AQHA First Vice President George Phillips Dies

AQHA First Vice President George Phillips died after a struggle with cancer.

The American Quarter Horse Association

The longtime breeder of American Quarter Horses was a three-time president of the Mississippi Quarter Horse Association and elected to the AQHA Executive Committee in 2011.

Funeral services are pending for AQHA First Vice President George Phillips of Sumrall, Mississippi, who died after a struggle with cancer.

The longtime breeder of American Quarter Horses was a three-time president of the Mississippi Quarter Horse Association and a four-time manager of the Dixie National Quarter Horse Show.

“George’s enthusiasm for the American Quarter Horse was just part of the passion he brought to the AQHA Executive Committee,” said AQHA President Johnny Trotter. “We will miss his keen legal mind and his unfailing sense of justice.”

Phillips became an AQHA director in 2002 and served on the public policy and membership services committees, as well as the Foundation, ranching, show, marketing and membership councils.

Phillips was elected to the AQHA Executive Committee in 2011.

“For a horse guy, it’s the ultimate honor to be able to serve on the Executive Committee of the American Quarter Horse Association,” Phillips told the Journal that year. “I worked for five different presidents, a governor and a U.S. senator, and I’ve never been more excited to do anything than to be on the Executive Committee.”

Phillips earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi and his law degree from the University of Mississippi. In 1980, he was named the U.S. attorney for the southern district of Mississippi, earning a reputation as a no-nonsense prosecutor who didn’t cut corners.

He also served as special counsel to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran (R) for six years. Phillips was director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics before being named the state’s commissioner of public safety in 2005. In 2008, Phillips was appointed the Mississippi state director for USDA rural development.

Survivors include his wife, Nicole, and their three children, Garrison, Margaret and Mary.

“The AQHA staff and I are saddened to hear of George’s death,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. “He made many friends in the office and throughout the American Quarter Horse industry. We hope that you will join us in praying for George’s family in their time of sorrow.”

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