Edward Harris served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and Captain of a submarine chaser in World War II on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in addition to carrying out the duties of Executive Officer of a destroyer chaser. Harris earned his undergraduate degree at Princeton University in 1935, his law degree from Cornell University in 1938, and worked for Harris, Beach, & Wilcox, the oldest law firm in Rochester, New York, founded by Harris' grandfather in 1856. Harris and his wife Jacqueline established a breeding program at their Hideaway Farm in the 1960s. This program produced the famous eventing stallion Erin Go Bragh, who competed with Carol Kozlowski in the 1980s.
While at the Pan American Games in 1959, Harris listened to a proposal by Alexander Mackay-Smith to form what ultimately became the USCTA (now USEA). Along with Philip Hofmann, Stewart Treviranus, Jack Fritz, and several other key members, they established the Association to promote the sport of eventing in the United States. In 1963, Harris assumed the role of president of the Association. During his time as president, he negotiated and signed a contract with U.S. Trust Company of New York agreeing that the USCTA would erect buildings required to operate a school to teach riding instructors on the Morven Park property. These buildings later served as the home of the Morven Park International Equestrian Institute.
Harris and his wife hosted the 1965 National Open Horse Trials Championships at their Hideaway Farm in Geneseo, New York. Harris also served as the chairman of this competition and constructed the cross-country course with the help of a neighboring farm owner. Remnants of this original course can still be found on the property today.
Harris continued to make time to compete in eventing and in 1968 finished second by two points in the Preliminary Horse Trials National Championships. He also maintained his passion for foxhunting and was an honorary trustee of the Genesee Valley Hunt. Harris and Jacqueline were awarded the Governors’ Cup in 1994 for their outstanding contributions to the sport.