Polly Phillipps Memorial moves to Belton Horse Trials

  • A competition held in memory of a top eventer who died while competing in 1999 will now be held at Belton Horse Trials.

    The Polly Phillipps Memorial, previously run at Eglinton Horse Trials, will be part of the Grantham Cup at this year’s Belton Horse Trials (17-19 April).

    The prize will be awarded to the highest placed British rider who has not been part of a senior championship team. The winning rider will receive a silver trophy, £500, a sash and rosette, and a framed photograph of the presentation.

    “The Polly Phillipps Memorial has been superbly hosted by the Hon Heather Galbraith and her team — she has done a fantastic job over the last 15 years,” said Vere Phillipps, Polly’s former husband.

    “We are delighted that Stuart and Anna Buntine have now welcomed the competition within the prestigious Belton Horse Trials for the foreseeable future.”

    Polly Phillipps was killed in a fall at the Scottish Open Championships in August 1999.

    The eventer had been placed at Badminton and Burghley and been part of the British team at the European and world championships.

    “Polly loved Belton, it was one of her favourite events,” continued Vere.

    “The memorial is exciting for people who haven’t had a chance to get on a team yet — everyone gets to have a go and that’s what it’s all about.

    “We don’t want it just to be won by the top riders of the day.”

    Vere has won the competition twice on Polly’s former horse Coral Cove. He claimed the prize in its first year in 2000 and again in 2003, the same year he retired from eventing.

    There have been several other notable winners including Oliver Townend, Michael Owen and Clea Phillipps (Vere’s wife).

    “We make it a big thing on our calendar,” added Vere.

    “It is a competition within a competition and should make an exciting event.”

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