Two-time Olympic eventer and off-the-track racehorse Poggio II has died at the age of 29.
His passing on February 9 was announced by Greg Tryon, who made a heartfelt tribute to the horse on social media. Tryon owned Poggio with his late wife, Amy Tryon, and Dr Mark Hart.
Ridden by Amy Tryon, Poggio finished sixth individually in the eventing at the 2004 Athens Olympics and helped the US secure team bronze, and also went to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong. At the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, Poggio and Tryon won team gold, and in the next WEG, won individual bronze in Aachen (Germany) in 2006.
A former racehorse, Poggio was named Chesterstimetoofly (Polynesian Flyer x Waves Club) and raced unsuccessfully as a two-year-old. He was sold as a pack horse, carrying supplies and equipment up the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest.
Tryon saw a classified ad for him in the Seattle Times newspaper in 1997, and bought him for $2500 with a friend. A week later she traded another horse for the friend’s share.
By 1999 they were competing at advanced level, and in 2002 Hart came on board as an owner. After the 2008 Olympics, Poggio was retired from eventing, and lived out his days with a miniature donkey named Jethro on the property of his farrier, Dawn Dofelmier and her husband, Jon.