B.F. Phillips, Jr. grew up among East Texas oil wells, and did not stray far as an adult. An independent oilman, Phillips operated his oil business from his Frisco, Texas ranch.
Phillips was involved in the horse industry for many years before serving on AQHA’s show and contest, equine research and racing committees. He became a member of the AQHA Board of Directors in 1960, and was elected to the AQHA Executive Committee in 1976. Phillips became the 30th president of AQHA in 1980.
In the late 1940s, Phillips decided to sell his cattle and get in the horse business. After watching a cutting show, he decided to breed and show cow horses. Phillips needed help with the ranch, so in the early 1950s he hired Matlock Rose.
By the early 1960s, Phillips was also in the stallion business. He stood three of his own: Steel Bars, Eternal Sun and Dividend, and Double Bid for AQHA Past President Clarence Scharbauer, Jr. However in 1966, Phillips decided to change directions and had a dispersal sale. He had become interested in racehorses and decided to pursue the racing industry.
Phillips had made a deal with the King Ranch, allowing him to breed some of the ranch’s Thoroughbred mares. The ranch and Phillips were partners on the resulting foals. Two notable horses out of the King Ranch mares were Some Kinda Man and Dash For Cash.
Phillips was elected chairman of the Texas Horse Racing Association’s executive committee in 1987. That same year, Texas approved pari-mutuel betting, something Phillips had campaigned for.
Phillips, 70, died 10 days after the approval. He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1989.
Biography updated as of March 1989.