This is a bit late, and it is unfortunate that this post is even necessary, but the awful fact is that it is. Amy Tryon left us with only her legacy on April 12, passing away in her sleep with her dogs by her side. I got my first inkling on Facebook when a post from Lainey Ashker popped up on my timeline about being devasted over Amy’s death. Praying it wasn’t the Amy that we all know and love, I scrolled down farther to confirm my fear, seeing a picture Lainey had posted of herself and Amy at an event. My next stop was Eventing Nation, which had the full release up.
Amy Tryon was one of the first names that I learned when I first began studying eventing. Usually, you tend to remember the names and faces of those who have had some sort of impact on your life in the early stages of whatever it is you are working toward. Amy was one of those names, and I always searched for her name on the Rolex entry lists and devoured every bit of news I could find on her. I was not up on the news when the whole Le Samurai incident occurred, but I have seen the video and I tend to lean towards her side of the story – yes, the horse is clearly lame before that last fence, but I would venture a guess that it is next to impossible to pull up a 4* horse when it is pumped full of adrenile and locked onto a big galloping fence. I believe that attempting to pull him up would have resulted in a crash and further injury to both Amy and Le Samurai. But, that isn’t the point. The point with that story is that the public and media will spin whatever story they want, quick to point fingers and armchair quarterback through the whole debacle. Unfortunately, Amy’s reputation seems to have suffered from the backlash. Personally, I admired Amy. She worked hard for her career, and she had a greatly successful career to show for all of that effort. Poggio was one of the greatest event horses to ever grace the podiums and Amy deserved everything she earned with him.
I attended Rolex for the first time in a few years in 2010. My boyfriend and I left our house at 2 am and drove straight through to Lexington, stopping only for breakfast and to let the dog out to stretch his legs. The purpose of this all night drive was to make it to the Horse Park in time for the Smartpak sponsered coursewalk led by Amy Tryon and Allison Springer. We arrived at the park only a few minutes before the walk was scheduled to start, so we booked it to the Smartpak tent to register and then to the start box, where the walk was just getting underway. Amy and Allison did a wonderful job with the coursewalk despite the chilly, drizzly weather.
Later that weekend, Amy and Leyland went out on course. I was standing with my boyfriend and dog at the rope at one of the earlier fences in the course. It was a combination jump, and the out was a large brush that required a hard, 90 degree right turn directly towards the ropes and back out onto the galloping lane. We were positioned directly on the line from that turn to the rope, and Amy came through the combination and headed straight for us. My dog was only a few months old at the time – maybe 3 months? So this was a very big deal for him. He had never seen a horse until this moment, and having no idea what this very large, very fast beast galloping straight toward him was, let out a mighty albeit slightly WTF bark. The spectators standing near us laughed as Brody craned his head as far to the left as he could without falling into the galloping lane so that he could watch Leyland gallop away. This moment is not much, but it is now the last memory I have of Amy and I will always cherish it. I had attached sentiment with it simply for the fact that it was Brody’s first horse sighting, but now it means so much more.
Amy will forever be fondly remembered in my book. She was a hardworking professional with an illustrious career that anyone would envy. Her legacy will never fade, and you can find myself and my friends wearing green ribbons on cross country day this year at Rolex in her honor.
Rest in peace, Amy.
A great article on Amy’s background here.