Born in 1963 in Nyngan, New South Wales, Australia, Phillip grew up with horses on his family’s sheep and wheat farm. Most of his childhood and teenage years were spent competing at Pony Club rallies and horse trials. Phillip continued to pursue his passion for riding while studying in Sydney at Newington College and later at Agricultural College.
Phillip moved to the United States in 1991 to train in a more internationally competitive environment and to prepare for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where he rode on Australia’s gold medal eventing team. In total, Phillip represented Australia in three Olympics and four World Championships after his move to the U.S.
Phillip became an American citizen in 2006 and changed his competitive nationality so that he would be eligible to represent his adoptive home, the United States. Phillip was very honored to do so at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, where he was a member of the gold medal team and individual silver medalist with TruLuck. Phillip made his debut on the United States Olympic eventing team with Connaught at the Bejiing Olympics in Hong Kong in 2008, where the team placed seventh.
Phillip and Woodburn represented the U.S. at the 2010 Lexington World Equestrian Games, where the team placed fourth. He also competed on the seventh-placed U.S. team at the 2012 London Olympics with Mystery Whisper. Phillip won his second Pan American team gold medal at the 2015 Toronto Games with Fernhill Fugitive. A highlight of his career came when he won his first individual Olympic medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, taking bronze with Mighty Nice.
Very active on the U.S. eventing circuit, Phillip won the USEA Leading Rider of the Year title in 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. In 2005, he was also named the number one FEI World Eventing Rider. He completed the 2016 season ranked number two in the world.
Phillip and his wife, Evie, own, manage and train out of True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania, and at their Red Oak Farm in Aiken, South Carolina. Phillips dedicates much of his time to coaching other riders, and he coached the U.S. Area II Young Riders in 2001 and 2002. He also coaches many adult amateurs and a number of the USEF Eventing High Performance riders. Phillip was voted the 2009 Developing Rider Coach of the Year.
Phillip is a founding member of the Professional Riders Organization, now called the Eventer Riders Association of North America, and served as president in 2012 and 2013. He also chairs the USEF Eventing Active Athletes Committee and sits on the USEF Eventing High Performance Committee. He is also on the organizing committee for Plantation Field International Horse Trials.
Phillip is pleased to promote the excellent products of his generous sponsors: Antares, Ariat, Charles Owen, Cosequin, EcoGold, EquiFit, FLAIR, Horseware Ireland, Majyk Equipe, National Bank of Malvern, RevitaVet, Shapley’s, SmartPak, Southern States, SSG Gloves, StayOns and Triple Crown.
Phillip lives in West Grove, Pennsylvania with his wife, Evie; his stepdaughter, Lee Lee; and their twin daughters, Mary and Olivia. Apart from horses, Phillip has a keen interest in world affairs, reading and sports, particularly golf and tennis when time permits.