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Matthieu Abrivard is a French champion in the world of horse racing. He is a top jockey, driver and trainer of trotters, as well as a respected coach.
His racing career began when he was just 16 years old. He had an impressive 13 wins in the 2003 season, beginning with his first-place finish in the Vincennes Group II Prize Lavater. At age 17 he went on to become a professional after recording 50 wins, many of them with Jag de Bellouet.
Jag de Bellouet ranks among Matthieu's all-time favorite horses. This is the horse he says he dreamed of driving in a prix d'Amérique. Matthieu also rode Jag de Bellouet in the saddle and knew him well. "It would have been a great honor for me to compete in the greatest of races with him," says Matthieu.
In 2004 Matthieu won his first Group I Prix de Cornulier. It was followed by a winning streak in which he was awarded the Cornulier Award for two years straight in 2005 and 2006. He then went on to win several Group I races in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 he had several major driving wins, among them the Prix de Paris in 2010 with the mare Private Love, followed by an amazing 487 wins in 2011. In total, he has had more than 1,000 career wins.
"My favorite memories are about the special atmosphere of the competition day. There is such sporting pressure whirling away around the start line, yet the silence is incredible," says Matthieu.
"You have to turn up in top form on the day of the race. You know your competitors well, as you see each other at all of the qualifying races. You tend to run through a number of race scenarios in your mind to ensure that you're ready to perform at the best of your ability during the race."
Matthieu shares a stable with his father, Loic-Desire, who went to the apprentice school at Graignes, and was taught by the mounted trotting master Joel Hallais. He has a child with his wife, Nathalie Henry, the first woman jockey to have won the Prix du President de la Republique.