For Whitney DeSalvo, rodeo isn’t another weekend hobby. It is her way of life, and she gives it 110 percent. The Arkansas-based team roper works daily to be mentally and physically prepared each time a calf comes out of the chute; and it is just as important for her horse, Becky, to be at the top of her game too.
The 22-year-old DeSalvo has been roping from Becky, a 6-year-old Sorrell mare for about a year and a half. They have had a successful year this far, and DeSalvo’s goal is to win the world titles this fall in both the WPRA and the USTRC Cruel Girl circuit. She currently leads in the standings for both, with a nearly $22,000 lead in the WPRA standings.
“I work at this every single day,” DeSalvo said. “All I do is rope. It doesn’t matter if I’m the best or the second-best girl heeler in the world. I want to rope and I want to learn from the best, and not just be known as the best ‘girl’ heeler, but someone who can compete with the best of any roper. Women ropers are getting more competitive.”
DeSalvo and Becky had a great spring, winning both the Wildfire Open the World, Charlie 1 Horse All Girls Roping and the Patriot. The duo won third at the BFI All Girls Invitational in Reno. However, DeSalvo noticed that hauling Becky was taking its toll on her, and the mare had problems with ulcers and started being drawn up in her flank.
DeSalvo competed in the 1st ever Vitalize® Open Team Roping, close to home on Memorial Day, and won two bags of Vitalize Equine High Performance. She took the product home, and started feeding it to her horses, and noticed an immediate change.
“I give Becky two scoops of Vitalize Equine High Performance pellets a day, and haven’t had any trouble with her staying filled out at all,” DeSalvo said. “The Vitalize products are user friendly, as there isn’t a lot of mixing, and my horses look great.”
She currently has Becky and two other horses in one pasture, where they get Vitalize Equine Free Choice Mineral.
“All three of my horses look better. They are staying filled out, and they are staying chilled out, which is the Amaferm® working to make their gut feel better. I can tell when my mare’s stomach is bothering her, and she doesn’t want to perform, but I haven’t had those problems since I started her on Vitalize,” DeSalvo said.
She also uses the Vitalize Equine Recovery Paste (transitioned to Vitalize® Equine Recovery Gel July 2019) after long hauls, which helps get her horse drinking.
With daily practice, a healthy and alert horse and a supplement program to keep her horse at the top of her game, it is likely you’ll continue to see Whitney DeSalvo at the top of the leader board for years to come.