Whitney DeSalvo has witnessed the fruits of her labor pay off. The team roper from Springfield, Ark., achieved the goals she set for herself in 2017, winning both the year-end standings and the average at the WPRA finals. She also came out on top of the USTRC Cruel Girl Standings. And now, continues to work hard to fulfill other opportunities.
She has used some of those winnings to head back to college at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, where she is studying coaching. Although her ultimate goal is to rope and rodeo as a profession, this young athlete understands the importance of having an alternate plan and said she would enjoy coaching rodeo as well. She is already helping others learn the fundamentals by hosting clinics where young ropers can learn from her experiences.
“This is the first big clinic I’ve done on my own,” DeSalvo said. “Unless I’m 100% sure I’m capable, I won’t commit. I held off for a while, but I feel like I’ve been around enough I can share what I know with people. I had to start from somewhere. I wasn’t around it all the time like some people. I think I know enough now I can help those who might not have the help readily available to them.”
DeSalvo said her roping has been a little more limited this year while she’s in school, but she hasn’t stopped focusing on keeping her horses healthy. She continues to feed Vitalize® Equine High Performance Pellets and Vitalize® Equine Free Choice mineral on a daily basis, and relies on the Vitalize Equine Recovery Paste (transitioned to Vitalize® Equine Recovery Gel July 2019) when traveling to make sure her horses stay eating and drinking. Her horses haven’t had any ulcer or other digestive health challenges since she started using the Vitalize products and they continue to look filled out and feel good.
“Anytime someone asks me about the recovery paste, I tell them it will keep their horses feeling good on the road if they don’t want to drink,” she said. “This guy from home brought me some horses to college. He couldn’t get them to drink for quite a while when they were at a high school rodeo on the way to me, even though he kept offering them water. I gave each horse a tube of Vitalize Equine Recovery Paste, drove 45 minutes down the road, and as soon as I got them off the trailer, they were ready to drink.”
Excelling at her sport and keeping her horses healthy, has given her the extra nudge to buy her PRCA permit. DeSalvo said a fellow roper had asked her to be his heeler at some of the pro rodeos in the Southeast, and she said she is looking forward to it.
“There’s only a handful of girls who have bought their permit. I’m hoping it will work out, it will help me, and I can do it more when I get out school,” she said.
DeSalvo is following her dreams of being the best roper she can be, while learning more about the psychology of teaching and even coaching young ropers along the way. Roping is a partnership between she and her horse, and if her horse isn’t healthy, she’s not going to be at the top of her game. That is why she trusts Vitalize products for her horses, both at home and on the road.