Rodeo isn’t just another weekend hobby for Hayley Jo Knox. She’s the fourth generation in her family to compete in the sport that she was born into. The breakaway roper from Statesville, N.C., said her mom, grandmother, aunt and step-dad were all barrel racers; her dad and grandfather rode bulls. Her great-grandparents also competed in the sport. It was only natural that she found her niche in the sport.
“I come from a huge rodeo family, and I competed in my first rodeo when I was 4-years-old,” Knox said. “When I was 10, I started roping, and that has become my main thing. It’s what I’m best at and what I’m passionate about so I breakaway rope now.”
Knox and her 16-year-old bay gelding, Jake, have made quite the team since they paired up in college, where Knox was on a rodeo scholarship at East Mississippi Community College. There, she earned her associate degree in marketing, and now works as an office manager for Victory Air.
Knox and Jake compete on the IPRA Southeast Circuit, where she is currently in the top five in her sport. She has qualified and competed in the IFR Finals and hopes to do so again this year. She is also competitive in the Southern Rodeo Association, where she is also in the top five standings. She said she and Jake made an instant connection at their first rodeo together.
“We just clicked right off the bat. The first college rodeo I took him too we won the long round, and the short round and the average,” she said. “He just fits me. He might not be what everyone considers the best, but he’s a winner in my book. He helps me win.”
To keep Jake and her other horses feeling good and looking good, Knox started them on Vitalize® Equine supplements more than a year ago. She noticed instant results with Jake, who doesn’t typically shed his winter coat until well into late spring, when she started feeding him Vitalize Equine High Performance Pellets.
“I started Jake on Vitalize late last winter, and he shed his winter coat fast, which was great because he never likes to shed out until late April or May. We’re going to these spring rodeos, and it’s hot and he’s sweating because he has all this hair. Vitalize helped him shed out and look better earlier in the year. It helped him a lot,” Knox, one of the newest Vitalize Ambassadors, said.
Another product Knox uses when hauling Jake or her other horses is the Vitalize Equine Recovery Paste (transitioned to Vitalize® Equine Recovery Gel July 2019). She said the paste helps keep Jake on his feed when going to rodeos, and he drinks more than he had previously when away from home.
Vitalize contains Amaferm®, a natural prebiotic designed to maximize the nutritional value of feed. It is research-proven to increase nutrient absorption resulting in maximized digestive health for improved performance. With the Amaferm advantage, equine enthusiasts can expect increased stamina without the horse getting hot, hardkeepers eating and gaining weight; digestive wellness; consistent appetite and strong solid hooves.
“Overall, I haven’t had any ulcer issues since I’ve been feeding Vitalize. My horses look great. It’s a great overall supplement. It keeps their bellies happy, and that is what is most important to me; keeping them healthy and keeping them looking good,” Knox said.