Olympic champion horse Kibah Tic Toc dies

CLOCK STOPS TICKING: Double gold-medal Olympic winner Kibah Tic Toc with his owner, the late Bridget ‘Bud’ Hyem, on Boxing Day, 2011. The gelding died on Monday, almost two months to the day after Mrs Hyem. Photo courtesy James Hyem

CLOCK STOPS TICKING: Double gold-medal Olympic winner Kibah Tic Toc with his owner, the late Bridget ‘Bud’ Hyem, on Boxing Day, 2011. The gelding died on Monday, almost two months to the day after Mrs Hyem. Photo courtesy James Hyem

THE grand old horse of showjumping that won two gold medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics – Kibah Tic Toc – died on Monday at the Carroll property Kibah, where he was bred.

The gelding, which was 36 when he was put down after being poorly for four days, was buried on the property, on the western outskirts of Carroll.

The warmblood-thoroughbred was bred by Australia’s first female equestrian Olympian, the late Bridget “Bud” Hyem, who competed at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Kibah Tic Toc won individual gold and gold in the teams event at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, with Matt Ryan aboard.

Mrs Hyem passed away aged 81 on March 3 this year.

She had bred two of Australia’s most successful event horses – Kibah Tic Toc and another gold medallist, Kibah Sandstone.

The half-brothers were both ridden by Matt Ryan – Sandstone won gold in the teams event at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Kibah Tic Toc returned to Australia in 1999; in 2000 Mrs Hyem took him out of retirement to ride in the Olympic torch relay prior to the Sydney games.

Before he became an Olympic horse, Tic Toc was ridden in pony club gymkhanas by Mrs Hyem’s daughter, Lisa – who is married to former Tamworth mayor and sitting councillor James Treloar.

Kibah Tic Toc was born on October 27, 1977.

His dam was Sandrift and his sire was Domherr (Hanoverian breed).

“He was named Tic Toc after mum spent many hours in a car in the paddock waiting for the mare to foal, watching her watch – ‘tick tock’,” Mrs Hyem’s son, James Hyem, said yesterday.

Mr Hyem said the gelding would be missed.

“It’s a sad time to not have the old man out there to feed ... wandering around the house yard; he was part of the furniture. He was looking poorly and wasn’t well and we decided the time had come,” he said.

Gunnedah Show dressage convenor Dixie Walker said as well as the W Hyem Memorial event in memory of Mrs Hyem’s husband – well-known Australian showjumper Bill Hyem – the showjumping fraternity would have a minute’s silence on Friday in memory of Mrs Hyem and Kibah Tic Toc.

“He was 17 when he got his double gold medals – it is really amazing,” Ms Walker said.

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