Hall of Fame honours for Matz and For the Moment

April 5, 2006

The Show Jumping Hall of Fame conducted its annual induction ceremonies during the intermission at the Budweiser American Invitational on Saturday, April 1, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Superstar rider Michael Matz and the legendary horse For The Moment were inducted during the ceremony.

For The Moment's rider, Lisa Jacquin, was on hand to participate in the ceremony on behalf of her beloved horse. Michael Matz, who had been honored during a special ceremony in Wellington in March, was unable to attend the formal induction at the Budweiser American Invitational as he was busy at the Florida Derby where Barbaro, a horse he trains, continued his undefeated streak with a win establishing him as a favorite to win the Kentucky Derby.

For The Moment became one of the most successful American Thoroughbreds ever to compete, more than holding his own against the top European Warmbloods. He was an undistinguished bay gelding in 1981 when decorated show jumper Lisa Jacquin partnered with him as a temporary "project" until something better came along.

She was unimpressed at first. "Fred", as he became known in the barn, was difficult, but Jacquin persevered and eventually decided to keep him. She entered Fred in his first major event in September of 1983 and won and one of the most exciting show jumping careers on the grand prix circuit was born.

In 1987, For The Moment, with Jacquin in the irons, helped the U.S. to a team Silver Medal at the Pan American Games in Indianapolis, won a then-record six grand prix events, including the coveted Budweiser American Invitational in Tampa, FL, and placed third in the FEI World Cup Final in Paris, France.

The highlight of his career came the next year when For The Moment and Jacquin helped the U.S. win the team Silver Medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. In 1991, For The Moment was the AGA Horse of the Year and a year later, he and Jacquin earned a place on a second U.S. Olympic Team, this time in Barcelona, Spain. In 1994, Fred was again the AGA Horse of the Year. The following year, at the age of 21, he became the oldest horse ever to win a show jumping grand prix when he won the Budweiser Show Jumping Championship in Wellington, FL.

Matz, of Collegeville, PA, is a three-time Olympian and four-time Pan American Games veteran. He won USET Show Jumping Championship a record six times, and first represented the United States in international competition in 1973. He competed in the 1976 Montreal, 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, winning a team Silver Medal in Atlanta.

Matz won eight Pan American Games medals, including five Gold, and rode in three World Championships where he won a team Gold Medal (1986), as well as team and individual Bronze Medals (1978). In 1981 and 1984, he was the American Grandprix Association (AGA) Rider of the Year. Matz was also a two-time AGA Show Jumping Champion (1991 and 1992).

With all his riding accomplishments, Matz received unprecedented notoriety when he survived the crash of United Airlines Flight 232 in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1989. Matz was named ABC-TV's "Man of the Week" for helping to save the lives of two young children on the plane. Less than two weeks later, he won the USET Show Jumping Championship.

Matz's partnership with the legendary Jet Run, a Show Jumping Hall of Fame inductee, was the most significant of his career. Matz and Jet Run topped the medal stand at the 1979 Pan American Games in Puerto Rico, earning both the team and individual Gold Medals. In 1981, the duo emerged victorious at the FEI Jumping World Cup Final in England. That same year, Matz rode Jet Run to the AGA Horse of the Year title.

Matz also paired with other memorable horses such as Chef, Bon Retour, The General, Heisman, and Rhum IV. Chef was his mount at the 1983 Pan American Games, where he earned team Gold and individual Bronze Medals. The pair also helped the U.S. team win the World Show Jumping Championship in 1986. Matz rode The General to the individual Gold Medal in the 1995 Pan American Games in Buenos Aires and he rode Rhum IV to help the U.S. to the team Silver Medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. At those 1996 Games, Matz was honored by his fellow U.S. Olympic athletes when he was selected to carry the United States flag before the entire U.S. delegation during the closing ceremonies.

Each year, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame conducts its annual induction ceremonies during the intermission at the Budweiser American Invitational at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. This year's Show Jumping Hall of Fame honorees will join 55 previous inductees, including last year's inductee, Snowbound. Each member's contributions to the sport set them apart and earned them the honor of enshrinement in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.

The Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL was established in 1987 and formally opened in 1989. It was organized to promote the sport of show jumping and to immortalize the legends of the men, women and horses who have made great contributions to the sport.

Since 1987, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame has inducted the following: William C. Steinkraus, Bertalan deNemethy and Idle Dice (1987); Patrick Butler and August A. Busch, Jr. (1988); David Kelley, Jimmy Williams, Ben O'Meara and Frances Rowe (1989); Arthur McCashin, Kathy Kusner, Brigadier General Harry D. Chamberlin and San Lucas (1990); Adolph Mogavero, Whitney Stone, Morton "Cappy Smith" and Pat Dixon (1991); Eleonora "Eleo" Sears, Mary Mairs Chapot, Barbara Worth Oakford and Snowman (1992); Dr. Robert C. Rost and Joe Green (1993); Frank Chapot and Gordon Wright (1994); Mickey Walsh and Trail Guide (1995); Pamela Carruthers, Jet Run, Richard "Dick" Donnelly and Heatherbloom (1996); Edward "Ned" King, Bobby Egan and Sun Beau (1997); Fred "Freddy" Wettach, Jr., Melanie Smith Taylor and Johnny Bell (1998); Rodney Jenkins, Sinjon, Franklin F. "Fuddy" Wing, Jr. and Democrat (1999); George Morris, Carol Durand and Touch of Class (2000); Eugene R. Mische, Lt. Colonel John W. Russell, Bobby Burke, and Untouchable (2001); Harry R. Gill, Clarence L. "Honey" Craven, Calypso and Gem Twist (2002), Mainspring and J. Russell Stewart, Sr. (2003), and Snowbound (2004).