Alex Matz Masters the Course & Competition in the T&R Development Two-Phase Challenge CSI 4*-W at Lexington

Lexington, Kentucky, USA – November 02, 2023 – The Alltech Arena saw not just one, but two FEI classes on the first day of jumper competition. Kicking off the day, the 140th National Horse Show saw a field of 24 horse-and-rider pairs vie for a chance to win the $38,700 International Two-Phase Challenge CSI 4*-W.  Of the competitive roster, Alex Matz (USA) and Cashew CR earned their place in the first FEI winner’s circle of the weekend.

Alan Wade (IRL) set forth a 9-obstacle first-phase track, testing athletes’ power through the technical course. Those who navigated a clear effort would advance to the 6-fence power phase in a race against the clock that would determine the top spots on the leaderboard.

Setting the pace with the first double-clear effort was Matz, who went third in the order-of-go. The duo navigated their way around the first phase to a fault-free finish for their shot at the second phase, stopping the clocks in 25.98 seconds and setting the time to beat. Although many competitors pushed the limits and tried to beat Matz’s time, no one was able to do so. Cashew owned by Dorothy A. Matz, a 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding, not only had the speed but also the agility to take home the blue ribbon. 

“We got him when he was eight, and so I’ve ridden him for the last seven years, and I feel like he knows me better than any other horse, maybe any other person,” said Matz about his partnership with Cashew CR.

Kelli Cruciotti Vanderveen (USA) was the next competitor to enter the ring on Serenity Farm’s mount, Forever SFN, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding. This horse-and-rider combination gave it their all throughout the course and finished with a time of 26.07 seconds.

Rounding out the top three was Aaron Vale (USA) and I. Adermie R 4 owned by Thinkslikeahorse. This pair went 11th in the order and finished with a fault-free time of 26.20 seconds. 

Final Results – $38,700 International Two Phase Challenge CSI 4*- W, presented by T&R Development

1) Alex Matz (USA) & Cashew CR – 0 / 0 – 25.98

2) Kelli Cruciotti (USA) & Forever SFN – 0 / 0 – 26.07

3) Aaron Vale (USA) & I Ardemie R4 – 0 / 0 – 26.20

Source: Press Release from National Horse Show

Photos: © Phelps / Jillian Eberlein