Revival of The Newport Jumping Derby is a No-Go
Wellington, Florida June 6, 2003 Negotiations between
Peter de Savary of the Carnegie Abbey Club in Portsmouth, Rhode
Island and Phelps Wilkes & Associates, Inc. concerning the revival
of The Newport Jumping Derby have terminated. After much speculation
and anticipation within the international show jumping community,
Mason Phelps, Jr. recently announced that: Sadly, after preliminary
discussions, Carnegie Abbey and Phelps Wilkes had different visions
about the Derby. In addition, certain constraints on property use
within the Carnegie Abbey Club would make it difficult at best to
go forward in the appropriate manner.
The Newport Jumping Derby was founded by Mason Phelps, Jr. in 1976.
Held each August at Masons ancestral estate, Glen Farms, in
Newport from 1976 to 1988, the FEI-sanctioned Derby was the highlight
of the Newport social season and was one of the most well-attended
show jumping events of its time.
FEI is the international governing body for equestrian competition.
Under FEI rules, there can only be one sanctioned jumping derby
per country per year. A jumping derby under FEI rules requires,
among other things, that the jumping course consists of natural
cross-country obstacles such as banks, ditches and walls.
the Derbys absence for over 15 years, Peter de Savary, owner
of the newly-built Carnegie Abbey Club, a Scottish-links-styled
golf club in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, contacted Mason and his partner,
Beverly Lake Wilkes, this past March to explore the possibility
of reviving The Newport Jumping Derby at his Carnegie Abbey Club
at the end of August, 2004. Phelps Wilkes was to have produced and
managed the Derby.
Wilkes did obtain the requisite approvals from the FEI and secured
the required dates. Alternate venues are being explored.