In Memory of Philippa Humphreys

Phillipa setting out on course today at Jersey Fresh. Photo copyright Amber Heintzberger.

Philippa setting out on course today at Jersey Fresh. Photo copyright Amber Heintzberger.

It is with the deepest regret that the United States Equestrian Federation and United States Eventing Association report that Philippa Humphreys of Great Britain suffered a fatal accident while competing in the CCI3* at Jersey Fresh International in Allentown, N.J. on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Humphreys, aged 33 of Rockford, Mich. and Rich N Famous, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood/Thoroughbred gelding owned by Humphreys and her husband Peter, had a fall during cross-country at fence 16. She was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in nearby Hamilton, N.J., where she was pronounced dead by the attending physician.

I’ve been honored to get to know Philippa  over the past six months. Both Silva and Phillipa had a child in quick succession and I was lucky enough to campaign a couple of Phillipa’s horses while she was out of action. Through this relationship we got to meet Philippa’s family: her husband Pete and Millie, their child, and Jill, Phil’s mum.

I can honestly say that we are very, very lucky and fortunate to meet these wonderful people and it was an absolute honor helping Philippa towards her dream of riding at Rolex. Any normal person who’s just had a baby doesn’t try to ride at Rolex but Philippa and Sir Donovan were definitely determined to get there. Throughout the winter in Aiken Pete visited the camp on numerous occasions to take over as “mother”; unfortunately Philippa didn’t quite reach her dream when Don had an accident on the trailer in the 12th hour.

She was wonderful to have at the barn, she loved her horses and was dedicated to her craft. I helped her warm up before she set out today and her horse was jumping out of stride and full of running. Just before she set out, she looked at me and said, “He’s feeling great”. They looked good to go.

I don’t really think it’s hit me yet. It’s a very eerie feeling here at Jersey and I don’t know quite what to say. She had a true love for the sport and a love for Millie, and like I said, it was an honor and a pleasure working with her.


A fund for Millie has been set up in her mother’s memory. Please consider making a contribution.

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