Hall of Fame racehorse trainer's son murdered
HORRIFIED MEMBERS of the Constant Spring Golf Club were left in shock yesterday morning after a brazen gunman drove on to the premises and killed Kevin Mattis, the 40-year-old son of retired Hall of Fame racehorse trainer Kenneth Mattis.
Detectives attached to the St Andrew North Police Division said the incident occurred shortly after 11.
"According to witnesses, Mattis was approached by a man, who we understand was inquiring how he could become a member of the club. After the conversation ended, it is understood that Mattis walked off and the man later pulled a gun and shot him," one of the detectives told The Gleaner yesterday.
After the shooting, the man ran to his car and drove away from the scene. Preliminary investigation so far has suggested that the licence plate that was on that car belonged to another car, which has been traced to the owner who lives in Spanish Town, St Catherine.
Up to yesterday, the police were yet to establish a motive for the killing. As a result of the shooting, the SANTA Golf Tournament, which was scheduled to take place at the Constant Spring Golf Club, has been postponed.
Mattis, himself a former racehorse trainer, turned his back on horse racing in 2004 to go into business. His training career began in May 1995 when he sent out his first runner, The Legend, as one of the youngest trainers ever. However, he did not have to wait long for his first winner, Gorillum, on August 30 that year.
As the years progressed, Mattis saddled a total of 88 winners before calling it a day towards the end of 2004. Some of his best-known winning horses were Good To Go, who he posted to win a string of races, as well as Bringdimoneycome, King Richard, Zeedon and Sassy Sue. His last winner was Good To Go on September 4, 2004.
Kevin is the younger brother of Michael Mattis, who retired from racing some years ago to live in the United States.