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2014 Tevis Cup - 59th Running

Heather Reynolds and French Open (Hadea) win Tevis Cup

Junior Barrak Blakely and MCM Last Dance win Haggin Cup


Tevis - by Heather Reynolds

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

This past week I flew to CA for the Tevis. I landed in San Francisco on Thurs morning. Hillorie was all smiles when she came and picked me up. We drove back to her place and finished the last minute packing. The plan was to go drop off her young horse to trainer, Mark Schuerman (the trainer of this years Tevis mount Hadeia), and while we were there we would make sure all of my tack was in order, then we would go drop the trailer at Foresthill.

We loaded up Hillorie's big, young chestnut and hit the road. There was a bit of traffic. The weather was super, but then again pretty much anywhere North of Hell would be an improvement to Florida's weather this time of year.

(On a side note, the Easyboot team booted up my mount on Wed for me in the Easyboot Glue ons. I love that group. Easycare has done a lot for the Tevis as well as for my horses personally.)

We got up to Mark's around 2 or so. He was there as well as my good firend Nicole Chappel. We all got organized and of course I had to check out how Hadeia looked. He looked perfect! His body weight was nice and his coat was shiney. I was now getting a bit more excited about the race that would be in less than 2 days.

After going over a few details, Hillorie and I left. We went for a late lunch at the Flower Garden Inn. We had a chicken salad to die for, it had all kinds of goodness in it, including different types of berries.

When we were done we headed up to Foresthill, hitting up the grocery store on the way. We parked in our regular area at Foresthill. By now it was probably around 5 pm. We were burnt out with driving so we decided to stay in Auburn that night, rather than driving back the hour plus to Hillorie's house to then turn around first thing and come right back up. We had a lot of fun catching up and hanging out.

On Friday morning Hillorie ran a few errands and then we met back up and went to Echo Valley Ranch to grab a few items. We had fun goofing around in there.

The drive up to Robie was great, the mountains are so beautiful. We stopped in Truckee for a bit, while getting something cold to drink we sat in a really cool cafe/restaurant and watched the locals go by.

We pulled into Robie around 2. Mark thought he would arrive around then. I checked in and looked at what the vendors had to offer, all the while running into friends. Great to see everyone.

When Mark pulled in we helped him get all set up. Hadeia was excited, he knew where he was. He has done the Tevis the past 2 years with Mark, placing 11th and 7th.

Hadeia (registered name, French Open) is a 14 yr old, 14.3 gelding. He was gelded as a late 8 yr old. He ran on the flat track before his endurance career, running an amazing 89 times. His legs are very clean and tight, he's a beast...

Read more here...


Welcome to the 2014 Tevis - President's Message

by Phil Gardner

A few years ago Marvin Jacinto coined the phrase "this ride ain't for snivelers". Evidently the word got out because the snivelers didn't show up this year. What a great group of competitors we had from 13 countries all around the globe! It showed in the sportsmanship exhibited on the trail and in the number of completions at the finish. We saw several riders receive their buckle after failing to make the finish in previous attempts. The completion rate was 57.5% a record for the current trail. Congratulations to all.

Heather Reynolds from Dunnellon, Florida, riding a 14 year old gelding named French Open (Hadea) was the winner of the Tevis Cup. She was part of a group that had traveled together most of the day. At exactly 9:00 pm Heather, Tennessee Lane from Windsor, Colorado, riding WH Pico's Shazam (Shazam!) and Tom Johnson from Loomis, California, riding AM Lady Liberty Wins (Libby) left the Lower Quarry vet check, six miles from the finish, together. Thirty-two minutes later Heather crossed the finish line, followed in six minutes by Tennessee and in another three minutes by Tom. It was one of the most exciting finishes in recent memory. All the horses looked fantastic and easily passed their vet checks.

This is the second time Heather has received the Tevis Cup, winning it in 2003 riding Master Motion. Her husband Jeremy is no stranger to the Cup either, winning it three times in 2011, 2007 and 2004, quite an impressive record for the family duo.

One hour and eight minutes later Barrak Blakeley from Terrebonne, Oregon, riding MCM Last Dance, a 17 year old gelding, crossed the finish line. The pair was awarded the coveted Haggin Cup at the Sunday awards ceremony. Barrak is the first junior to win the Haggin Cup.* He is no stranger to the ride with four Tevis starts; this is his second Tevis finish. He has paid his dues in both successes and failures on the trail. We are very proud to see one of our junior riders receive this honor.

The Haggin Cup was first awarded to Paige Harper in 1962. In the early days many people thought that endurance riding was just a bunch of crazy people, who didn't care about their horses, running down the trail as fast as they could. To show that this wasn't the case, the Haggin Cup was established. To many the Haggin Cup is considered equally prestigious to the Tevis Cup. At 10:00 am the morning after the ride the veterinarian committee examines the top ten finishers and chooses the horse most fit to continue at that time. Neither speed nor weight carried the day before are factors to be considered, only the fitness of the horse. Wendell Robie put it this way. "Imagine you were in the old west and were attacked by outlaws and had to choose a horse out of the top ten to flee for your life, which one would you choose?" That was the premise of the Haggin Cup in 1962 just as it is in 2014.

The Haggin Cup is a prestigious award on its own. Many riders plan their ride to compete for this cup, not the Tevis Cup. Such a strategy may be completely different than one you would use for going for the Tevis Cup. One plan might be to try to take your time, save your horse and shoot for 9th or 10th place. The Haggin Cup is not a consolation prize for not getting the Tevis Cup; it is a completely different competition. In fifty two years only hand-full of people have managed to win the Tevis and Haggin cups in the same year.

This award for best condition became the standard for endurance riding and was one of the original five principles of AERC. Over time as AERC developed, they decided to add speed and weight carried as part of best condition judging criteria. When the Western States Trail Ride (WSTR) decided to join with AERC and become an AERC sanctioned ride it was granted special dispensation that allowed WSTR to continue to use the original best condition judging format. That is why the Haggin Cup judging is different than any other AERC sanctioned ride.

In closing, I would like to thank the 2014 volunteers, ride director Chuck Stalley, the veterinarians, and Board of Governors. Thanks to your hard work, dedication to the Tevis and labors of love the 2014 Tevis Cup Ride will go down in history as one of the best ever.

* In 1972 Hal Hall won the Haggin Cup when he was 17. The rules in 1972 stated that a junior rider was 16 and younger and had to ride with a sponsor. At 17 years old a rider was considered an adult rider and did not have to ride with a sponsor. So Hal Hall was an adult rider in 1972. Prior to 1972 there was no rule requiring a sponsor for a junior rider nor were junior riders identified on the ride post ride charts. All junior rider records prior to 1972 are unofficial records.

Phil Gardner
President Western States Trail Foundation


2014 Tevis - Ride Director's Message

by Chuck Stalley

Dr. Fellers gets the credit for calling it when he said out loud at the preride meeting that "2014 was going to be a great Tevis ride year." The temperature dipped 15 degrees from the highs we were experiencing for the previous 5 days. Thunder showers in Truckee fired off every night for 5 nights previous to ride day- -enough that they seriously hammered down the dust. All the work put into the trail to resurrect it from the American Fire gave us the best footing ever. It was clear to me that twenty five or more riders entered in the ride were coming to take a shot at winning The Cup. We were truly going to have a strong field this year.

As it turned out, a front-running group of sixteen came through the Deadwood vet check one right after another.

This first group was a half hour ahead of last year's time at 50 miles into the ride. At this point, I was greatly appreciative that we had a very experienced Cup Committee overseeing the stops and fifteen experienced Tevis veterinarians to handle this close horse race at the level expected of Tevis.

Every year there are several rides within the ride. I cannot help but root for the foreign riders who have come so far to experience their dream of Tevis. Then there is the group that is going for their first buckle and are determined to get their money's worth by using all the time allowed to get to Auburn. Some of these riders finish with just minutes to spare. They are the riders who go home with coveted legacy buckles. They are the ones with huge smiles and big thank yous whenever I saw them on Sunday. My heart goes out to those who tried and fell short of getting their buckles.

The junior riders are a group who bring a special energy to the ride. They are always fun to see coming through the stops, and as a group, they ride as well as any. Oh, to be in that category again.

The Signature Riders are a little less recognizable as they go through the ride, but they are also members of an elite group of passionate supporters of this event. When I do recognize them, I give them a nod of respect for the financial assistance they have given to make this the best ride ever.

We also had two landmark buckles awarded this year--a decade buckle for Danny Grant and a 2000 mile buckle for Pat Chappel. Their stories sound very familiar to those who have tried Tevis. They have just kept it together both physically and emotionally longer than most-and persevered.

I am proud of the job that the current BOG members have done as well as the former BOG members who laid a strong foundation from which we all move forward. Thank you for all at the awards ceremony who helped recognize the army of volunteers who put forth heroic efforts year after year. These folks come back again and again to help all the riders reach their goals.

I hope to see you at the 2015 Tevis on August 1st,

Chuck Stalley
Tevis Ride Director


Tevis Cup riders aren’t horsing around
Auburnjournal.com - Full Article

Wednesday Aug 06 2014
59th annual Western States Trail Ride

100-mile equestrian endurance test set for Saturday
By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor

The 59th annual Tevis Cup is so foal of good horses, Ride Director Chuck Stalley can’t even pick a favorite.

“The field is loaded,” Stalley said of the 195 riders and steeds entered in Saturday’s Western States Trail Ride, which begins at Robie Park at 5:15 a.m. and ends 24 hours later in the Endurance Capital of the World. “Sometimes they put pressure on each other and they can’t finish. But they’ll push each other hard. This is a very competitive field. It will be very hard this year to get in the top 10.”

Some of the equestrian endurance athletes will be seeking the Tevis Cup with a first-place finish and others the Haggin Cup, awarded to a top-10 finisher whose horse finishes the ride in the best condition after arriving at the Gold Country Fairgrounds’ McCann Stadium.

Others simply just want to finish in less than a day’s time, bringing home a coveted buckle...

Read more here:
http://www.auburnjournal.com/article/8/06/14/tevis-cup-riders-aren%E2%80%99t-horsing-around


Tevis Cup welcomes foreign riders to Auburn
Auburnjournal.com - Full Article

Tuesday Aug 05 2014
By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor

Woman says 'everybody in Europe' talks about Western States Trail Ride

Auburn Mayor Bridget Powers had the chance to show off her foreign language skills Tuesday night, saying hello to more than a handful of international Tevis Cups riders in their respective languages at a dinner welcoming the out-of-towners to the Endurance Capital of the World.

About 140 people attended the Tevis Cup’s annual Foreign Rider Reception/VIP Dinner held outside at the Auburn Staging Area, giving the riders from overseas the opportunity to share their stories of why they want to compete in the Western States Trail Ride.

This year’s field, which will take off from Robie Park near Squaw Valley Saturday at 5:15 a.m. in hopes of reaching the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn within 24 hours, features 197 entries. Sixteen of the riders hail from countries other than the United States, representing 12 nations...

Read more here:
http://www.auburnjournal.com/article/8/05/14/tevis-cup-welcomes-foreign-riders-auburn


Tevis Cup a bucket list item for woman who had heart transplant
Auburnjournal.com - Full Article

August 3 2014
By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor

Angie Mikkelson has been dreaming about Tevis Cup and riding along the Western States Trail for years.

The circumstances, however, have never been right for the 39-year-old North Dakota woman.

She’s never had the right horse. And until having a heart transplant in 2000, Mi kkelson wasn’t healthy enough to compete in the 100-mile equestrian endurance ride from Robie Park to Auburn.

This year, though, the pieces are all falling into place.

Mikkelson is leaving Scranton, N.D., today, embarking on a three-day drive to the Endurance Capital of the World.

Mikkelson and her 9-year-old chestnut gelding Tango are both in good condition, trying to earn a buckle in Saturday’s Western States Trail Ride...

Read more here:
http://www.auburnjournal.com/article/8/03/14/tevis-cup-bucket-list-item-woman-who-had-heart-transplant


Auburn Tevis Cup rider, trainer Mark Schuerman is a kayaking cowboy
Auburnjournal.com - Full Article

Wednesday Jul 30 2014
By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor

Horses help him feed his whitewater addiction

A self-proclaimed cowboy, Mark Schuerman of Auburn is an expert when it comes to working with steeds for endurance and show.

“I don’t own any horses,” said Schuerman, who will be riding in his sixth Tevis Cup on Aug. 9 and seeking his third buckle. “I just train them.”

He also rides. And he does it well.

Schuerman finished seventh in last year’s Western States Trail Ride. He also completed the 100-mile ride from Robie Park near Squaw Valley to the Endurance Capital of the World in 2012, placing 11th...

Read more here:
http://www.auburnjournal.com/article/7/30/14/auburn-tevis-cup-rider-trainer-mark-schuerman-kayaking-cowboy


Auburn business owner ready to try Tevis Cup for first time
Auburnjournal.com - Full Article

July 28 2014

Victory Velo Bike Shop's Dawn Tebbs training 'on big girl trails'

By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor

Dawn Tebbs loves a challenge.

The 46-year-old Auburn business owner is in for one when she tests the 100-mile Tevis Cup for the first time.

“Being a mother of four boys isn’t challenging enough,” joked Tebbs, who’s always had an interest in the Western States Trail Ride while living in the Endurance Capital of the World. “I have to set the bar pretty high.”

Tebbs, who will begin her journey at 5:15 a.m. in at Robie Park near Squaw Valley on Aug. 9 in hopes of reaching home within 24 hours, will be riding Beylis Comet, a 10-year-old bay mare.

Beylis was first trained by Mark Schuerman, one of five other Auburn equestrian endurance athletes entered in this year’s Tevis Cup...

Read more here:
http://www.auburnjournal.com/article/7/28/14/auburn-business-owner-ready-try-tevis-cup-first-time