Kibah Tic Toc, the horse that won double eventing gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics with Matt Ryan, has been put down at the age of 37.
The bay gelding with the big white star was owned and bred by Bridget “Bud” Hyem, a great supporter of eventing and a former Olympian herself, who passed away last month aged 81.
Bud’s daughter, Lisa Treloar, started Tic Toc’s career in Australia and Matt took over the ride in 1989, the year he moved to Britain.
“Tic Toc was a very special horse who made 2 peoples’ dreams come true,” Matt told H&H. “Not only did Bud want to breed an Olympic champion, but I wanted to ride one.”
Matt and Tic Toc headed the rest of the field in Barcelona by a whopping 10.7pen and their performance helped break Australia’s 32-year-gold medal drought — the last gold won prior to these OIympics was in Rome in 1960.
Tic Toc amassed 541 British Eventing (BE) points in his career, competed at Badminton 3 times, coming 8th in 1992, 12th in 1994 and 2nd in 1995. He also finished 6th at Burghley in 1994.
After sustaining a tendon injury in 1995, aged 18, Tic Toc returned home to Kibah Station in New South Wales to spend his retirement.
He made a special appearance in his local town, Gunnedah, in 2000, when Bud carried the Olympic flame aboard him ahead of the Sydney Olympics.
Matt added: “I always made a point of going to visit him when I was in the country. I saw him last in February time and he looked really well then. Old age must have suddenly caught up with him.”