Competitive Equestrian

Robert Matz Follows In Dad's Footsteps

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Robert Matz and Venturesome Credits: Kathy Russell Photography
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The Hunter Harrison Awards Ceremony Credits: Kathy Russell Photography
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PALM BEACH, Fla. — Robert Matz and Venturesome took top honors in the $10,000 1.15m class topping a field of 63 starters at the CP Palm Beach Masters CSI3* on Feb.4.

Matz sped to victory going double clear in 35.630 seconds. Deborah Perkins finished second riding Chivu with a jump-off clear round time of 36.371 and Claire Schreder was third on That’s It 3 clearing the jump-off course in 36.856 seconds.

Matz’s parents were on hand to watch their son’s victory. His father, Michael, was the 1981 FEI World Cup Champion as well as a three-time Olympian, winning a Team Silver Medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Matz is currently one of the top trainers in Thoroughbred horse racing, sending two Triple Crown horses to the winner’s circle. Robert’s mother, D.D., also a notable equestrian, was a member of the bronze medal winning show jumping team at two Pan American Games. They have a farm in Coatesville, Pa.

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“Just really riding away from the fences and tight turns gave us the win. He’s a fast horse too," said Matz. "My parents help me sometimes at the farm and Sloan Coles helped here so it’s a great combination. It was really exciting and my grandmother made it down here from Pennsylvania so that made it really special."

Prior to the start of the Grand Prix on Feb. 4, a special ceremony was held to honor the memory Hunter Harrison, who passed away on Dec. 16, 2017. Harrison was a prominent figure in show jumping as a sponsor, owner, business advisor and avid supporter. He supported some of the sport’s top riders and his Double H Farm has owned and produced some of the sport’s best horses, many ridden by McLain Ward. Harrison brought support of companies he led to the sport as some of show jumping’s most important sponsors. As part of the ceremony, CP and the Palm Beach Masters established The Hunter Harrison Award, which was presented to Ariel Grange, the owner of the winning horse of the $220,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Wellington.

The Michael M. Meller Style Award was presented to Beezie Madden, of Cazenovia, N.Y. The award is given to the rider who has displayed an exemplary style of riding over fences during the competition. 

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