Matt Koch of Elizabeth, Colorado, crossed the million-dollar mark following his run aboard XIT Ranch’s Smart Ladies Sparkle at The Run For A Million in Las Vegas. The pair secured a check for $3,500, well surpassing the amount needed for Koch to pass the milestone.
“It was neat to be able to do it on the mare [Smart Ladies Sparkle] here in Vegas,” Koch said. “I have had her for her whole career, and it was good to be able to cross it on a horse that means a lot to me.”
Being first introduced to the reined cow horse while working with Robbie Boyce, Koch’s desired to develop a nice all-around ranch horse. That groundwork in his training program led him to a career in the show pen.
“I have to thank all of the different ranches I have worked for who have allowed me to go show and supported me along the way,” Koch said. “Crossing this milestone was never something that was on my mind during my career. You look up at the banners during the Snaffle Bit at all the people who have achieved it, and I still can’t believe I am joining them.”
Koch equates his achievements in reined cow horse to his wife, Brianna, and to the people who have helped and supported him from the beginning, along with good horses that have allowed him to succeed in the show pen.
“Robbie Boyce was one of the first guys to help me in this sport. Chris Dawson has been there since the very beginning along with Darren Miller, Todd Crawford, and Brand Lund,” Koch shared. “When it comes to horses, SDP Blue Blood was the horse that got me in the door, and without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
When asked about his future goals, Koch joked.
“Well, I got this done,” he said. “Now we can go on to the next thing!”
“We are all so thrilled for Matt as he achieves this incredible milestone,” said Anna Morrison, NRCHA executive director. “As we follow our riders’ careers and get to know them and their families, we become invested in their success. Matt is so deserving, and we are celebrating right alongside him and Brianna!”