As a way to recognize equestrian enthusiasts looking to experience a high-level horse show without the worry of additional expenses, Vitalize® Equine has partnered with the Split Rock Jumping Tour to offer a scholarship to one passionate rider at each of its seven shows this summer through winter. The first two recipients have been selected and will compete at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky in June.
Melodie Robitaille, Columbus, Ohio, will ride her horse Kasper at the Split Rock Classic, June 9-13. She has always had a love for the Kentucky Horse Park and is excited to compete there during the Split Rock Show, during the first time it has offered multiple disciplines.
“Honestly, I’ve been wanting to show at Split Rock since it started. And I thought I would be going in jumper, so the fact that they added hunters and equitation was super exciting, and it’s so cool that I’ll be able to compete as a hunter and in equitation, a little bit of everything. That’s really exciting to be able to come to a show that I’ve been wanting to go to for so long with everything that they offer now,” she said.
Robitaille started riding competitively when she started 4-H at age 8 and focused primarily on dressage with her mom. Then she transitioned to jumping and the hunters. This is her final year in the junior division, and she hopes to finish the year strong before moving up in the levels of competition.
Taylor Cawley is the second Vitalize Split Rock Jumping Tour Scholarship winner. The 13-year-old from Wellington, Florida, will ride Squid at the second SRJT Hunter Jumper Classic event in Lexington, June 15-20.
“This will be the first show that I’ve been doing courses with non-ponies. For me as a young, upcoming professional, it’s good to have these introductions, where I can learn what I have to do to get what I deserve. I am a strong believer in the amount of work you put in is equal to the amount of success you’ll get out of it. I’m very excited because in the past I’ve always showed ponies, so I’m very excited to show my horse there and hopefully do well, if not, maybe we’ll try again next year,” Cawley said.
Born into the horse world, with parents who show and train professionally, Cawley has always had a passion for horses. She credits her parents and her current trainers for the amazing opportunities she has already had and looks forward to more in the future. She said she loves all aspects of horse care from mixing feed to hand walking her horses to grooming them and hopes to someday be part of a team and ride and show in Europe.
“With the goal to give more riders the experience of a high-level show like Split Rock, we are excited to award these scholarships to Melodie and Taylor. The scholarship is a way that our company can help competitors reach their goals and help achieve greatness,” said Hayley Keck, BioZyme® Inc. Marketing Brand Coordinator.
The Vitalize Scholarship pays for entry fees and stabling for one horse for each of the Split Rock Jumping Tour Shows in 2021. This is the first year it has been offered.