In Memory of Melanie Tallent

Photo by AK Dragoo Photography.

We are extremely sad to report that Area II eventer Dr. Melanie Tallent passed away Friday, October 11, 2019 due to a traumatic brain injury sustained in a horse related fall the week before.

Melanie was a neuroscientist. She and her husband Gordon Lutz together co-founded the company LifeSplice Pharma, a biotech firm that develops RNA-based drugs to treat neurological disorders. In her field, she was well known for her work in the epilepsy research.

Melanie’s life was made sweeter through her connection with horses, especially her own Gadwall, a dutch harness horse, and Dunlin, a Paint/Percheron. Through her riding career, she embraced her educational opportunities to learn and grow her craft, and many friends have shared fond memories of her contagious work ethic. She also carved time to give back to the animals and sport she loved through volunteering with local events and with CANTER.

Today I lost my amazing friend and long time client, Melanie Tallent, to a TBI from a fall a week ago. Looking back, I realize Mel probably didn’t take lessons with me every single week on her horses because she thought she needed lessons from a Grand Prix Dressage rider for lower level eventing. I think she did that to support me so I could be successful. I am going to miss teaching her and riding her fabulous horses every week, but most of all her jokes and her incredible support. I am so devastated and heartbroken. I am going to keep living my life boldly like she did and as she would want me to. Miss and love you Mel 💔

Posted by Kymmy Pullen on Friday, October 11, 2019

“Melanie Tallent was one of the most genuine, kind hearted people I have ever met. She deeply cared for and loved her horses; her work ethic, passion for the sport, and tenderness shone through her interactions across friends, family and fellow eventers,” said Sara Gumbiner, who was a friend and coach to Melanie.

“Melanie was an outspoken advocate for human rights, and along side her husband, Gordon, was working on developing treatment options for neurologic disease and brain injury. Her passing has left a void in my heart, a place in my soul that was filled with the presence of strong woman, and close friend. I am blessed that she was a part of my life, the past 10 years has brought me great joy, and fulfillment in my work, to watch her grow with her horses as a team, the effort she poured into science and advocated for the respect and dignity of people: always seeking continual improvement.”

On behalf of the eventing community, we extend our deepest condolences to Melanie’s friends and family.