Biko (horse)

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Breed Thoroughbred
Sire Beau Charmeur
Grandsire Le Fabuleux
Dam My Hansel
Maternal grandsire Prince Hansel
Sex Gelding
Foaled 1984, Ireland
Country USA
Colour Bay with a large blaze, sock right hind
Breeder Mr. Michael Kinsella
Owner Mr. & Mrs. Richard Thompson, Malvern, PA
Olympic medal record
Silver medal – second place 1996 Atlanta Team three-day event

Biko (1984-January 29, 2014) was a Thoroughbred ridden by American rider Karen O'Connor at the international level in the sport of eventing. He stood 17.3 hands (71 inches, 180 cm).


Biko was found as a 3-year-old by William Micklem in Wexford, Ireland. He told O'Connor of the horse, and she bought Biko. She found the horse to be incredibly talented, with a great ability to shorten and lengthen his stride, great strength and grace, and beautiful movement.

My Hansel, his dam, was a small but well-made and well-bred mare with excellent National Hunt lines that are found in many of the top National hunt racehorses and show jumpers. Beau Charmeur, his sire, was French bred.

Biko made the 1996 Olympic Team, but O'Connor broke her thumb days earlier, which made it difficult to control the strong horse, and the pair had a run-out on cross-country. However, they helped the United States win the team silver medal after a clear stadium round. He later made the American Team at the 1994 FEI World Equestrian Games where he finished an individual 11th place.

Biko holds the number-one spot on the Top Ten All American High Point Horses of the Century, and won the Horse of the Century Award from the USCTA (now USEA). With O'Connor, he represented the country on multiple occasions, including the 1996 Olympic Games, and competed and finished with top placings at the Badminton Horse Trials and Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event.

The gelding was retired in 1999, when he was 15, after he slipped both of his Achilles tendons off his hocks at the Burghley Horse Trials. A ceremony was held at the 2001 Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event.

Biko was euthanized on January 29, 2014 at the O'Connor's farm in The Plains, Virginia.[1]

Competition record[edit]


  • 12th Badminton Three-day Event CCI****
  • 24th Beaulieu North American Classic HT (Advanced)
  • 7th Morven Park Spring HT (Advanced)
  • 2nd Sharpton Winter HT AI



  • 7th Fair Hill International Three-day Event CCI***
  • 10th Gatcombe HT (Advanced)
  • 55th Badminton Three-day Event CCI****
  • 2nd Beaulieu North American Classic HT (Advanced)
  • 2nd Morven Park Spring HT (Advanced)
  • 7th Sharpton Winter HT AI


  • Team Silver, 18th Individually Atlanta Olympic Games (CCI****)
  • 24th North Georgia International Open Invitational HT (Advanced)
  • 2nd Groton House Farm HT (Advanced)
  • 2nd Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event(Advanced)
  • 20th Beaulieu North American Classic HT (Advanced)
  • 5th Morven Park Spring HT (Advanced)


  • 8th European Three-day Championships CCI*** (Best US horse)
  • 3rd Badminton Three-Day Event CCI****
  • 6th Morven Park Spring HT (Advanced)



  • 6th Blenheim Audi International Horse Trials CCI***


  • 3rd Loughanmore 3-Day CCI**
  • 6th Essex Three-Day Event CCI*
  • 3rd MCTA HT (Preliminary)
  • 4th Loudoun Hunt P.C. Spring H.T. OP


  • 3rd Radnor Hunt International Three-Day Event CCI*
  • 1st Blue Ridge HT (Preliminary)
  • 1st Fair Hill HT OP
  • 1st Groton House Farm HT (Preliminary)
  • 5th Fair Hill May HT OP


  1. ^ "U.S. Olympic Eventer Biko Dies at 30". January 31, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 

External links[edit]