CFHJA Member Hi-Lite

Melina Poole Minnillo

Hey CFHJA members, my name is Melina Poole Minnillo. I am 23 years old, and I reside in sunny Tampa, FL. I started riding in small pony camps at the age of 4 and by the age of 7 I was riding competitively. I've had a love for horses from an early age and although no one in my family rode, my parents knew I was destined to have horses in my life.

I rode my entire childhood in Arizona at Crossroads Farm, until I learned that I had an injury unrelated to riding that would require surgery. In 2011 I underwent reconstructive hip surgery at the age of 16. My entire recovery took months and doctors were advising for me to find a new hobby, but I could never give up my passion to ride.

I returned to riding after I was fully recovered, but with school and work it left no time to be as dedicated as I had liked, and I put showing on hold. Fast forward to today, now married and relocated to FL, I am blessed with different circumstances. With the help of my loving husband's support I was fortunate enough to return to riding and commit everything I have to pursue my dreams. By the end of 2016 I had returned to showing with a horse I had leased, and by the end of the year I purchased my new show partner many of you know and love, Caraszini.

Caraszini and I compete in the jumpers, the only discipline I've ever competed in. We currently train with Haley Robinson out of Salt Creek Stables. With her help, Caraszini and I went from the 1.0m classes, all the way up to 1.15m in our first year. One of our greatest accomplishments was winning the CFHJA 1.15m M&S Jumper Classic in 2017.

I look forward to what we will be able to accomplish this year together as we prepare to move up to the 1.20m classes. If you see me or Zini around the show come say hi!

Melina Poole Minnillo