k 1.45m Spring Classic CSI3* at Kentucky Spring Classic

Lexington, KY – May 20, 2021 – As the sun set on the Kentucky Horse Park Thursday evening to conclude the second day of the Kentucky Spring Classic, international show jumping athletes gathered at the Rolex Arena to contend for top honors in the $37,000 1.45m Spring Classic CSI3*. Out of a whopping field of 86 competitors, just 22 athletes managed clear efforts, and in the end, it was Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam and Ideal to emerge victorious and claim their rightful spot in the winner’s circle.

Christopher Payne Ties for Grand Hunter Champion on Gratitude and Imagine

After successful rounds in the Green 3′ Hunter and Green Conformation Hunter at the Kentucky Spring Classic, professional hunter athlete Christopher Payne emerged victorious to tie for the Grand Hunter Championship, riding Gratitude and Imagine to a total of 50 points in their respective divisions. Awarded to the horse with the most points in the Green 3′ Hunter, Green 3’3″ Hunter, Green 3’6″ Hunter, Green Conformation Hunter, High-Performance Conformation Hunter, or the High-Performance Working Hunter Divisions, Payne showcased his skills on both mounts, earning top honors for the second week in a row in the Green 3’ Hunter and Green Conformation Hunter divisions to claim the Grand Champion title.

For more information, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Recognizing Greatness: Announcing the 2021 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductees

The Horse Stars Hall of Fame honors the contributions of amazing horses by sharing the stories of their athletic and humanitarian feats. It was established by the EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) in 2013 to celebrate the extraordinary talent of horses and their magical and powerful bond with people.

The USEF inducts the horses recognized annually as “Horses of Honor” for their stellar athletic performances. The EQUUS Foundation inducts horses who have had an inspirational impact on the public as companions, teachers, and healers.

The 2021 Horse Stars Hall of Fame inductees are Dolton, FWF Undercover, Gazelle, Kiss Me Quick, Pritchard Hill, Sir Gus, Tango, and Vivaldi De Besilu.

“The Horse Stars Hall of Fame is a wonderful way to demonstrate the staying power of horses — as athletes, companions, teachers, and healers — and their unique abilities to move us through a spectrum of experiences from thrill and exhilaration to pure joy. By sharing the stories of these amazing horses, we hope to build a more informed and compassionate America that values the impact of horses in our lives,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.

Visit the Horse Stars Hall of Fame here.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Olivia Chowdry and Chuck Berry 8 Mark Memorable Win $35k Commonwealth Grand Prix

Lexington, KY – May 16, 2021 – The final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show took place Sunday, May 16, welcoming athletes for the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. The conclusion to show jumping competition at the Kentucky Horse Park this week saw 35 horse-and-rider pairs enter the Rolex Arena eager to notch a win under their belt. Olivia Chowdry and Chuck Berry 8 marked a memorable night together, earning their first grand prix win since the start of their three-year partnership. Chowdry and Chuck Berry 8, owned by Aatlas Equine Holdings LLC, put down an impressive jump-off round to best the field of international competitors and ride home with the unforgettable blue.

Scott Stewart Claims First and Second in $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

International Hunter Derby riders took over the StoneLea Ring Sunday morning to vie for top honors in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during the final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. A total of 17 talented pairs showcased their skills in the decorated arena to impress the judges. Making his return to International Hunter Derby competition after nearly four years, seasoned professional rider Scott Stewart piloted two of his newer, greener mounts to dominate the class, earning first place aboard Dr. Betsee Parker’s Nottingham and second place with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Hudson.

For more information, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Daniel Coyle and Legacy Win $137k Hagyard Lexington Grand Prix CSI3*

Lexington, KY – May 15, 2021 – The penultimate day of the kick-off week to the 2021 Kentucky Horse Shows series welcomed international show jumping competitors to the famed Rolex Arena Saturday, May 15. As the highly anticipated event of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show (KSHS), the $137,00 Hagyard Lexington Grand Prix CSI3* invited a field of 43 international horse-and-rider combinations to vie for the lion’s share of the purse. The competitive field of experienced contenders gathered with their sights set on closing out the evening with a win. It was a fight for a double-clear finish, but it was ultimately Ireland’s Daniel Coyle and Ariel Grange’s Legacy to notch yet another first place during their trip to Lexington to claim the coveted spot in the winner’s circle.

Mythical Carries Becky Gochman To Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion

Amateur-Owner riders took to the StoneLea Ring Saturday morning at the Kentucky Horse Park to vie for the title of Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion. Awarded to the competitor with the most points accumulated in the Amateur-Owner 3’6”, Amateur-Owner 3’3” 18-35, and the Amateur-Owner 3’3” 36+ Hunter divisions, Becky Gochman and Mythical were the pair to come out on top to be crowned Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion.

For more information, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Athletes from Five Continents to Contest Longines FEI Endurance World Championships 2021

2016 FEI Endurance World Champion, Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs. (FEI/Miro Nota)

The line-up for the Longines FEI Endurance World Championship in Pisa, Italy has been confirmed, with competitors from 32 countries and five continents ready to challenge for the 2021 individual and team world titles on Saturday May 22.

Amongst them are the 2016 World Champion, Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs, and his wife Maria Alvarez Ponton who has taken individual gold twice during her successful career – first at Terengganu in Malaysia in 2008 and again in Kentucky, USA in 2010. Also vying for top spot this time out will be Alex Luque Moral from Spain and Bahrain’s Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa who respectively took silver and bronze at the 2016 World Championships in Samorin, Slovakia. A total of 13 nations will be chasing down the team title.

The event will be staged in the magnificent Parco Naturale Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli, one of the largest and most ancient nature parks in Tuscany.

Landscapes

Close to the lovely city of Pisa, which is considered one of the pearls of Italy with its world-famous Leaning Tower in the Piazza dei Miracoli, the park extends over 23,000 hectares and boasts a huge variety of landscapes.

Its meadows, hills, pine forests, and marshes are bordered by the Tyrrhenian Sea providing a gentle sea breeze. And within the park lies the San Rossore Estate, home to San Rossore Racecourse, the historical home of Italian racing, as well as Villa del Gombo, a presidential home built after World War II. This venue has hosted a number of major FEI Endurance events including the 2019 World Championships for Junior & Young Riders, the World Championship for Young Horses and in 2018 the European Championship for Juniors & Young Riders.

The 2021 Longines FEI Endurance World Championships will get underway at the Racecourse at 07.00 on 22 May when a total of 81 competitors and their horses will set out on the 160-kilometre course. The statistics show a gender balance of 56% men and 44% women on the start list.

All health protocols will be in place as the Show Organisers, who have successfully created the event in a very short period of time, send out a great sporting message.

Preparation 

“While preparation of the field of play and the course proceeds incessantly, not only San Rossore but also the city of Pisa and Tuscany seem to have come back to life. In spite of the problems caused by the pandemic we are ready to safely welcome the delegations from all over the world, well aware of the fact that this great event will have an important economic effect on the tourism and hospitality sector,” says Gianluca Laliscia, the former Endurance champion who heads the Organising Committee company sistemaeventi.it.

Recently appointed FEI Endurance Director, Christina Abu-Dayyeh, says, “While it was an enormous disappointment having to postpone the 2020 edition of the Longines FEI Endurance World Championships due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, this has only increased our passion to make these Championships even more spectacular in 2021!”

The event will be preceded by a spectacular Opening Ceremony on Thursday, 20 May, in the aptly named Piazza dei Cavalieri beside Pisa’s famous university, the Scuola Normale Superiore.

The Longines FEI Endurance World Championships 2021 will be broadcast live on FEI TV so fans and followers can watch the action unfold from all around the globe.

Website: www.ewc2021.com.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Eric Krawitt and Vani Khosla Earn Top Titles in High Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.40m Jumper

Lexington, KY – May 14, 2021 – Show jumping focus shifted to junior and amateur-owner competitors in the Rolex Arena at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show (KSHS) Friday morning. A total of 11 hopeful junior competitors and 30 amateur-owner competitors vied for top honors in their respective High 1.40m Jumper division. In the end, it was Eric Krawitt and Godfather B to claim the High Junior 1.40m Jumper title, while Vani Khosla and Billy Mexico nabbed first place honors in the High Amateur-Owner 1.40m Jumper.

Mimi Gochman and Taylor Cawley Claim Equitation Wins

Equitation riders took to the Kentucky Horse Park Friday afternoon in the StoneLea Ring for the 2021 Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Showcasing some of the top young junior athletes, the competition was stiff as several horse-and-rider combinations competed in several medal classes to acquire points towards 2021 indoors season finals. In the end, Mimi Gochman rode Heroy Von De Hei to top honors in the ASPCA Maclay, while Taylor Cawley dominated the 3’3’’ Medal classes aboard Quax, riding to the top of the class in both the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3″ Medal and the USHJA 3’3″ Hunter Seat Medal.

For more information, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Colorado’s Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses Need Your Voice

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is asking for public comments on a plan to remove 80% of the Sand Wash Basin herd located in northwestern Colorado. The agency wants to leave just 163 wild horses on the range – while they allowed the annual equivalent of over 180 cows to graze there last year.

Additionally, BLM is proposing fertility control methods that would destroy natural “wild” behaviors — including the use of Gonacon and artificially skewing the sex ratio which destroys wild horse social structure and increases stallion aggression.

Please join us in calling on BLM to humanely manage this herd on the range with PZP fertility control, and to allow the herd size to be reduced through natural attrition over time.

It takes just a moment to add your name and speak up for Colorado’s Sand Wash Basin wild horses!

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run’s Prince of Peace Win $75k Tryon Resort Grand Prix

Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run’s Prince of Peace ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – May 8, 2021 – Kristen VanderVeen (Wellington, FL) and Bull Run’s Prince of Peace announced their arrival at the Tryon Spring Series with a win in the $75,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), stopping the jump-off timers in 39.172. Sharn Wordley (Citra, FL) and Gatsby, his own 2004 Irish Sport Horse stallion (Simba x Daisy Cruise), flew to reserve on a time of 39.556, while third place went to Sydney Shulman (Greenwich, CT) and Villamoura, the 2009 Selle Francais mare (Diamant de Semilly x Kasina) owned by Jill Shulman, after their 40.531-second performance in the jump-off.

VanderVeen and the Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC-owned 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Cardenio x P-Comtesse) were one of 10 pairs to qualify for the jump-off test after 19 entries toured the first-round track set by Peter Grant (CAN). Last to go, VanderVeen reported that she knew she had to run to the last fence after seeing Wordley’s performance. It was an all-out gallop to the last fence, shaving just four-tenths of a second off Wordley’s time to win.

“It worked for us once, when we tried that, so I figured [I would] trust him and run as fast as I could to the last,” VanderVeen recapped. “I know his [Bull Run’s Prince of Peace] strength is in the long runs, and actually there were quite a few long runs here. I decided to not risk too much at the rollback turns, but really leave some strides out and push it to the last jump. I also left out a step into the combination because he’s very smart about that. I just tried to work to his strengths.”

Sydney Shulman and Villamoura Take a Tryon Detour to Win $25,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake

Sydney Shulman (Greenwich, CT) and Villamoura kicked off Tryon Spring 1 with a win in the $25,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake, speeding through the jump-off timers in 35.405 seconds. Catherine Tyree (Chicago, IL) and Bokai, the Catherine Tyree LLC-owned 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Up To Date x Lucky Girl), cleared the short course in a time of 36.682 to earn reserve, while Fernando Cardenas, Jr. (New Hill, NC) and his own Calvados, the 2010 Danish Warmblood gelding (Chellys Z x Serupgards Canasta), scored third on a time of 40.082.

Shulman and the 2009 Selle Francais mare rerouted to TIEC just last week, at the urging of Cat Tyree, Shulman revealed. “Cat said, ‘I’m never telling you to come to a horse show when you’re not going!’ – I wasn’t planning to come here until about a week ago, but we decided to catch this show on our way back home.”

Besides being a convenient place to pause for two weeks on their way back north after a grueling winter circuit in Wellington at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Shulman noted that she was looking for some confidence-boosting rides as well by competing at the national level.

“The jumps are super big at WEF and it’s so hard all the time, every weekend, so I kind of needed a little ego boost for my horses and myself,” Shulman admitted. “We wanted to take a deep breath at a new venue and jump some nice classes. I’m really happy that we came here!”

For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.

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