Golden Olympic horse Kibah Tic Toc dies

2 May 2014

EQUESTRIAN: Kibah Tic Toc, the Australian horse involved in a famous Olympic triumph, has died within months of the death of his breeder.

Kibah Tic Toc, among the nation's most successful equestrian horses, helped Australia claim individual and team gold eventing medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

He died this week at the age of 36, almost two months after the death in early March of his pioneering breeder Bridget `Bud' Hyem, who was Australia's first female equestrian Olympian.

Kibah Tic Toc is one of only two Australian horses to win gold medals in individual and team eventing competitions at an Olympic Games, the other being Laurie Morgan's Salad Days in 1960.

Kibah Tic Toc's 1992 victories came when ridden by Matt Ryan, and heralded the start of a golden period of Australian equestrian - the nation claimed eventing gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games and also in Sydney 2000.

Many believed Kibah Tic Toc's 1992 victory was unlikely entering the final show jumping phase, which normally gave the horse troubles: Ryan and Tic Toc could only afford to knock down one rail to win gold.

"One of the quirky problems that I had with Tic Toc was the show jumping phase and that must have frustrated the hell out of (owner/breeder) Bud, because her specialty was showjumping," Ryan has said.

"Coming into the final showjumping round at Barcelona, my record of knocking so many rails down - everyone knew it."

Ryan and Tic Toc cleared all but the last fence which was enough to secure the team and individual gold medals for Australia.

After the Olympics, Tic Toc returned to Australia and lived most of his life at Kibah, where he will be buried with a memorial erected in his honour.