Event rider and trainer Amy Barrington was hospitalized on Sept. 4 after falling from a horse in a schooling accident and sustaining a head injury.
According to her friend and fellow eventer Beth Perkins, Barrington, 52, Tryon, N.C., was riding on the flat alone in her arena when she fell.
A student caught Barrington’s horse when he ran back to the barn. As she was leading him back to the arena, she found Barrington unconscious but breathing, and she called 911.
From what Perkins can discern, Barrington’s horse fell, and Barrington received a blow to the left side of her head. Perkins isn’t sure whether Barrington was kicked or hit her head in the fall, but she was wearing a helmet.
Barrington underwent surgery the same day and doctors found severe bruising and a hematoma in her brain. She also sustained a broken nose, a large cut on her cheekbone and a minor skull fracture.
Barrington was put into a medically induced coma to speed the healing process of her brain, but doctors are unsure of the extent of the damage. Her husband, course builder Greg Schlappi, and son Ben are at her side.
“The doctor said that it will be at least a week until it’s had time to heal, but he also said she could wake up anytime. They really don’t know,” said Perkins. “She’s a very, very strong woman, and if anybody can pull through it, she will.”
For the moment, Barrington’s friends and students are taking care of her farm and horses, but a fundraising page is now online for her. A facebook page is also providing updated information on her condition.
Barrington opened her eyes on Sept. 16 and was responding to her family when they spoke to her.
On Sept. 17, she was transferred to The Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Ga., where she’ll receive specialized care and rehabilitation.