By Jan Westmark
Philip Richter’s full-time career in finance keeps him busy, but not too busy to keep him from spending time with his wife, horses and cars and enjoying the outdoors. Philip is the chairman of the Lake Placid Horse Shows in Lake Placid, New York, as well as a board member of US Equestrian, USET and the Hampton Classic. Philip grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Bedford, New York. “My riding career started in earnest when, at age 7, a pony ran away with me,” he said. “After five laps around the ring at full gallop, I fell off and severely broke my left arm. It took a miracle to get me back in the saddle. That miracle arrived in the form of Frosty Lad, a bombproof small pony. I wouldn’t be riding today if it weren’t for him. Frosty was also the pony that fellow Lake Placid board member Georgina Bloomberg learned to ride on.”
What’s the best thing about being chairman of Lake Placid?
Working with all the stakeholders to implement positive and lasting improvements to our shows. This year we added a new ring, are becoming a 501(c)(3) charity and are working with the State University of New York on sophisticated economic impact studies to help our shows secure state funding for more improvements.
What’s your favorite memory of Lake Placid while growing up?
During the 1980 Olympic Games, I was fortunate enough to attend the historic “Miracle on Ice” hockey game. This game is arguably the most famous sporting event and upset in modern history. At the height of the Cold War, America beat the Soviet Union in Lake Placid. I was only 10 years old but I remember it like it was yesterday — I even still have my original ticket stub!
What’s your favorite thing to do while in Lake Placid when you aren’t at the show?
We have a Boston Whaler that lives at the Lake Placid Marina year-round. Each year during the horse show, we put over 50 hours on the boat water skiing, tubing and just enjoying the paradise of Lake Placid.
Any favorite horse experiences over the years?
Winning the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classic at Lake Placid in 2008 and again in 2012 are among my favorite Lake Placid horse experiences.
Have you had a funny horse moment that still makes you laugh?
At age 22, my Russian-bred, midget-sized Chekhov jumped a clear round in the Derby Qualifier at the Hampton Classic. Only five horses went clear out of 60 — the jumps were enormous, and the class was a bloodbath. He arrogantly pranced out of the ring and spat out a tooth.
As an amateur rider, you have a full-time career. What do you do?
I work in the investment management business and enjoy the challenge of financial markets. Investing is my passion and financial markets are in my blood.
If you had a week off, what would you do?
I would take my wife Sarah back to Bora Bora, where we spent our honeymoon in 2012. It’s the most exotic, remote and beautiful place on earth — except, possibly, for Lake Placid!
Who inspires you?
Sarah and I were fortunate to become very close to Bill Steinkraus over the last few years of his life. His timeless quote well articulates his view of riding: “We must never forget, every time we sit on a horse, what an extraordinary privilege it is to be able to unite one’s body with that of another sentient being, one that is stronger, faster and more agile by far than we are, and uncommonly forgiving.”
What’s your favorite item of clothing to wear?
My Hermès USA Equestrian jacket that I got at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy
What three items can usually be found in your refrigerator?
Fresh eggs from Peggy Jacobs at Deeridge Farms, real maple syrup from the Lake Placid Horse Show and an assortment of pickles
What’s your favorite meal?
Fresh sushi, preferably from Hatsuhana on 48th Street in New York City or from the Roppongi Hills Club at the Mori Tower in Tokyo, Japan
What would be the best gift in the world?
To stay in excellent health until my last day on earth
What’s something everyone should try at least once?
Being strapped into a high-performance race car that is driven around a track by a professional F1 driver. I experienced this last year, and it was a positive life-changing event.