Mason Phelps Jr Dies Aged 72: An “Unimaginable Loss” of Former Team US Eventer

mason phelps jr dies

Mason Phelps Jr Dies Aged 72: An “Unimaginable Loss” of Former Team US Eventer

Mason Phelps Jr dies aged 72 years old.

The former Team US eventer suffered from a heart attack, dying at home on 19 May 2021.

Mason’s passion for horses and equestrian sport started at the age of 16. Invited to join a training clinic with the US equestrian team, it ignited a lifelong spark for horses.

In 1967, he competed at the European Eventing Championships in Punchestown, Ireland, riding Gladstone. Then, in 1968 he was reserve for the US eventing team at the Mexico City Olympics. In the same year, he was named the US Combined Training Association’s rider of the year.


Despite a prolific competing record, Mason was also a trainer and owned his own stables of hunter/jumpers during his career.

Mason was also an event organiser. In the 1970s, he launched many shows that still exist in the US today. These shows include, the AA-rated Christmas Show in San Antonio, the International Jumping Derby in Rhode Island, and the New England Horsemen’s Association Hunt Seat Medal event. Mason was one of the organisers of the first World Cup finals to be held in the US too!

Turning his hand to other disciplines, he was director of equestrian operations at Palm Beach Polo in 1991, also spending many years as president of the National Horse Show. In the early 1990s Mason created classes at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington for elite equitation riders. More recently, in 2012 he organised the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida.

The equestrian enthusiast was chairman of  US Equestrian Zone One for eight years and served on boards including the ASHA, the United States Equestrian Team Foundation (USET) and the Showjumping Hall of Fame.

Mason was involved in various charity and fundraising works. In 1996, he became one of the founders of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, helping US riders suffering from catastrophic injury or illness. He ran benefit galas to raise funds and spearheaded numerous fundraising campaigns.

Behind the scenes, he founded Phelps Media Group. A media group behind provision of public relations services to equestrian events, organisations, riders and businesses, he continued to champion the sport.

Leonore Philips, now president of Phelps Media Group, spoke of the “unimaginable loss” the entire equestrian community had suffered from the news of Mason’s passing.

A remembrance service and memorial will take place is set to take place in the near future.

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