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[RC] Tevis Ceremony & Tribute - Chris T. Martin

Enjoyed your post.  Glad someone is thinking.  I was late for the opening so I missed that part.  I do know that there was some talk at our table about why the stars and stripes were  backwards on the hats that were given out. 
Using the phrase "sold out" is pretty kind, from some of the comments I heard.
Please Reply to: Jonni jonnij@xxxxxxxx or ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Mary wrote >>>I just wanted to compliment the Western States=
 Trails Foundation for the
excellent Tevis Cup awards ceremony held Sunday afternoon. =
presenting the top 10 horses and honoring the "winners,"  tribute=
 was paid
to Wendell Robie for establishing the Western States Trail Ride=
 50 years

I sat there wondering what Wendell would have thought of all the=
 attention given to the "sponsor" EMIRATES INTERNATIONAL=
 ENDURANCE VILLAGE all weekend. (then again, I wonder if he would=
 have approved of that sponsership in the first place)

At the awards presentation, they awarded the sponsor with a belt=
 buckle just like all the riders recieved, except it said "crown=
 jewel sponsor" on it, then the 1955-2004. Makes one think they=
 sponcered the ride all those years. I was sitting with a few=
 riders who felt VERY hurt that they gave a buckle to someone who=
 'bought it' instead of earning it with sweat and effort by=
 riding the trail with their horses. Give them a plaque or=
 something, with a buckle maybe inbedded in it, but don't cheapen=
 the signifigance of the buckle(and the efforts of the horse and=
 rider to earn it) by giving it to anyone who puts up enough=
 money. And really, the $35,000 sponsorship is not a huge amount=
 when you look at how much it takes to put on that ride.

There were many riders and others involved in the ride who felt=
 the ride "sold out" by accepting that sponsorship.