Tallon had great success in his early years when it was Randolph Macon Woman’s College as the Director of Riding. After 2007 he lost his spark, drive and positive attitude to develop any successful teams. Is this the end of the riding program or is this a chance to breathe new life into a suffering white elephant. Let’s hope this iconic school finds a fresh face with the passion and drive to produce a winning program once again.
Speculations to why “early retirement” have been tossed around. Tallon has alienated many in the horse community as well as his past/present staff. The riding facility and the college have undergone many changes. Admissions to Randolph College have increased however the riding program greatly suffers from poor enrollment and has done so before the school went co-ed. It's a guess to why Tallon is leaving but it appears to be a blessing in disguise.
Wow. I got to ride with JT for two years when I was at Lynchburg, and I thought he was great! Literally can't think of one rider who complained about him during that time, except for maybe the proposed "mandatory" workouts because some of us were getting chunky hehehe. Don't recall hearing any negative mumblings from staff either. Great program, great Eq trainer. He'll be hard to replace.
ROFL. I rode under JT at times back when RMWC WAS RMWC. Nope, he sure didn't sugar coat anything. Nope, I sure didn't agree with him on everything. He was good at making teams that won on the IHSA rounds though. Of course, I disowned my alma mater after they went co-ed, but I think it's HILARIOUS that ol' JT made COTH and especially in this manner, ROFL!!
Um. Wow. I'm a proud alumna of RMWC and the riding program. I rode with Janet McBrien and JT Tallon. JT is a tough taskmaster and his style is definitely not for everyone. But he is an excellent trainer and I learned a lot from him and his program. I admit that I haven't paid as much attention to NuSkool since I was heartbroken over the decision to go co-ed, but when I was there, the riding program was top notch. Evens rule!
I live in Chantilly, VA but I ride in Anytown, USA
I know quite a few people that rode at RMWC under JT. They did great in his program, won top accolades and talk about great lessons and tips from him that they will never forget and carry with them to this day. However, what I have heard from those same people is exactly what the OP said. In fact, one of the people wrote me recently writing the equivalent of a sigh of relief that he is retiring. They too felt his heart hasn't been in it for some time and that the care of the horses has been 'off' for quite some time. JT doesn't care for the horses himself, nor is he the barn manager. But getting a new director in would likely change a lot that needs to be improved upon. People who really loved his training style, however, will really miss him. I personally love that hard-nosed approach and thrive under that sort of teaching style.
"If you have the time, spend it. If you have a hand, lend it. If you have the money, give it. If you have a heart, share it." by me