Melanie Kay Tallent, 55, died Friday, October 11 from injuries sustained in a cross-country schooling accident.
Over her 25 year professional career Melanie was a pioneering neuroscientist, first as an academic with an NIH-funded research laboratory dedicated to treatment of neurological diseases. Over the past decade Melanie has been the Chief Scientific Officer of LifeSplice Pharma, a biotech firm she co-owned and co-founded with her husband, Gordon Lutz. Melanie was tireless and unrelenting in her career devoted to improving the lives of patients with diseases such as epilepsy and ALS. Melanie received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995, BS in chemistry from Tennessee Technological University in 1986, and diploma from William Blount High School in 1982.
Melanie was a life-long lover of horses. She and her husband lived on a small farm along Pennsylvania's Brandywine Creek with her two horses who she competed in eventing and dressage. Melanie competed through the Training level with Dunlin and recently competed at Novice with Gadwall.
Melanie is mourned by the equestrian community of southeastern Pennsylvania, by her colleagues in the field of neurological research, and by her family and friends. She was preceded in death by her father Robert K. Tallent, her sister Debra Ann Tallent, and her mother-in-law Velma Lutz and was immediately followed in death by her father-in-law Chester Lutz. In addition to her husband Gordon, Melanie is survived by her mother Marselle Stewart Tallent of Maryville, TN and Robbinsville, NC; sister Marcia Tallent of Atlanta, GA; sister and brother-in-law Nancy and Mark Coleman of Maryville; brother and sister-in-law Kyle and Penny Tallent of Maryville; brothers Jeff Tallent of Knoxville and Mark Tallent of Maryville; brothers-in-law and their wives Gregory and Melanie Lutz of Lancaster, PA and Norman and Michele Lutz of Fort Myers, FL. She is also survived by nieces and their husbands Sarah and Bryan Dennis, Jessica and Travis Williams, and Ashley and Eric Pair; niece Cara Coleman; nephews and their wives Neil and Brianne Coleman, Andrew and Kristen Coleman, Brad and Laura Lutz, Brian and Amanda Lutz, Mike and Kat Lutz; nephews Brad Tallent, Aaron Smith, Sam Coleman, and Ben Tallent; great-nephews Arlo Smith, Jack Lutz, and Devon Williams; and great-nieces Charlotte Coleman, Abigail Lutz, Hannah Lutz, Alexia Williams, and Angel Williams.
The family will receive friends at McAmmon-Ammons-Click Funeral Home on Saturday, October 26 between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m., followed by a memorial service with the Reverend Deidra Crosby presiding at 2:00 p.m. Roscoe Morgan will provide music. No flowers are requested. Donations in Melanie's memory may be made to the CURE Epilepsy Foundation or the ALS Hope.
The USEA sends our sincerest condolences to Melanie's family and friends.
There is still time to experience the long format of three-day eventing this year, by competing in a fall USEA Classic Series Event! The USEA Classic Series offers long-format eventing at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, Modified, and Preliminary levels, and there are still a few left on the fall calendar in various Areas.
This story first appeared in the August 2022 issue of Sidelines Magazine.
I have had many young horses in my time, and one thing I’ve learned is that it’s rarely the perfect, easy baby that becomes the next superstar. In fact, I’ve always considered it a positive to have the well-behaved youngster throw a little bit of attitude my way, as I believe that it takes fight to become a great event horse.
It is hard to believe it, but Old Tavern Horse Trials is already here. This weekend's event, which runs September 24- September 25, will host over 300 entries, running Beginner Novice through Intermediate.
The 2022 Area IV Championships took place in Wheeler, Wisconsin at the Otter Creek Fall Horse Trials on September 16-18. Four new champions were crowned in four divisions: Preliminary, Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice. Meet your newest USEA Area IV Champions below.