Nowadays Michael Matz is a successful racehorse trainer, but long before he was training Kentucky Derby winners he was leading the U.S. to victory in show jumping.
A six-time U.S. national show jumping champion, Matz's myriad accomplishments include:
- Individual and team bronze at the 1978 World Equestrian Championships riding Jet Run
- Winner of 1981 Show Jumping World Cup on Jet Run
- Team gold at the 1986 World Championships in Aachen riding Chef
- Four gold medals and four bronze medals at various Pan American Games
- Member of U.S. Olympic equestrian teams in 1976, 1992 and 1996
- Team silver at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta riding Rhum IV, also chosen to carry the U.S. flag in the Closing Ceremonies
- Retired as the leading money-winning rider in the sport's American history, with over $1.7 million
- Inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1996
Eager for a new challenge, Matz began training thoroughbred racehorses in 1998. His best-known charges include 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro and 2012 Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags. He is currently based at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland.
Here is Matz competing at the 1986 World Championships in Aachen aboard Chef, with whom he helped the United States clinch team gold.
Go Michael Matz.
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