The 62-year-old Australian eventing veteran had a night to remember at Tokyo’s Equestrian Park, following up the team silver he won alongside Kevin McNab and Shane Rose by snatching individual bronze.
Age might just be a number to some, yet for others it seems to present a barrier to top-level competition.
After bagging the sixth medal of an Olympic career which began in 1984, Hoy said: “When people meet me in the village they say, ‘So you’re an official, are you?’
“I have to say, ‘No, I am an athlete’. But I’m actually pleased that people can still say how old I am.
“When I started in the sport I used to be really proud of being the youngest person in the team.
“Now to be the oldest member of our team – we actually had one dressage rider older than me – it’s an absolute joy that I’m still so healthy.”
Hoy had improved his individual position from seventh to fourth following the nerveless clear round that delivered team silver behind Great Britain.
Another faultless performance took him up another place as his final score of 29.60 points brought his record eighth Games to a successful conclusion.
Hoy now has four Olympic medals in the team event, having won gold with Australia at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics.
The bronze medal he won in the individual competition adds to the silver he collected in the same event at the Sydney Games in 2000.
“My daughter sent me a message this morning saying, “Daddy, you rode really good yesterday and I want you to bring home another medal’,” Hoy told Channel Seven.
Hoy, who last competed at an Olympics in 2012, prior to Tokyo, said he wanted to continue his career through to the 2032 Games in Brisbane.
“I’ve got my eyes set on 2032 — Brisbane,” said Hoy, who carried Australia’s flag at the 1996 opening ceremony in Atlanta.
“Big incentive to get there. We will wait and see. Vassily is going really well.
“While I’m healthy I will continue doing what I love doing.”
Germany’s Julia Krajewski claimed gold on 26.00 points, with Great Britain’s Tom McEwen taking silver on 29.30 – just 0.30 ahead of Hoy.
Praising Vassily de Lassos, which he describes as a “once in a lifetime” horse, Hoy said: “He’s just so special.
“He’s very clever, very quick and he’s got a very calm mind.
“I ride him with exactly the same bit and bridle for the dressage, the cross-country and the showjumping. No running martingale.
“We’ve just got this wonderful relationship. He just runs and jumps and keeps me young.”Jump to next article