April 5, 2006 — The Show Jumping Hall of Fame conducted its annual induction ceremonies during the intermission at the Budweiser American Invitational on April 1 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. 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.
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 Jacquin partnered with him as a temporary “project” until something better came along.
Jacquin entered Fred in his first major event in September of 1983 and won. One of the most exciting show jumping careers on the grand prix circuit was born.
In 1987, For The Moment and Jacquin helped the U.S. to a team silver medal at the Pan American Games, won six grand prix events and placed third in the FEI World Cup Final in Paris, France.
The highlight of his career came when For The Moment helped the U.S. win the team silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. In 1991, For The Moment was the American Grandprix Association (AGA) Horse of the Year and a year later he and Jacquin earned a spot at the Bacelona Olympic Games. In 1994, he was again the AGA Horse of the Year. He became the oldest horse ever to win a show jumping grand prix when he won the Budweiser Show Jumping Championship in Wellington, Fla., at the age of 21 in 1995.
Matz, of Collegeville, Pa., is a three-time Olympian and four-time Pan American Games veteran. He won the 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 AGA Rider of the Year. Matz was also a two-time AGA Show Jumping Champion (1991 and 1992).
With all of 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 horse 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.
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, Fla. This year’s Show Jumping Hall of Fame honorees will join 55 previous inductees, including last year’s inductee, Snowbound.
The Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fla., was established in 1987 and formally opened in 1989. It was organized to promote the sport of show jumping and to immortalize the men, women and horses who have made great contributions to the sport. Visit www.showjumpinghalloffame.net for more information.