Mark Phillips

H&H eventing columnist

Captain Mark Phillips is one of the world’s leading cross-country course-designers and a former top event rider. He is Horse & Hound’s longest-standing columnist and has been writing for the magazine for more than 30 years.

Mark won Badminton four times (1971 and 1972 on Great Ovation, 1974 on Columbus and 1981 on Lincoln) and Burghley in 1973 on Maid Marion. He was a member of the British team which won gold at the 1972 Munich Olympics, riding Great Ovation and of the silver medal-winning team at Seoul in 1988 with Cartier. He was also a European team gold medallist at Burghley in 1971 on Great Ovation. At World Championships, Mark collected team gold in 1970 in Punchestown riding Chicago and team silver in 1974 at Burghley riding Columbus.

As a course-designer, Mark is particularly associated with Burghley, where he has designed the track more than 20 times. His other prestigious course-design jobs include the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe, an event where he also holds the role of chairman, and Barbury. He designed the track for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA.

Mark is also a renowned coach and was trainer to the US event team for 20 years, standing down after the 2012 Olympics. He continues to train riders across the levels and Andrew Hoy credited him for his return to form as a cross-country rider after he finished fourth at the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

Mark was married to the Princess Royal and he has two children from this relationship, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, who has won world and European individual gold in eventing. His second wife was dressage rider Sandy Pfleuger and they have a daughter, Stephanie. Mark’s current partner is US showjumper Lauren Hough.

You can read Mark’s column in the magazine or H&H VIP members can view them online below. Find out how to join H&H VIP