Trainer Philip Oliver Passes Away

Phil Oliver (1970 – 2024) | BBN Racing photo

Philip Oliver died Feb. 19 in Indiantown, Florida, according to a press release from BBN racing Wednesday. Born on June 6, 1970, he is survived by his wife, Victoria Oliver, brother Chris Oliver, sister Toni Blinkhorn, and his mother Alison Oliver. Oliver was preceded in death by his father, Alan.

Oliver, who was born and raised in Chipping Norton, England, began riding at the age of three years old. Prior to moving to the U.S. at the age of 18, he worked for champion jump jockeys and trainers, Stan Miller and Lester Piggott. He began his U.S. training career as an assistant with Ian Jory and was instrumental in the development of Video Ranger and Best Pal.

He subsequently served as an assistant trainer to Bruce Headley-who was responsible for champion Bertrando–and Elliott Walden, who conditioned Menifee, Victory Gallop, and Distorted Humor.

In 1999, Phil launched his career as a trainer, achieving his own success with a bevy of Grade I/graded stakes winners, including Autonomy, Closing Range, First Lieutenant, Last Full Measure, and Middie.  Along with his career with horses, he was an avid reader and had a passion for hunting and his dogs.

“Philip was a kind and compassionate soul, known for his warm smile and humor. He touched the lives of many with his charismatic personality. His departure leaves a void in the hearts of all who knew him,” reads a release from the family.

“In his lifetime, Philip Oliver made a lasting impact on those around him, leaving behind a legacy of love, compassion, and kindness. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who had the privilege of knowing him. May his soul rest in peace, and his memory continue to inspire and guide us in the years to come.”

A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held in Lexington, Kentucky in April on a date to be determined shortly.

Donations can be made to Dunklin Memorial Church ( ) or The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (


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