Amy Tryon’s husband speaks out about her cause of death

Abby linked to the Seattle Times story in the News & Notes last night, which stated that the cause of event rider Amy Tryon’s tragic death in April was an accidental drug overdose.  Toxicology tests showed that present in her system at the time of her death were Oxycodone (a prescription painkiller), diphenhydramine (an ingredient in over-the-counter cold and allergy medications), and several benzodiazepines: Alprazolam, Diazepam, Lorazepam and Temazepam (used to treat insomina or anxiety).  The mixture of these medications is dangerous; it wasn’t the amount, but the combination of drugs that was lethal.

The Chronicle of the Horse posted the story this morning and recently updated their story to include quotes from Amy’s husband, Greg.  From The Chronicle:

“She had her jaw dislocated on the Sunday before her death by a horse,” said her husband, Greg. “She’d had surgery to have both joints put back in on Tuesday. She took way too many of her muscle relaxants, plus the pain medication that she was on for the jaw, and apparently some other stuff as well. You couple all that together, and it’s a lethal combination. She was taking it as her management of the pain from the jaw. She wasn’t on that prior to that event. According to the medical examiner, it wasn’t the amount that was in her system, it was the different types. It was a poor choice on her part, and it had disastrous effects.

“She was tough; she was obstinate. She gave her all in everything she did. That was to her benefit and her downfall,” Greg continued.

He said Amy was feeling very positive before her death with two promising young horses in the barn and an enthusiastic barn staff who made the barn a fun place to work.

“Some friends in the horse world from both sides of the Atlantic were going to go to Africa on a safari with horses. When she came home from California the week before she was non-stop chatting about wanting to go on this safari. Those are the things we were planning,” said Greg. “She wasn’t a super hero. But she was an amazing person who had her faults and had her strengths like all of us. She just wanted to try and see if she could do it.


EN would like to express our heartfelt condolences to Amy’s family and friends.  This was a horrible tragedy, and we offer our sympathies and prayers to her loved ones during this difficult time.  I have lost several members of my extended family due to prescription drug overdose, and it is a very real problem affecting people of all walks of life.  I hope we do not judge Amy by her unfortunate end, but that we may remember her as she lived, representing Team USA at the very top of eventing.



  • Julie Poveromo says:

    This is so very sad :( Amy was a great competitor and person – it is extremely unfortunate that we lost her too soon. The additional information about her jaw surgery and the reason she ultimately died is just awful. Prayers and hugs to her connections.

  • dk says:

    Equestrian sports can be brutal on the human part of the team. This tragedy could happen to any professional athlete. Pain management can become part of your everyday life. Sympathy to the family and friends she left behind.

  • Harmon Nancy says:

    So very sad that Amy was so driven by competition. Pain management creates drug dependent personalities and a delusion that we can do anything. It is like drinking and driving. I fault her doctors (all of them) for failing to monitor her medications.

    • Susan Yates says:

      your opinion your right to say it, but oh so wrong….maybe you like to find fault so you are comfortable and feel better than others…or your lack of understanding of meds, people,
      and pain is warped.

  • Karen says:

    My deepest sympathies to Amy’s family.
    The below post seems to be a little out of line. Why would you assume that Amy’s being driven by competition had anything to do with her mistake? We are all competitors who love the sport. If she wasn’t competitive she would have never made it to the top as she did. Amy made a tragic mistake by combining the wrong medications, some of them over-the-counter. Would you fault the bartender for someone drinking a driving? A doctor should not be blamed unless he administered the drugs to her. Unfortunately, the “blame someone else” attitude has become far to prevalent in our society. Her family certainly didn’t blame anyone. We will miss her tremendous contributions to our sport.

  • ripnlips says:

    Ms, Nancy Harmon, Your statement is very false, you should not say things that you are not educated in, or may not know alot about. But for you to say that pain management created her death is very false. If you read the full report you can see. Pain management is a great thing if used right, it actually gave my mother comfort in her last years of life, and it does that for many people. But when people like you tag it like you did is very wrong, and need to be corrected, it (pain mgmt) never made my mom delusional or changed her personalitie, if anything it gave her comfort from pain. Im sorry but when I here people like you speak out about pain mgmt in the way you did it puts a very bad taste in mouth. Yes it does get abused by some, but it helps alot more that live in pain from disease, cancer, or injury. God bless.

    • Marjorie says:

      I think that the abuse is accidental for a lot of people. That is what happened to Amy. I know that it was for my friends.

  • Marjorie says:

    I have lost two friends because of complications of drugs — over the counter and perscribed.
    One friend had scarlet fever as a child. He had a cold and took benadryl and sudafed together. This combination caused his death.

    Another friend had broken his ribs from a belly flop competition that he won. Perscribed pain meds, benadryl and vodka. He also had asthma. He just went to sleep forever.

    We do need to be careful with the combinations of drugs we take. It could happen to anybody.

    Amy was an incredible athlete and I imagine her pain from her jaw was huge and unbearable. I might have done the same and taken all those meds to ease the pain — not even thinking the combination would be lethal

    My heart goes out to all her friends and family.

  • Polly says:

    Even through Amy’s tragic, untimely death, she continues to teach. Thanks to Greg for sharing the sad results from the Medical Examiner.
    I don’t know about you guys, but I am a big ‘self medicator’. I use Surpass and DMSO on my own muscle strains, I’m often done up in Vetrap and when my back is bad, I take my horse’s Methocarbamol (Robaxin). At one event, my back was killing me. I took the “prescribed” 3 tablets before my XC and guess what. I was loose as a rag doll. When my young horse peeked at the ditch at the bottom of the hill, I slithered right into that ditch. That opened my eyes. I do hope Amy’s sad end has opened the eyes of others who could find themselves reaching into their own medicine cabinets once too often.
    RIP, Amy and peace to her family

  • L says:

    My sincerest sympathies go out to Amy Tryon’s family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>