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Person Profile

Philip Calais Sr.

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana; Lafayette, Louisiana

Michael Phelps, Graduate Student Intern

Farm Childhood

Philip Calais, Sr. grew up on a farm in Southern Louisiana and entered into the horse industry when he was fifteen.1  This began a family legacy in the Louisiana horse racing industry.

Career and Notable Achievements

Calais raced across the major tracks in Louisiana such as Louisiana Downs, Delta Downs, Evangeline Downs, and the New Orleans Fairgrounds. He trained several Thoroughbred horses during his career but Quarter Horses were his mainstay. He became known for his profound passion for racing. Calais' career totaled over 2,000 starts and $1.2 million in earnings.2 His graded stakes wins include the 1997 Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association Futurity (Gr. 1) with Guidrys Pride and the 1999 Louisiana Champions Day Classic (Gr. 2) with Sixforbubba.3

Training and Family Legacy

Calais continued to work with horses until his death in 2012. After training horses for forty years, Calais was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery, Lafayette, Louisiana.4 His son, Philip Calais, Jr., became a Quarter Horse trainer and his daughter, Sandra Calais McMahon, became a jockey agent. His grandson, C. J. McMahon, is a Thoroughbred jockey.


Genaro, Teresa. 2015. “C. J. McMahon and the Rise and Fall of the Black Jockey.” The Guardian, July 16, 2015, sec. Sport.

“Phillip Calais Obituary.” 2012. Legacy.Com. May 16, 2012.

“Phillip Calais, Sr. Trainer Profile.” n.d. Equibase. Accessed January 19, 2020.

Quarter Racing Journal Annual Review. 2012. March 2012. American Quarter Horse Association.

———. 2018. March 2018. American Quarter Horse Association.


When citing this article as a source in Chicago Manual of Style use this format: Last name, first name of Author. Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry. n.d. “Title of Profile or Story.” International Museum of the Horse. Accessed date. URL of page cited.

  • 1“Phillip Calais Obituary.”
  • 2“Phillip Calais, Sr. Trainer Profile.”
  • 3Quarter Racing Journal Annual Review.
  • 4“Phillip Calais Obituary.”