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Michael Matz



“No contest- I use the very best, and I use Finish Line®! Iron Power® works to build blood counts high. Apple-A-Day™ electrolyte has the apple flavor my horses prefer. Kool-Out™ clay is my poultice of choice, and Air Power™ opens ‘em up fast! Finish Line® Horse Products can always be found where my horses are.” 

Born January 23, 1951 and a resident of Unionville, Pennsylvania, Michael Matz has a lifelong history with horses. A successful national and international riding career has earned Michael the distinction of being the all-time leading money winning rider and member of the Show jumping Millionaires Club. An Olympian and Pan American Games veteran, Matz has won the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Show Jumping Championship a record of times. He earned a Team Silver Medal in the Atlanta Games and was also honored by being asked to carry the US flag in the closing ceremonies that same year. Matz has turned his horsemanship to thoroughbreds in recent years, and has continued his success in his latest endeavors. He won the Kentucky Derby in 2006 with legendary Barbaro and the 2012 Belmont Stakes with Union Rags. 

With all his riding accomplishments, Matz received unprecedented notoriety when he survived the crash of United Airlines Flight 232 in Sioux City, Iowa 1989. Matz was named ABC-TV’s “Man of the Week” for helping save the lives of two young children on the plane. Less than two weeks later he won the $75,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix.

Some Career Highlights:

  • Team Silver Medal Atlanta Olympics
  • ABC-TV Man of the Week in 1989 following crash of United Airlines Flight 232
  • World Championship Team Gold, Individual Bronze Medals
  • Winner of six Pan American Games Medals, including Gold
  • Winner of $100,000 American Invitational
  • Winner of $75,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix
  • 1981 Volvo World Cup Champion
  • Trainer of 2006 Kentucky Derby Winner, Barbaro
  • Trainer of 2012 Belmont Stakes Winner, Union Rags
  • Inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in March 2006
  • 3x US Olympian, 1996 Team Silver Medalist
  • 4x Pan American Games Veteran
  • Holds record for winning USET Show Jumping Championship six times
  • And many more!