Root for Barbaro and Michael Matz – Olympian Turned Race Horse Trainer

It’s Derby Day, and we’re getting into the Kentucky spirit at DressageDaily by honoring Michael Matz, a three-time Olympian and four-time Pan American Games veteran. Matz has turned his horsemanship to thoroughbreds in recent years, and has continued his success in the latest endeavor, with a Kentucky Derby favorite, Barbaro, running today.

Matz has won the U. S. Equestrian Team (USET) Show Jumping Championship a record six times. He earned a Team Silver medal in the Atlanta Games. Matz is also a hero, having rescued 2 young children from a burning plane crash in 1989. While he has always been reluctant to talk about it, it is a story which has become part of the legend, which honored him in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, when his fellow American Olympians elected Matz to carry the American Flag in the closing ceremonies. He was also the all time leading money winning rider and member of the Show Jumping Millionaire's Club with over $1,700,000 earned in prize money.

Barbaro would be Matz's first Derby starter, who won the Florida Derby earlier this year.

Visit a great website for all the news and info on today’s race and Kentucky Derby history. Check out the section called “The Kentucky Derby Experience”. Can’t be there? You can still shop for Kentucky Derby clothing, souvenirs, and memorabilia.

But more importantly root for Michael Matz and Barbaro, and then don’t forget to tune in Sunday to NBC at 2: PM for the 2006 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Related Links
Rooting for a Hero
Siblings who survived 1989 Iowa plane crash will cheer for Derby horse trainer Michael Matz and Barbaro