Mason Phelps, Equestrian, Founder of Phelps Media Group, Has Died–1949-2021
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May 19, 2021
Mason Phelps III, an American equestrian, founder of Phelps Media Group and president of the National Horse Show has died at the age of 72, Phelps Media Group confirmed Wednesday. Mason, a long-time resident of Wellington, Florida, died early Wednesday of a presumed heart attack.
At the age of 16, he attended his first U.S. Equestrian Team clinic in 1965. Three years later, he was named an alternate to the U.S. Olympic eventing team for the 1968 Games and the same year was also named U.S. Combined Training Association’s Rider of the Year.
In the early 1970s, he began training hunters and jumpers and became an event manager for equestrian shows in several locations, including Rhode Island and Lexington, Kentucky as well as being involved in the National Horse Show that had been a fall highlight at Madison Square Garden in New York before moving and finally settling in Lexington.
Mason founded Phelps Media Group as an equestrian-oriented public relations agency in 2001.
He later created Phelps Sports web sites that focus on public relations and coverage of hunter/jumper competitions and some dressage and later spun out the dressage division as a separate entity.
After the death of his brother, Taylor, manager of high profile popular music groups, to AIDS in 1996, he worked with Robert Dover, a six-time Olympic team dressage rider, to form the Equestrian AIDS Foundation to raise money to support individuals in the suffering from HIV/AIDS. The name was later changed to Equestrian Aid Foundation to broaden its mission.
He is survived by a sister who lives in Colorado.