Remembering Poggio II

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We are saddened to report that Poggio II, the longtime partner of the late and great Amy Tryon, has passed away at the age of 29. Amy Tryon’s husband, Greg Tryon, posted the following tribute on his social media:

The Old Man’s heart beats no more

On February 9th at 21:30 Amy got an early birthday present, her beloved Poggio. …

Posted by Greg Tryon on Wednesday, February 10, 2021

On February 9th at 21:30 Amy got an early birthday present, her beloved Poggio.

The Old Man’s heart beats no more.

I met him for the first time nearly a quarter of a century ago. “See my new horse!” Calling the orange and grey, half clipped, long-haired caterpillar a horse was in my eyes a bit optimistic. Knowing what her intentions for the horse once known as Chester’s Time to Fly in the racing world were, calling him a horse was way out of the box thinking, even for Amy. You thought he was a bit unorthodox later in life, wow, you should have seen him that first day.

Poggio II, yes, there was a Poggio in the world prior. Whether he was called Poggio, Pogi, or just plain P, he left an indelible mark in your heart. There were no bad days with P, he was eager each and every day, and he usually let you know about it from the get-go.

He did not like to be last, oh how the other riders didn’t enjoy going on gallops with the effervescent P bounding by their horses’ side as they prepared for some event around the world. P thought it was a game, “please, can we go again?!?”.

The Old Man’s heart beats no more

Oh, the places Poggio showed us. Traveling across the US and Canada. From the west coast to small towns in Pennsylvania and the rest of the Eastern seaboard. A passport that would take us on journeys through England, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Greece, Germany and China. All to return home to small towns in Washington State to live a life with his miniature donkeys.

The Old Man’s heart beats no more

He astonished people left and right. That’s the horse that jumped double clear? He’s so, so, so… downhill? He’s so short. He doesn’t have a trot, or other gaits for that matter. You’re riding him in a hackamore?!? Please have him stand still… Please make him stop cribbing, he’s teaching my horse bad behavior…

I prefer to remember the time an international show jumper walked up and offered a “blank check” for him in those early days. During Pogi’s first trip to Ocala, the rider apparently sat and watched P jump into and out of his paddock all day long, just for the sheer joy of jumping.

The Old Man’s heart beats no more

But as I hear from people around the world, some known, and most unknown, the power of Poggio was his ability to bring people together, for his personality reminded all of the beauty of horses, our “Why”. Horses are expensive, we get hurt, they get hurt, they break our hearts, but I can see why some child gets lost in the world of the horse from a very early age.

When I received the call on Friday, “hey, Pogi isn’t feeling so hot, all should be good, just wanted to let you know…” It caused me to mindful of the old man’s age. It caused me also to think how lucky I have been to know him, and to meet all the amazing people he has introduced me to. From every starred event, to Pan Am’s, to World Games, to Olympics, to neighbors back yards, Poggio was a statesman operating far above his station in life.

The phone call yesterday came with much emotion on the other end. A decision needs to be made, or nature will make it for us. There are the details, the what ifs, but in your heart you know the first responsibility is to be as faithful and loyal a friend has he. I assure you as I sit here typing, I am unable to stop the tears that stream down my cheeks.

The Old Man’s heart beats no more

Sitting in his stall that last evening, surrounded by some of those who have loved and taken care of him over the years, was both tough and peaceful. There were tears, and there was laughter. I promised him his forelock would never have to be braided again, no dreaded dressage as the courses would only be x-country and show jumps. I noted of course, he could jump them in whatever particular order he chose, as he was wont to do anyways. Most importantly, Mom would be waiting for him with open arms and an endless supply of Mrs. Pasture’s cookies.

The Old Man’s heart beats no more

I have left out so many of his accomplishments, and I have deliberately left out the names of so, so many people that have cared for and loved Poggio. He has become the linking point amongst a great many of us. He is neither the end all or be all… and as one person wrote: “Another chapter of life closes, but he leaves behind for us so many memories and connections he made happen”. Let us celebrate that about Poggio the Second.
Last night, I kissed his ear one final time whispering my thank you’s and telling him what a good boy he was.

The Old Man’s Heart Beats FOREVER More!

Indeed, the Thoroughbred gelding’s resume is full of accomplishments. He and Amy competed in two FEI World Equestrian Games and two Olympic Games; they collected team bronze and finished sixth individually in the 2004 Olympics and won individual bronze in the 2006 World Equestrian Games. The pair also finished third at Kentucky in 2002, 10th in 2005, and in the top 20 at Burghley in 2003.

But it wasn’t just the accolades and medals won that made Poggio II so great. It was his pure joy for life and for his job, made evident by his quick thinking and his incredible jumping style. He possessed a true love and a keen understanding of his job, and the results and partnership he had with Amy are proof of that. Poggio was also named Best Conditioned Horse at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2002. He was also named the 2006 Eventing Horse of the Year by The Chronicle of the Horse.

Poggio did it all his own way.

Posted by USA Eventing on Saturday, June 18, 2016

Amy found Poggio II in the classifieds section in The Seattle Times and would go on to produce one of the greatest and most consistent talents that modern American eventing has seen. Please join us in sending our condolences to Greg and everyone who loved Poggio. We’re picturing Amy and Poggio reunited, galloping cross country together once again.