Alex Matz Follow's Father's Footsteps at the Devon Horse Show
RELEASE: May 15, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Sara Cavanagh
Photo by Randi Muster (Alex Matz and his pony, Wise Guy.)
A famous jumping name will again be present in the Devon Horse Show catalog. The name is Matz, but this time it isn’t Michael, who showed for many years very successfully at Devon, but his son, Alex.
Alex is only 11 years old and he’s only been competing in pony jumpers for a couple of months, but it’s already beginning to look like he’s inherited his famous father’s talent.
The first time he ever competed in the jumper division, he was third in the Winter Equestrian Festival’s series end Pony Jumpers Circuit Championship awards, despite getting a late start in the season, and he’ll be competing in that division at Devon.
Actually, Alex comes by his equestrian ability from two sources, as not only was his father a three time Olympian with an Atlanta Team Silver medal, but his Mother D.D. was an accomplished jumper rider in her own right and rode her Tashiling on the Bronze-medal winning team at the Buenos Aires Pan American Games.
Michael, of course, went on to fame as a racehorse trainer, winning the Kentucky Derby with Barbaro. His most recent win was with the $1 million yearling purchase Anewday that broke his maiden at Keeneland on April 24.
Alex is already a Devon veteran, having competed twice in the lead line, where he was in the ribbons. He has shown in children’s pony hunters for the past two years in Florida at the Winter Equestrian Festival, but this year he got a new pony, Wise Guy, to show in pony jumpers. “I really love it a lot,” said Alex of riding in pony jumpers. “It’s a lot better than hunters. You get to go faster and jump higher. It’s more fun.”
“We got Wise Guy at the end of January," said D.D. “Ralph Caristo found him for us. He’s very aptly named. He’s a great little Irish pony. He’s very brave and takes good care of Alex. He’s a 14.1½ -hand grey and he looks like The Dubliner in miniature.”
“Alex had been showing in children’s pony, but he said he wasn’t going to jump 2’6” any more,” said D.D. “He only started showing Wise Guy in February, but he won a few classes, at least three, and at the last show he won the Classic and the Style award. He had a ball and loved it.”
“Alex really enjoys it,” said Michael. “I’m hoping to be at Devon for his classes. I know he’s really looking forward to it. It’s fun to have someone who enjoys riding as much as Alex does. I don’t know who likes it more, his mother or him.”
The pony jumper classes run on Sunday, May 25, with one class in the afternoon and one in the evening.
Junior riders compete in equitation, pony hunters, junior hunters and jumpers on opening Junior Weekend, Thursday, May 22, to Saturday, May 24.
The Carriage Pleasure Drive, arriving at the Dixon Oval at 2 p.m., opens a week of adult competition in hunters, jumpers, Saddlebreds, Hackney and harness horses and ponies, roadsters, Friesians and coaching.
The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair benefits Bryn Mawr Hospital, and over their eight decades of association, the Hospital has received over $12.4 million in donations.
The Country Fair, open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. except Sunday, May 25, when it opens at 11 a.m., boasts sporting clothes, often embroidered with a horse, fox or hound, fine sporting prints and paintings, beautiful gold and silver jewelry, antiques, leather goods, fancy hats, furniture painted with an equestrian motif plus collectibles and souvenirs in Devon blue and white boutiques.
Of course, there is available every type of equipment needed to turn out both horse and rider in a style to be elegant enough to compete at Devon.
Also featured at the Fair are games and rides, from a merry-go-round to the ferris wheel, plus food for all tastes, from hamburgers and hot dogs, lemon sticks and the famous Devon fudge to tea sandwiches and ice tea and gourmet dining in the cafeteria.
General admission is $7 for adults, $3 for children under 12 and $5