By Alexis Ferraro
Philip Richter has been around horses his entire life. His mother, Judy Richter, is a famous trainer, judge and author who took him at an early age on summer trips to the Lake Placid and Hampton Classic horse shows. “The Hampton Classic is very close to my heart,” said Philip, who’s from of Bedford, New York. “My godmother, Christophe de Menilwas, was one of the founders of the show. My entire family has made a tradition of showing there for decades.”
Philip’s passion for riding began at his family’s Coker Farm. His show career was launched at age 6 in the Short Stirrup division, and he went on to compete in the Pony Hunters, Equitation, Junior Hunters and Junior Jumpers. In 1983, Philip was Pony Hunter Champion at the Hampton Classic aboard Raincheck.
Philip currently competes in the High and Low Amateur-Owner jumper divisions aboard Ray Ray and Firefly. He has been Amateur-Owner jumper champion at many top horse shows including the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Lake Placid, Devon and the Hampton Classic.
Philip also found great success on Glasgow, Dello Joio’s former Grand Prix superstar. Some of Glasgow’s major Grand Prix victories with Norman included the CN Cup in Calgary, the President’s Cup at the Washington International Horse Show, the Hickstead Grand Prix in England and the American Invitational in Florida.
With Philip, Glasgow went on to win the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur Owner Classic at Devon, the Devoucoux, Inc. Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic at the I Love New York Horse Show in Lake Placid and, for two years in a row, the High Amateur Owner Classic at Old Salem. “He could probably jump the High Amateurs with one leg tied up around his ear,” Philip said of Glasgow.
In 2013, Philip, his mother and Norman Dello Joio officially retired Glasgow from a long and successful Grand Prix and Amateur-Owner Jumper career in a special ceremony at the Hampton Classic.
At last year’s Hampton Classic, Philip and his mount Firefly won the Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship for the third year in a row after winning the $5,000 Strong’s Marine Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. “I’d rather win once at the Hampton Classic than win a dozen times at other shows,” said Philip. “The Hampton Classic and Lake Placid are the two highlights of my annual show calendar.”
Philip’s family has a long history of involvement in show jumping, Thoroughbred racing and four-in-hand driving. Philip’s family has owned and trained horses that would ultimately compete in the Olympic Games, the FEI World Cup and the Pan American Games. His grandfather bred Gold Beauty, the 1982 Eclipse Award winner, as well as the 1996 Preakness Stakes winner Louis Quatorze.
Philip also recently tried his hand at reining and found it more fun than he ever could have imagined. He was inspired to ride reiners by his wife, Sarah Willeman, a former Grand Prix rider and national equitation champion who breeds and owns gold medal reining horses. In 2012, Philip competed at the Stephenville Texas Cowboy Capital Classic for the first time and, aboard Ruf Hearted Jac, won the rookie non-pro division.
Philip is a graduate of Boston College and holds an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is president of Hollow Brook Wealth Management LLC, a New York City based private wealth management firm. He also sits on the board of directors of the Lake Placid Horse Show and the Hampton Classic Horse Show, and serves as treasurer of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation.
“The Hampton Classic has always been one of my favorite horse shows,” said Philip. “I have many fond memories that now go back decades. The show is a very important part of my riding career and my life.”