Skip to content

Euchee Matthews Inducted Into Dixie Cup Hall Of Fame


by Alicia Davis

Back in January, Barbara Goda asked me to write something about my trainer and friend Euchee Matthews; this year’s inductee into the Dixie Cup Hall of Fame. After pondering as to where to start I decided that the beginning is always good.

Horses have always been a part of Euchee’s life. As a youngster living in Columbus, Ga., he rode for hours every day bareback because he didn’t own a saddle. At the age of 12, he was invited to a prestigious foxhunt. He said they put him right up front because the riders, many from England, couldn’t believe this dare devil youngster could take all the jumps bareback. Yes, we know Euchee can stick on a horse!

Euchee was a teenager the first time he saw an American Saddlebred. This was the most beautiful horse he had ever seen and he wanted to learn to work with these beautiful horses. He worked with a herd of about 100 Saddlebred mares and foals until he graduated from high school. The day after he graduated, he left Columbus to begin an apprenticeship at Raymond Cowden Stables in Illinois.

After a few years, he returned to his hometown and continued to work with Saddlebreds and shoeing. In 1971, he moved to Atlanta, where he became a popular horseman and farrier. He was the official farrier for the Dixie Cup in the early years, and probably shod all the show Morgans and many Saddlebreds in the Atlanta area. At the same time, he was training and showing Saddlebreds and racking horses. In fact, he won the Racking World’s Championship on a Saddlebred.

Euchee left Atlanta to become the trainer for Mr. Catledge’s Big Gator Farm in Bainbridge. Here he bred, trained and showed many top horses including Amateur Five-Gaited World Champion Enlightening and Road Pony World Champion Little Gator.

In 1984, Euchee and wife Dalton took the big step and built their own barn in Alachua, Fla., Horseshoe Farm. Euchee established his own breeding and training program, showing and winning championships from Albuquerque (Arabian Nationals), Oklahoma City (Morgan Nationals) to Louisville (American Saddlebred World Championship), with many others along the way. Many of his show stars have won championships at the Dixie Cup.

When the horses are worked, Euchee’s afternoons are spent at his “office” that is the West End Golf Course. He truly loves the game of golf! At one Pro Am show, a certain trainer, whose name will remain unknown, was so happy that he finally won money from Euchee that he asked him to autograph the money. He planned to frame his winnings! That was early in the week. By the end of the week the same trainer was signing money over to Euchee.

As a judge, Euchee is highly sought after, having judged both the Morgan and Saddlebred World Championship shows. Trainers and exhibitors agree he is honest and decisive. He gives everyone a fair chance and a good look. If you ask his opinion, be prepared: good or bad he will tell it as he sees it.

At a recent horse show, while watching Euchee work my horse, a younger man came up to me and said, “When I grow up I want to be just like him, Euchee.” I had to ask why. He continued to explain that Euchee is a self-made man. Does it all himself, shoes, trains and shows his horses. The horses are always in top form and he is hard to beat. Euchee is willing to share his expertise with others. He relayed an incident where he was having trouble with a horse and Euchee offered his advice and then checked a few days later to see if there was any improvement. There was.

Others would agree with this man’s opinion. Yes, that’s Euchee: always there to lend a helping hand or give assistance in any way, but will do his best to beat you in the show ring and the golf course.


More Stories

  • High Point Correction Deadline Approaching

    As the season comes to an end, the High Point Report is also soon coming to a close and we need your help! The Saddle Horse Report is asking readers to have any changes needing to be made to their High Point standings to us prior to Dec 7. Read More
  • Blythewood Matriarch Passes

    Sad news came from Cleveland, Tennessee this morning with the passing of Blythewood Farm matriarch Betty Neil. Purchased for her as a little girl by her father, the late Blythe Mayfield, Blythewood Farm has been an integral part of the American Saddlebred industry since 1942... Read More
  • Paul Briney Passes Away

    Paul Briney passed away Thursday, November 15, 2018 due to complications from several strokes this year. Briney’s contributions to the American Saddlebred industry are numerous including his many years as president and manager of the Midwest Charity Horse Show as well as many years served as president of the Illinois Horsemen’s Council... Read More
  • TASHA Announces Holiday Horse Show

    The Texas American Saddle Horse Association (TASHA) is proud to announce that the 2018 Holiday Horse Show will be held on December 1-2, 2018 in Bryan, TX at the Brazos County Expo located at 5827 Leonard Rd.Celebrating 45 years of horse shows, TASHA invites all fans and supporters to come and honor this milestone. Read More
  • Latest Issue November 5 18`

    Read More
  • Heads Up: Traffic Impact for Friday Move In at the UPHA American Royal National Championship

    Move in times will be impacted Friday, November 2, 2018 due to a campaign rally by the Vice President at Hy-Vee Arena (formerly known as Kemper Arena)... Read More
  • Debate Heats Up Over Proposed Roadster Rule Change

    A debate over the future of the Road Horse division continues to split opinions among the show horse community as people express their voices regarding speed, safety and even spectators who come to watch the roadsters show... Read More
  • Latest Issue October 29 18

    Read More
  • Sebring/Honstein Memorial Grants Deadline Nov. 1

    A new application period has been established for the 2019 memorial grants offered by the American Morgan Horse Educational Charitable Trust (AMHECT). The application period for both of the 2019 grants outlined below will be October 1, 2018 through November 1, 2018. Read More
  • The American Saddlebred Museum Open House was a Success

    The American Saddlebred Museum hosted a successful Open House event on October 6, 2018. After the last class of the Kentucky Fall Classic Horse Show Saddlebred lovers dropped by the Museum to celebrate the end of a great show... Read More