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.
"No matter how old you are, be open to all disciplines, learn how to ride a dressage horse, a gaited horse, a show jumper. Go fox hunting and point-to-pointing and horse showing. You’ll learn from all of them and when you do decide which discipline you want to do, you’ll be better at it anyway.”
The University of Findlay’s Three-Day Eventing Team was established in 2013, the same year USEA voted and approved the USEA intercollegiate program. The UF team has over 30 members encompassing a variety of majors at the university. The team has access to two indoor arenas, a large outdoor arena, and 70 acres of on-site cross-country fences.
Bellamy, an Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding of unknown breeding, came to Tamra Smith’s farm in Southern California with his mane half-way down his neck and filled with burrs. Bellamy had been sitting in a field for a little over a year after unseating several riders in a row and Smith, known for being good with tricky horses, agreed to take him on.