Michael Matz of Collegeville, Pa., rode Gondolier to victory today in the $30,000 Michelob Upperville Jumper Classic on the final day of the Upperville Colt and Horse Show.
Matz, who also won the 1984 title on Bon Retour, edged The Empress, ridden by Katie Monahan of Middleburg, by three one-hundredths of a second with a time of 30.811.
"This is only the second Grand Prix we have ridden him in," said Matz. "He's very fast. He's a good horse."
Matz, who will represent the United States on the Olympic team at the World Championships at Aachen, West Germany, with Bon Retour and Chef, said he didn't feel the course was very difficult.
"It was simple jumpoff course," said Matz. "You have to take chances, but I knew he Gondolier was close to the winning time."
Monahan, who has been riding The Empress only since January, found the quality of the field of 33 entries outstanding.
"The competition was fierce," said Monahan. "The jumper classes used to be secondary here, but the quality is growing every year."
Eight other entries qualified for the Grand Prix event jumpoff after flawless first rounds. Beezie Patton of Milwaukee, riding with an injured finger, placed third and fourth on Medrano and Trudeau.