Devon, Pa.—June 4
Alex Matz has been a bit of a bridesmaid this season, but he redeemed himself at Devon, riding Quinta to the top prize in the $20,000 Show Jumping Hall Of Fame Classic. That win secured the amateur-owner jumper championship and boosted Matz to the leading amateur-owner jumper rider title.
“It was a goal to qualify for Devon this year,” said D.D. Matz, who trains her son Alex at home. “He’s been really close to winning a couple of classics this year and had the last fence down and been the fastest. It sure is nice to have this one be the first one he wins.”
While Alex’s father, world champion show jumper-turned race horse trainer Michael Matz wasn’t at the show, he was D.D.’s first phone call.
“He was at Philadelphia Park,” said D.D. “He was third. He was thrilled. He said he was glad at least someone in the family won today!”
Alex outran Reid Patton and Twister in the jump-off, and Cloe Hymowitz, who qualified both her mounts to the jump-off, rode Fidalgo Van Het Leliehof to third. Last night’s winners, Jacob Pope and Zilverstar, ran into trouble at the first fence in the first round but finished the show as reserve champions.
Alex and Quinta jumped to fourth in yesterday’s speed class, then opted to sit out last night’s amateur-owner jumper class.
“She was really good in the morning and we decided to save her,” said Alex, 19. “We knew it would be hot today.”
Alex has been riding Quinta for five years, since she was a green 7-year-old.
“She’s been great,” said Alex. “She’s been loyal and all you can ask for. Really she’s very easy, anyone can ride her. She’s very light. My mom loves to ride her on the flat.
“It means so much to win here, to me, the whole staff and everyone in the barn—especially my parents,” he continued. “My mom who rides my horse while I’m at school every day. My dad, after getting up at 4 a.m. to go work, comes back and helps in the afternoon. And this is obviously a special place being this close to home.”
Alex hails from nearby Coatesville, Pa., but just finished his first year at Vanderbilt University (Tenn.) where he’s studying economics. Alex trains with his parents at home and gets help from Mario Deslauriers—whom Michael trained as a junior—at shows.
Alex’s next goal? Qualifying for Adequan FEI North American Young Riders Championships (Colo.).
Check Ryegate for full results.
The Chronicle’s Devon coverage continues all weekend with stories and photos from the amateur hunters and breeding day. Stay tuned to www.coth.com all week for coverage of the open and amateur hunters, the Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon, and so much more. Check out all the Chronicle’s online coverage of Devon. Find full results from all of Devon at Ryegate and check out full analysis of the whole show in the June 20 issue of the magazine.