The USEA is saddened to report that Fifi Prime, formerly known as Fifi Coles, passed away peacefully and painlessly in her sleep on December 7, 2018. Fifi was the editor of the USCTA News (now Eventing USA) for 22 years taking it from a newsletter to a magazine and was instrumental in establishing the sport of three-day eventing in the United States. Fifi traveled all over the world to cover eventing at the Olympic Games, World Championships, and Pan Am Championships for the USCTA News and worked tirelessly to promote the sport. Her husband, Bill Prime, shares his memories of Fifi with us here.
Fifi was known as a consummate horsewoman, a lover of all animals, and the outdoor life. She rode her legendary horse Sparrow Hawk to many victories and later loaned him to the US Equestrian Team. Fifi was also an avid fox hunter, whipping in for the Myopia Hunt for years and won the Masters Medal a record seven times.
Fifi first met and dated William (Bill) Prime in New York in the late 1950s, skiing at Mad River Glen and Aspen. After Bill broke his leg skiing with Fifi at Sugarbush, Vermont Fifi continued to ski with another friend Charlie Coles. Eventually, Fifi and Charlie married settled in Wenham, Massachusetts. Fifi spent the next 35 years in Wenham where she became deeply involved in the equestrian world and particularly in eventing through both the USCTA and the Ledyard International Three-day Event.
Fifi and Charlie Coles eventually divorced and once Bill heard of this development he anonymously sent Fifi an article called “Sexy Seconds” clipped from an airline magazine, a Ph.D. thesis about people getting together with lost loves. Once Fifi saw the Warrenton postmark she knew exactly who had sent the article and she and Bill renewed their friendship. They were married by the ship’s captain in 1999 on a Williams College Alumni trip from Venice to Istanbul at 40⁰ 30’N and 26⁰ 50’E in the Dardanelles, with Bill’s classmate Bob Behr standing in as best man. There could not have been a more romantic wedding anywhere.
For Bill, the next 19 years with Fifi were the best years of his life. The couple spent a lot of time sailing in the Caribbean on Bill’s boat Prime Time, skiing in Colorado, fox hunting with the Warrenton Hunt, Williams College trips to Egypt and Russia and traveling to Europe, Mexico, and Botswana.
In addition to Bill, Fifi is survived by her son Charles (Carlos) Coles, Jr. and her granddaughter Padan Coles. Padan is following closely in her grandmother’s steps as an avid eventer.
The family has asked that donations in her memory be sent to the USEA Foundation in support of the organization’s mission to protect and preserve the future of eventing for generations to come.
Donations may be made online at USEAFoundation.org using the Donate Now button. Select “Securing the Future” from the dropdown menu and dedicate the donation.
Alternatively, you can send a check in memory of Fifi to USEA Foundation, 525 Old Waterford Road NW, Leesburg, Virginia 20176. A card will be sent to Fifi’s family informing them of your donation.
A relentless rain didn’t put a damper on the first horse inspection at the 2019 Dutta Corp Fair Hill International Three-Day Event in Elkton, Md. The CCI3*-L presented first in front of the ground jury of Helen Brettell (GBR) and Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride (USA) and all 62 horses were accepted to start the competition. C Me Fly ridden by Colleen Rutledge and Jos UFO De Quidam ridden by Heather Jane Morris were both sent to the hold, but were accepted upon reinspection. Lasse 73 ridden by Jennifer Salinger was asked to jog twice, but was accepted after the second pass down the lane.
The USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East and West Coast Championships will take place this weekend on opposite sides of the country. On Thursday and Friday, October 17 and 18, the East Coast Championships will take place at Fair Hill International in Elkton, Maryland. Then on Sunday, October 20, the West Coast Championships will run at the Fresno County Horse Park (FCHP) in Fresno, California.
Rutledge Farm is thrilled to welcome back two-time Olympic gold medalist Phillip Dutton to host his second eventing clinic as a part of the Rutledge Farm Sessions clinic series. Since 2017, Rutledge Farm has been dedicated to bringing premier educational opportunities to Middleburg, Virginia to support the development of the sport at all levels and for multiple disciplines, including eventing, show jumping, dressage, and equitation.
Experience the 2019 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships through the judge's eyes! The USEA will be hosting YEH judging seminars during the 2019 USEA YEH Championships. The seminars will be led by the world-renowned judge and co-chair of the YEH Committee Marilyn Payne. All interested parties are welcome to attend.