Philip was brought up surrounded by horses. His father Tony Hobbs farmed and had a permit to train for many years, breeding several good horses to run in the family colours.
After school at Kings College, Taunton Philip went on to Reading University and achieved a BSc honors degree. He rode at Hickstead, show jumping as a junior and rode several point-to-point winners and winners under National Hunt rules as an amateur before turning professional at the age of 21.
Philip rode 160 winners in a 10-year career including The Black and White Gold Cup at Ascot, The Killiney Novice Chase and The Midlands Grand National on such good horses at West Tip and Artifice.
With a career as a trainer firmly in mind whist still riding professionally, Philip married Sarah in 1982 and then started training in August 1985 with only six horses.
Sarah (neé Hill) is, in her own right, a successful horsewoman and is daughter of Olympic Gold Medallist Bertie Hill. She evented and rode for England in the Junior European 3-day event team in Rome, has ridden winners point-to-pointing, under National Hunt rules and on the Flat, and is now an essential part of their business.
Philip and Sarah have three daughters, Caroline, Katherine and Diana who have ridden out the racehorses as well as point-to-point and riding under rules.
As a Trainer
Philip trains 112 horses at their yard in Somerset, has sent out over 2000 winners and has finished in the country’s top six National Hunt trainers since 1999. There have been many notable horses under Phillip's care over the years, including beloved Champion Hurdler Rooster Booster, Champions Chaser Flagship Umberalles and more recently high class chasers Menorah, Captain Chris, Wishful Thinking and Balthazar King.