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2016 Tevis Cup - 61st Running

Lisa Ford and GE Cyclone - Haggins Cup Winners
Top Ten Finishers
1 Karen Donley Royal Patron 09:48PM
2 Lisa Ford GE Cyclone 10:07PM
3 Garret Ford The FUry 10:07PM
4 Reynolds Jeremy 10:42PM
5 Lindsay Fisher Monk 11:13PM
6 Jesse Caswell Appollo L 4 11:14PM
7 Blakeley, Gabriela BES Oregon Chrome 11:34PM
8 Julie White LR Bold COdy 11:45PM
9 Tony Benedetti FV Abu Antezeyn 11:52PM
10 Suzanne Hayes Greenbrier Al Jabal 11:52PM
Full Results

Final vetting of the top 3 finishers

Photos by Merri Melde

Friday Checking in

Friday Checking in

Saturday, Robinson Flat

Saturday, Robinson Flat

Tevis Cup: Part 1 by Merri Melde

This year's Tevis Cup was different from the beginning - it seemed quiet, less frantic… a bit subdued. Last year when we drove into Robie Equestrian park in the Tahoe National Forest - basecamp for the start of Tevis - with a horse trailer Wednesday evening (Steph and I were crewing for Nance Worman and the Levermann girls), we couldn't nab our usual place to park in the Back Forty, because everywhere was full of rigs.

This year, driving into Robie my car on Wednesday evening, I saw a whole two, count 'em, two parked trailers. In fact, I wondered briefly if I had arrived for the right weekend.

In the Back Forty I found who I was looking for, Suzy Hayes from Montana with her gorgeous 16.1-hand Anglo-Arabian gelding Greenbriar Al Jabar. I camped beside Suzy and her crew Lynn Lee and Ona Lawrence, because I knew I could bum hot water from them in the mornings for my coffee!

"Atlas" looked rather stunning, all big and white and flaunting rippling muscles when he walked. With a carefully orchestrated record of 33 finishes in 34 starts over 8 seasons, (all but 1 finish in the Top Ten) and 8 out of 9 100-mile completions, including a 9th in Tevis last year, Atlas and Suzy were fresh off a 2nd place finish in the Ft Howes 75 miler in June. The 13-year-old looked fit and ready.

Oh yeah, that 9th place finish in Tevis last year? The trail opened up beneath Atlas' feet before Red Star at 28 miles, and he fell down, cutting himself up, ripping a hind chestnut off, leaving himself all bloody and holding the hind leg up. He walked it off, and in fact did not appear lame at all. He stayed sound all day and went on to finish 9th. Never mind Suzy had broken a couple ribs. "He was sound so I wasn't going to pull!" she said, rather nonchalantly...

Read more here:

Tevis Cup: Part 2 by Merri Melde

There is a whole 'nother science to crewing for the aspiring top 20 or so Tevis finishers, which I discovered inadvertently, when, on Friday evening, I drove up to Sailor Flat - closest spot you can get to Robinson Flat, the first hour hold vet check at 36 miles. I thought I'd camp close by Robinson in the cool mountain air, instead of staying in hot Auburn or instead of getting up at o'dark:30 Saturday morning at Robie Park and joining the 5:30 AM 3-hour race down the mountain, to Auburn, (and Starbucks), and up to Robinson.

To my surprise, I discovered many crews already set up to camp at the bottom of the hill, loaded up and ready to get in the morning line to drive up to Robinson to drop off the crew gear. One man discussed with his crewmates, "Should we be ready to go at 5:45? 5:30?" I said, "What, 5:30 in the morning?"

"Well, yes, the line-up of cars starts before 5:30, and the first ones allowed up the hill started at 6 AM." Seriously?

They were serious. The top riders don't just have one set of crew. They have at least 2 sets - sometimes 3, I was told - crews that drive the rig to auburn saturday morning, crews whose sole goal is to get set up at Robinson flat early to get a good shady crew spot, and crews who go straight to Foresthill (the second hour hold vet check at 68 miles) to set up and get a good shady spot. I was rather blown away by this 'secret society' - which was not secret at all, just something I was completely unaware of, since I've only ridden at the back of the pack, or crewed for back-of-the-pack riders!

Everybody was indeed gone by the time I got up at 7:30 AM, and I enjoyed a leisurely camping breakfast with coffee. I caught the bus shuttle up the hill at 8:30 AM to Robinson Flat, and waited for the first riders to come in after 9 AM.

And powering down the tree-lined dirt road into Robinson Flat at 9:20 AM flew Kevin Myers' two geldings, Stoner and Far, with Jenni Smith and Rusty Toth aboard. Arriving 6 minutes later came a crowd of horses, led by 75-year-old Jesse Caswell, his gelding Appolo LH trotting along just like he knew what he was doing, since Jesse wasn't holding onto the reins. Neither appeared concerned about that.

Read more here:

Fly over the Tevis Trail!

"The Tevis Cup: A Horsemen's Journey Since 1955"

The Board of Governors of the Western States Trail Foundation (WSTF) welcomes you to an endurance riding event of distinction, recognized as one of the world''s best tests of true horsemanship.

The Tevis Cup Ride is the founding modern-day equestrian event of its kind in the world. Today, there are hundreds of endurance riding events throughout the nation and in many countries overseas that are based upon the methods and standards originally established by this event. This includes the modeling of national organizations which sanction similar endurance riding events.

The WSTF has long recognized an obligation to continue the tradition that began decades ago. The Tevis Cup 100 Miles One Day Ride represents the Foundation''s commitment to the ideals of a pioneering experience along historically significant trails that traverse the scenic wilderness of the Sierra Nevada Mountains from east of Squaw Valley to Auburn. Since the origin of modern day endurance riding that started with this event in 1955, thousands of horsemen and their athletic steeds have sought the challenges of the Tevis Cup Ride. The event counts among its alumni many experts of American and International horsemanship.

The founders of the Tevis Cup event offered their vision of a majestic riding trail penetrating the wild beauty of mountain peaks and valleys hallowed by the Washoe and Maidu tribes and later crossed by explorers, settlers and gold-seekers. These founders declared that the virtue of such a trail would lie in helping preserve the historic significance of its route and would encourage people to return to a simple life perhaps furthering their appreciation of nature, history and the outdoors through the humane use of horses. Horsemen can trade the hectic world of traffic jammed freeways and skyscrapers for a realm of natural splendor while passing through cathedral-like groves of virgin forests that shelter vast numbers of wildlife. Therein lies the essence of the Tevis Cup Ride and the historic Western States Trail.

We want you to consider what others have found to be an experience of a lifetime. We sincerely look forward to seeing you at the full of the Riding Moon.

Anza local Dr. Karen Donley wins the 2016 Tevis Cup with her Arabian mare

Aberdeen man participants in 100-mile horse race

Farmforum.net - Full Article

by Jacque Scoby jscoby@aberdeennews.com
Aug 11, 2016

Carl Kimbler had everything planned out perfectly.

Everything, that is, but the bear.

Kimbler, an oral surgeon from Aberdeen, was in Northern California for the Tevis Cup, a 100-mile equine endurance race.

He and his daughter had set up camp near the start of the race and had sent Kimbler's wife Kelly on ahead with the trailer so she could be in position at the first check-in point of the race. That left Kimbler with the horses, a tent and a temporary pen.

"It was the most organized we had ever been for the Tevis," Kimbler said.

But even the best-laid plans to ride 100 miles in 24 hours on the back of a horse through mountain trails can be nearly derailed by a bear...

Read more here:

'Gabby' and Edgell complete Tevis Cup equine endurance competition

Comoxvalleyrecord.com - Full Article

by Contributed - Comox Valley Record
posted Aug 3, 2016

Local horse and rider, 'Gabby' and Dr. Sacha Edgell, successfully completed the Tevis Cup on July 24 in Auburn, Calif.

This is North America's most renowned and difficult equine endurance competition and is considered a true test of horsemanship. Horse and rider must travel 100 miles and climb 19,000 feet over rocky terrain within 24 hours and under veterinary scrutiny...

Read more here:

Tevis Cup: Former Marion resident wins famous 100-mile horse race

Southcoasttoday.com - Full Article

Former Marion resident wins famous 100-mile horse race “We’re just overjoyed,” said her husband Ronald, who was one of her crew members during her 16-plus hour trek across ragged terrain. “You can run the Boston Marathon and hope to finish well, but to win it is beyond anything you can dream.”

By Brendan Kurie
Posted Jul. 29, 2016 at 10:09 PM

Over the last 61 years, more than 12,000 riders have set off on one of the world’s most grueling horse races: The Tevis Cup. Just 50 can claim to be champions.

Who just became a member of this extremely selective club? Former Marion resident Dr. Karen Donley.

Donley, who spend many years as an OBGYN in New Bedford and was a member at the Kittansett Club in Marion, has lived in California for the last dozen years and on Saturday became the 50th winner of the Tevis Cup, a 100-mile horse ride from Lake Tahoe to Auburn, California.

“We’re just overjoyed,” said her husband Ronald, who was one of her crew members during her 16-plus hour trek across ragged terrain. “You can run the Boston Marathon and hope to finish well, but to win it is beyond anything you can dream.”

The Tevis Cup is the world’s premier endurance horse race, and was first held in 1955 and is best described on its website: “The weather conditions from year to year are the mostly the same: HOT and DUSTY.” TIME Magazine named it one of the Top 10 endurance races in the world, alongside the Tour de France, Iditarod, Cannonball Run and Marathon de Sables...

Read more here:

Former La Quinta resident wins prestigious endurance horse race

Desertsun.com - Full Article

Nathan Brown, The Desert Sun 9:52 a.m. PDT July 30, 2016

Like a marathon, most endurance horseback riders who enter the prestigious 100-mile Tevis Cup in Northern California just hope to finish.

In fact, each year, close to 50 percent of the riders and horses qualified to enter such a rigorous, grueling event that's considered the Tour de France of horse racing are pulled due to horse injury or overwork. Crossing the finish line in Auburn, Calif., and being handed the prestigious belt buckle for finishing is plenty accomplishment on its own.

But Dr. Karen Donley, a former La Quinta resident who now lives in Mountain Center and works at the Eisenhower Medical Center Women’s Health Clinic in La Quinta, decided four years ago that simply finishing wasn’t good enough...

Read more here:

Karen Donley and Royal Patron Take 2016 Tevis Cup


Karen Donley of Mountain Center, California, and her 14-year-old gray Arabian mare Royal Patron trotted across the finish line at 9:48 p.m. on July 23 to win the 2016 Tevis Cup. The pair finished 19 minutes ahead of second and third place finishers Lisa and Garrett Ford of Durango, Colorado.

Donley completed the 100-mile event with a ride time of 14 hours, 33 minutes, not including the mandatory rest periods.

Although the team had never won a 100-mile event before, Donley admitted, “winning was the intent with all the training we’ve been doing.” Conley and her son John rode together for 85 miles before his horse was pulled at the Francisco vet check. Royal Patron has never been eliminated from a ride during her approximately 2,000-mile endurance career. The win marks the mare’s fifth Tevis completion.

KAREN'S CUP: Mother-son duo trot to Tevis Cup title

2016 endurance ride proves to be daunting task as 87 of 165 riders finish

By: Steven Wilson, Sports Editor - The Press Tribune
Auburn Journal

A week prior to the start of the Tevis Cup, it appeared a wildland blaze through the American River canyon could have cost fans the enjoyment of one of the most illustrious endurance races of the year.

But the Trailhead fire spurted to a halt and the Tevis Cup 100-mile endurance horse race from Squaw Valley to Auburn went off without a hitch.

A total of 165 riders snaked through the canyon trails on their horse, each seeking to cross the finish line first, but only one lucky competitor could claim top billing.

The Mother-son Donley duo paced the pack through the majority of the second half of the trail. But John Donley, who competed as a junior rider last year, had to withdraw in the final 20 miles, leaving his mother, Karen, alone to claim the title.

Karen Donley mustered all the energy she had left and used a burst through the Lower Quarry river crossing to outlast Garrett and Lisa Ford, who were hot on her trail, to earn first place in the 2016 Tevis Cup with a time of 16 hours and 33 minutes. This was Karen Donley's sixth Tevis Cup endurance ride and her first title.

“This is a great feeling,” Karen exclaimed after stepping off her horse, Royal Patron. “It’s unfortunate John had to go back for a re-check for gut sounds, but I couldn’t be happier with our performance.”

Donley, who is from Mountain Center, California between Temecula and Palm Springs, pulled away from the pack in the final 14 miles as John left her side and her husband Ron, who helped crew the team, cheered her on. She took the lead just past Deadwood before Michigan Bluff and never relinquished it en route to the title. Lisa Ford was a close second behind Donley, while Garrett Ford entered the fairgrounds third.

Loss of partner propels Rusty Toth

The power of love should never be underestimated.

Rusty Toth and his life partner, Kevin Myers, competed in the Tevis Cup for years — it was their way of life. The ate, slept and lived endurance racing until Myers took his life just two short weeks ago.

“It’s an emotional day, obviously because I lost my best friend and partner,” Toth admitted. “But I rode his horse and I’m really happy with how he did.”

Toth registered a top-11 finish in just over 18 hours, but after leading the pack through 36 miles, he was passed up six miles before Michigan Bluff and could not regain the lead.

Carrying Toth to the finish line, 16-year-old Auli Farwa — an Arabian horse who goes by the shortened name Far — has now racked up over 4,000 miles in endurance racing and has finished 100-mile races 65 times in 65 tries. He even won the James Ben Ali Haggin Cup award last year as the best conditioned horse.

“He’s a machine,” acknowledged Toth’s close friend and fellow competitor Jenni Smith, who rode Far last season. “I mean, 65 for 65, he’s a freak of nature. As a rider, it’s can be tough because he can be jarring and he can pull, but he’s an amazing horse.”

Smith took fifth last year in the Tevis Cup, but she had to withdraw from the race this year after hitting the 36-mile marker at Robinson Flat. Her horse, Farrabba (Stoner), suffered a lower leg injury and the crew played it safe and withdrew.

“It’s pretty common, but I actually don’t know how it happened,” Smith admitted after a check-up at Robinson Flat. “He looked great and then he got to the vet and he couldn’t run. Sometimes that just happens. It’s common with this kind of terrain and the speed we go over it at. This is a ride that less than half the competitors finish.”

She was one of 78 riders who could not finish the race.

100 Miles, One Day

Rattlers, steep drop-offs, exhaustion by both horse and rider and 100-degree heat all took their toll on competitors this season.

Even a good start, like the one 75-year-old Redding native Jesse Caswell had through Robinson flat as he held third place, and the one John had through 70-plus miles, can fizzle due to the domineering terrain from Squaw Valley to the Gold Country Fairgrounds.

“I actually like it better when it’s hot like this and a little bit harsher,” admitted John Donley, who was riding five-time Tevis Cup competitor, My Mamselle (Mya). “Because our advantage is in our crew.”

Riding alongside his mom for most of the race, John Donley blew through the first half of the course, coming into Foresthill with Karen 14 minutes ahead of the next closest rider.

“My mom’s always ridden with me, ever since I was young, and she’s always supporting me throughout the ride,” John explained. “My dad’s the head of the crew and we couldn’t do it without them. I definitely wouldn’t be able to do this without them.”

John Donley’s first test on the Western States trail came when he was 12 years old as he rode 29 miles into the race to Red Star before being pulled. He’s also been pulled twice before at Lower Quarry — 94 miles through the race — and finished the trail once as a junior rider. But he had to withdraw just past the river crossing leaving Karen on her own....

Full story and photos, Auburn Journal

Horse Health Research Continues at 2016 Tevis Cup


By Marsha Hayes
Jul 22, 2016

When the 61st Tevis Ride commences early on July 23, about 170 horse and rider teams will head down the historic Western States Trail across the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains in a challenging 100-mile journey. It will also allow equine researchers another opportunity to study elite endurance horses in a field setting.

Since 2012, and in addition to the required hands-on horse evaluations during the ride, researchers Greg Fellers, DVM; Langdon Fielding, DVM, Dipl. ACVECC; and Gary Magdesian, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVECC, ACVCP, have drawn and analyzed equine blood samples at Mile 36. They’ve been trying to uncover data that would objectively identify horses unlikely to finish the course within the allotted 24 hours.

Also since 2012, the researchers have reviewed the data after the ride and compared them with actual completion rates. They focused on potassium and chloride levels, which decrease as a horse sweats and serve as an indirect marker of hydration.

After 61 years, Tevis Cup endurance ride remains test to horse and human

Auburnjournal.com - Full funny article

july 22 2016

Much has changed over the Tevis Cup’s 61-year history: Horses eat fattier foods; riders wear boots of high-tech plastic over steel; and women outnumber the men participating.

That wasn’t how it began, a masculine feat for Auburn resident Wendell T. Robie, who set out to prove in 1955 riders could still travel 100 miles in a day like their gold mining predecessors. Born of a family supplying railroad ties, he wasn’t going to be outdone.

He succeeded, launching the equestrian endurance movement. But it was after Ida Ann Robinson decided to buck the trend and ride herself when women began to fill the competition, said Phil Gardner, a volunteer for the cup since the ‘60s. The first few years were men only, who were aghast after learning women were competing, he said...

Read more at: http://auburnjournal.ca.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=202d4864e

From Chase to Lumby and then the Tevis!

by Heidi Telstad

Horse Canada, Chase Endurance - full article and photos

In preparation for riding (and surviving) the Mongol Derby, I have been trying to ride as many different horses as possible in as many different terrains and various saddles. This year a new ride was introduced in Chase, BC put on by Lori Bewza. At first I didn’t think I would be able to attend as Jamison was still not feeling very well from his incident on the Island and I didn’t want to rush him into anything. Luckily Lynn Wallden offered her sweet gelding, Hawk, to me to ride in the 50 mile.

The ride started at the private property of Chase Creek Cattle Co, which was an absolute treat. There is so much history at this ranch, that everywhere you looked you were seeing a part of Canadian ranching. We were also very lucky to have a clinic the day before from veterinarian Dr. Jim Bryant, who has a long history with the endurance community and lots of FEI experience. Everyone at the clinic questioned Jim for hours as they tried to learn as much as possible at this rare opportunity.

It’s always fun to ride in someone else’s saddle and to see their set-up. Lynn is only a few inches taller than me, but her stirrup leathers were about a foot longer than mine. I tried to ride with longer stirrups than I am used to, but it always feels a little off balance. In the Mongol Derby handbook they recommend changing your stirrup length to try and save your knees over 1,000km.

I just love riding single track trails and Chase definitely had a lot of it. Hawk is really sure footed and rarely took a misstep, which helped us keep up a decent pace. He is such a good safe horse, that even when a brown bear appeared beside the trail he took a look and kept on going. I highly doubt I will have the same kind of safe horse in Mongolia.

My next training ride was at the Timber Ridge Trails in Lumby, BC and I was lucky once again to have Hawk. Unfortunately about two or three miles into the second loop Hawk’s shoe came off. I grabbed it and put it into my backpack just in case it was possible to put the show back on. Hawk really wanted to keep up with the other horses, but I didn’t want to take the chance of him going lame while I waited to get a borrowed boot on that hoof. So I hand walked him until I ran into some very kind ATV & dirt bikers who happened to have a fresh roll of duct tape.

I made a boot out of the duct tape, but this did not mean I would be able to pick up the speed as the duct tape would wear through pretty quick. However, after crossing a rather deep river the duct tape boot came off. For this next taping I used up the whole roll of duct tape to make a boot. It was thick and sturdy and lasted until almost the end of that 18 mile loop when I able to borrow a “real” boot. I hoped that the boot would be good enough to finish the final 10 mile loop, however, I could feel while riding that Hawk was a bit unbalanced, so I got off and led him the remaining seven or eight miles to the finish. All of this walking would be great conditioning for the times, I’m sure, I’ll be walking during the Mongol Derby (as I understand it, everyone loses a horse at one time or another).

My final training ride before the Mongol Derby will be the 100 Miles One Day Western States Trail Ride, fondly known as the Tevis Cup. I have the wonderful opportunity of riding a little grey Arab gelding by the name of Pimpin who is owned by Jesse Jarrett. Jesse is an amazing endurance rider so I am thrilled to be riding with and learning from Jesse, who is riding 50 Shades. The icing on this training ride is that Sam Jones, 2014 Mongol Derby winner, will also be riding one of Jesse’s horses, a stallion called Majestic, so I get to pick her brain as well. And, the cherry on top is that Stevie Murray who also rode in the Mongol Derby will be crewing for us. I couldn’t be happier to have such a strong group to teach me the ropes!

At home on the reins - Tevis Cup rider Jeremy Reynolds has finished the race three times – and won all three

By: Mike Ray,

Full article, Auburn Journal

In an illustrious endurance horse riding career which has included competition at the highest levels nationally and internationally, Jeremy Reynolds has finished the prestigious Western States Trail 100-mile Ride only three times.

However, in each instance — in 2004, 2007 and 2011 — Reynolds has gone home with the coveted Tevis Cup for being the first rider to reach McCann Stadium at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. “I’ve only finished the race three times but I’ve been fortunate to win it in those years,” said Reynolds a San Jose native who also runs a endurance horse center in Florida where he raises and trains endurance horses.

But as Reynolds notes, finishing the Tevis Cup with a horse in good condition is more important and everyone’s goal. “The horse is the primary focus of everyone who rides,” said Reynolds. “It’s the only way to ride in these.”

Reynolds is entered again this Saturday with Indian Lucy in the what will be the 61st edition of the Squaw Valley to Auburn endurance ride that brings riders from all over the United States. In addition, as of early this week, 17 foreign riders from Canada, Australia, Portugal and Argentina are also entered.

While Reynolds has three first place finishes, he’s also just as proud of being awarded the Haggin Cup two times. That award goes to the top ten finishing horse which is in the best condition. “It’s really about the horses,” said Reynolds. “They’re most important.”

In 2014, Reynolds’ wife Heather won the Tevis Cup riding Hadea. She covered the 100-mile distance in 14 hours and 17 minutes, the swiftest finishing time since 1999. Heather Reynolds is entered Saturday and will be riding RB Code but is not expected to be a top finisher. “Heather is riding with a friend who is in the ride for the first time,” said Jeremy Reynolds. “She’s going out Saturday just to help her out.”

Another rider with past Tevis Cup glory to his credit that will be competing Saturday is Rusty Toth of Rio Verde, Arizona. But has Toth puts it, Saturday’s ride will be perhaps the most emotional for him of the four Western States events he’s entered. Toth will be riding Auli Farwa, the horse that won the Haggin Cup in 2015, in honor of the late horse’s owner who passed away this year. “It will be a different ride for me for sure,” said Toth. “I’ll have the best ride I can but it will be emotional. We’ll get out there and see how it goes.”...

Full article, Auburn Journal

Tevis Cup: Online Live GPS Tracking Available!


Tevis Cup riders will be able to sign up for live GPS tracking during the ride.


• GPS tracking available for every rider
• Satellite map of the trail populated by dots - one for each tracked rider -will move along it in real time
• Crew will know location of horse and rider to be ready at checks
• Users can hover over dots to identify riders and click in for specific information
• Friends and family can track the ride remotely and see exactly how riders are doing
• Better information and better safety for a better ride!

The map is up and ready to go - check it out here: 

SIGN UP NOW! $40 fee per rider


Additional questions? 
Please contact Jenni Smith at pr@teviscup.org.

Cancer survivor takes on Tevis Cup Ride

Santamariatimes.com - Full Article

July 19 2016
Mary Ann Norbom mnorbom@leecentralcoastnews.com

The oldest modern-day endurance ride in the U.S., the Western States Trail Ride -- commonly called the Tevis Cup Ride -- is a 100-mile test of rider and horse. You might expect to find only the healthiest and fittest of competitors out on the trail. The Valley's Lora Wereb and Spin-Out Merlin are far from that stereotype.

Wereb is a cancer patient. Spin-Out Merlin is 18 1/2 years old, an abused, broken-down rescue when Wereb adopted him three years ago. Neither one of them should probably still be alive, Wereb acknowledged. They're beating the odds, and doing it together.

Wereb was working as a veterinary technician in Santa Barbara and living near Lake Cachuma when she discovered a lump in her breast in March 2013. The diagnosis was devastating. Wereb had three tumors, stage 4 breast cancer that had spread to her liver. Treatment began with three months of weekly chemotherapy, followed by surgery for the breast cancer. The liver cancer is inoperable. She's on daily oral medication for that.

Home on disability with time on her hands, a friend asked Wereb if she'd be interested in a horse she'd just rescued. Her previous experience had been exclusively with small animals, so Wereb had to learn about horses on the fly. Taking on the challenge, she named the horse Spin-Out Merlin...

Read more here:

Western States Trail is officially reopened

July 15 2016

From Steve Hallmark, head of the Tevis Trail Committee: Trailhead Fire Update

The Auburn State Recreation Area has informed the Western States Trail Foundation that the Western States Trail is officially reopened within the Trailhead Fire boundary. Volunteers will have the Tevis Course flagged through this area by mid day onSunday, July 17th.

Once again, huge thanks to the Auburn State Recreation Area staff for working diligently to keep the Tevis Cup Ride Management so well informed and the trail reopened prior to race day.

For more information, see:

Tevis Ride Director Optimistic About Tevis Trail Use

July 10 2016
Message from the Ride Director Chuck Stalley

Today I am very optimistic that we will be able to use the Tevis trail in the area damaged by the Trailhead Fire. That is a bold prediction, as we have not yet been allowed to examine that section of trail which burned. What gives me confidence is that the fire was much smaller on the Western States trail (which is on the Placer County side of the river) and the fire lines did not run down the trail but instead intersected it in several places. There were a few thousand acres burned on the El Dorado side of the river. For now this section of trail from California Street in Foresthill to Francisco's at Driver's Flat Road is closed to the public as it is still an active fire area.

Please be respectful of the fire restrictions and stay out of this area. We will let you know via Facebook and our website at www.teviscup.org how you can volunteer to assist in clean up and restoration of this section of trail when the time is right. Thank you to all those who have offered to help. Downstream from Francisco's several trees are down on the trail. We are getting to them as quickly as we can, but be advised obstacles are prevalent on this section of trail.

Technology Meets the Tevis

NEW for 2016!


• GPS tracking available for every rider
• Satellite map of the trail populated by dots - one for each tracked rider -will move along it in real time
• Crew will know location of horse and rider to be ready at checks
• Users can hover over dots to identify riders and click in for specific information
• Friends and family can track the ride remotely and see exactly how riders are doing
• Better information and better safety for a better ride!

The map is up and ready to go - check it out here; http://trackleaders.com/teviscup16f.php

$40 fee per rider


Additional questions?
Please contact Jenni Smith at pr@teviscup.org.

Women to tackle America’s toughest equine endurance ride

NUJournal.com - Full Article

Route covers 100 miles on Western States Trail

July 10, 2016
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

FAIRFAX - A rural Fairfax woman who owns a horse stables just north of Fort Ridgely State Park will lead a group of six women including teenagers to compete in America's most grueling equine endurance ride on a 100-mile trail in the Sierra Nevada mountains set for July 23.

Fort Ridgely Equestrian Center owner Sarah Maass, her daughter Dana Gasner, and their friends Grace Steffl, Sleepy Eye; Cassidy Wiethoff, Gibbon; Emma Christopherson, Mitchell, S.D., formerly of Nicollet; and Alexis Unangst of Michigan, will compete in The Tevis Cup.

Maass and her daughter have competed in The Tevis Cup twice and finished once, which is close to the overall average completion rate of about 54 percent...

Read more here:

Trailhead Fire near Foresthill grows to over 2000 Acres

July 1 2016

The Trailhead wildfire in Placer County near Foresthill, California, has grown to 2,151 acres with 12% containment as of noon on July 1.

The Trailhead Fire is currently burning on the Western States Trail in the area of Cal 2 and Cal 3, which are approximately 74 to 80 miles into the Tevis trail ride course, between Foresthill and Francisco's Vet Checks. Once the area is deemed safe by Cal Fire and the US Forest Service, Tevis ride management will examine the area for safety and usability.

Should they find the trail to be too damaged for safe passage, ride management is looking at other trail options in that area for the July 23 Tevis Cup ride. There are optional routes at this time, but they will not be able to decide on which course adjustments will be needed until the fire is out. Cal Fire has a projected containment date of July 3rd. They will know more about the potential status of the trail at that time.

Map and more information at:


Wildfire near Foresthill threatens 400 structures


Crews battle 300-acre fire outside Todd Valley

By KCRA Staff
UPDATED 12:24 AM PDT Jun 29, 2016

FORESTHILL, Calif. (KCRA) — A 300-acre wildfire near Foresthill in threatening 400 structures in Placer and El Dorado counties, Cal Fire said Tuesday night.

At least 100 homes in Placer County were evacuated Tuesday due to the steep and inaccessible terrain.

"This fire wasn’t immediately threatening the homes," Cal Fire spokesperson Daniel Berlant said. "But, because this community is a one way in, one way out, we want to make sure the residents, especially on the southern end of this subdivision, are evacuated."

Mandatory evacuations are in place for:
-Oakwood Court

-Vinewood Court

-Trail Head Court
-Green Pine Court

Voluntary evacuations are in place for:
-White Tail Court

- Alton Trail
- Gray Court
- Tevis Court

Cal Fire closed Nugget Drive and Oakwood Lane.

More... http://www.kcra.com/news/local-news/news-sierra/fire-crews-battle-wild-land-fire-near-foresthill-auburn/40266598

Do you want to volunteer for Tevis?

June 25 2016


Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Tevis Cup Ride. About 800 people participate each year on Ride Day – more than four per rider!

If you know what you'd like to do, or if you just want to help wherever needed, fill out our Volunteer Signup form. Our Volunteer Coordinator will respond and try to place you appropriately according to the needs of the Ride and to your needs and skills.

Please Note:

As you might imagine, the Ride is a huge effort that relies completely on volunteers. There are Head Volunteers who provide the leadership for each of the many vet checks, as well as other areas of Ride activity. These "HV's" necessarily operate with a good deal of independence, but under the overall guidance and coordination of the Ride Director and the Core Ride Committee. The need for volunteers in some areas may not be known until late in the weeks leading up to Ride Day.

Tevis Ride Director's Message: June 2016

June 24 2016

4 weeks till Tevis:

Message from the Ride Director Chuck Stalley

We have several new policies for 2016, and I will present them in this Eblast so that you may properly prepare.

IF NOT YOU, WHO? The first policy relates to cleaning up after the riders as they proceed through the ride. Many riders spend a few days in Auburn at the Gold Country Fairgrounds and then go up to Robie to start the ride. The fairgrounds need to be cleared of trash and manure before you leave. Many times that is done by the rider and has not been a big issue. The same attention to cleanup needs to be done when leaving the fairgrounds for the last time-- whenever that is. Tools and dumpsters are provided by the ride for you to use. It is the responsibility of the rider to leave a clean stall when finished. If you delegate that chore to a crew person, please double check that it has been done. Fees and fines assessed against Tevis are becoming a significant item in the ride budget. We want to avoid increasing costs wherever we can; avoiding the payment of fines is an easy way to do that.

Our thirty-six mile vet check at Robinson Flat is a pristine high-mountain camp ground 364 days of the year. WSTF is required by our USFS contract to remove all hay and debris from the grounds before we leave the area. We are requiring riders to leave the area clean by placing all manure and leftover hay in the bins provided. Vet Check management will be there to remind crews to take an extra few minutes sanitizing their crew area of debris and will expect cooperation. Volunteers are vital to the success of this event and have many responsibilities. Asking them to clean up after 180 horses and their support crews should not be one of them. This is how we lose these vital people from year to year. If you haul it in; haul it out.

At Robie Equestrian Park, the protocol is to pick up or spread hay and manure. We understand that riders may station crews in advance of the ride, ie, you are at Robie Equestrian Park, but your crew members meet you for the first time at Robinson Flat or Foresthill. You must make sure your crew knows what is expected at each vet check even if those people cannot be at the preride briefing at Robie Park. Again, it is the rider's responsibility to inform their crews of the policies of the ride at each stop.

It is also a ride policy that riders and crew shall not save spaces ahead of time at Robie Equestrian Park or Foresthill. Parking and crewing locations are strictly first come, first served. One of the reasons for this is that it is unfair for locals to have the advantage of setting up in advance. The Robie Foundation Board feels so strongly about this that they have written possible significant fines into our agreement to use the park. As a result, Tevis management has no room for negotiation on these issues with nonconforming riders.

Drop your vehicle on Thursday after 10 am at Foresthill Mill Site or Fridaybut do not set up your pop up shades until you arrive to crew at the site.

If you need to leave you vehicle in Auburn in the Sacramento Street parking lot, you need to leave it at the far South end of the lot. Doing so allows the public to use the North end of the lot as they need to come and go more often. Just a reminder that no horses are allowed in the Sacramento Street lot. Please unload them on the dirt through the participant's gate at the South end of the lot.

Now to shift gears somewhat. The blood draw at Robinson Flat will be only for research purposes this year. It is a blind study; you will get your results after the ride. This will allow the research veterinarians to continue their study and will only take a couple of minutes to draw your horse's blood, while waiting in line to see the control judge at Robinson Flat.

Pen Seeding System

The Pen 1 and Pen 2 seeding system will be used again this year. The selections for pen one are made a few weeks before the ride based on the horse's ride record. The horse's record is the basis for the seeding-- not the horse and rider's record. If you think your horse might qualify for Pen 1, please apply by the deadline. In most years, horses need to average a 20 to 25% placing to be allowed to start in Pen 1. It is very challenging to meet the mathematical requirements to qualify.

Occasionally a rider will stop to help an injured rider or horse during the ride. This might cause the rider to fall behind the cutoff time at the next few stops. The ride committee is implementing a procedure that would allow the rider to make a request from a Head Volunteer or Cup Committee member for an allowance to exceed the cut off times at the next stop(s). The HV or Cup Committee member needs to radio in to Net Control with details of the request. The Ride Director and the Head of the Cup Committee are the only people authorized to grant the request.

The Cup Committee member or HV who initiated the request will flag and sign the rider's card with the approval of a time extension.

The 5:15 AM finishing time will not be extended under any foreseeable circumstances. This year the cutoff time at Chicken Hawk/Piper Junction has been eliminated entirely.

This information is vital to the success of your Tevis experience as well as management's need to fulfill many agreements and restrictions communicated to us in our permits and contracts to conduct the event. We will continue to publish this information in multiple settings to be sure everyone gets the word. Please read your rider epacket, the rule book, the EBlasts, the Forum and the website for ways to share information with your support crews-the unsung heroes of your ride.

The Tevis ride is a rugged, historical adventure conducted in a 21 st century world. We look forward to seeing your earn your buckle and wish you all the best in your remaining weeks of training.

Happy Trails!
Chuck Stalley
Ride Director

75-year-old taking on 100-mile endurance ride

Redding.com - Full Article

By Damon Arthur of the Redding Record Searchlight

For the past 50 years Jesse Caswell has dreamed of completing The Tevis Cup endurance ride.

The race tests the stamina of horses and riders who attempt the 100 miles of steep, rugged mountainous terrain from Lake Tahoe to Auburn. Each year, nearly 200 competitors attempt the grueling course, but only about half of them finish.

In 2012 Caswell nearly completed the course, but he had to drop out because his horse could no longer go on. But this year may be Caswell's best chance at conquering the course, one of the oldest and most prestigious endurance rides.

The 75-year-old Redding man has a new horse and he and his horse appear to be in top shape, friends and supporters say.

"Jesse is one to watch, and he will do better than people expect," said Chuck Stalley, Tevis Cup race director. "He takes to it like a duck to water..."

Read more here: