Phyllis Mills Wyeth, a prominent Thoroughbred owner and philanthropist who raced steeplechase horses, died Monday at her home in Chester County, Pa. She was 78.
Wife of well-known artist Jamie Wyeth, she is best known for breeding and racing Union Rags, the 2012 Belmont Stakes (Gr. 1) winner who has become a prominent sire.
She was the daughter of James and Alice duPont Mills, prominent Thoroughbred owners and breeders who raced champion Devil’s Bag and Gone West, the sire of Union Rags.
As a teenager, she raced in point-to-points. She worked in the White House as an assistant to President John F. Kennedy but was paralyzed in an auto accident when she was 20. She was an advocate for the disabled and for the environment in her many philanthropic endeavors.
Her best steeplechase horse was Leaping Frog, who raced in the silks of her Chadds Ford Stables. Among other victories, Leaping Frog won the 1980 Temple Gwathmey at Belmont Park, defeating 1979 Eclipse champion Martie’s Anger.
Funeral services will be private. The family suggests memorial donations to the Brandywine River Museum and the Farnsworth Art Museum. In coming weeks, Jamie Wyeth will have a showing of his paintings of his wife at the Brandywine River Museum.