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2013 Owyhee Tough Sucker
Images by Merri
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The 10th Annual Owyhee Tough Sucker (No Frills)

Endurance Ride

April 2 at Teeter Ranch!

Pix by Merri Melde

2016 Tough Sucker - Merri Melde

April 2 2016

For the first time in recorded history, winners of the glorious* Idaho Owyhee Tough Sucker endurance rides of 25 and 50 miles were awarded 4WD vehicles. Linda Kluge and Ted won the grueling** 25-mile ride and Best Condition, and Tamara Baysinger and HMR Jammazon won the grueling** 50-mile ride and Best Condition.

The Top 5 finishers in each distance also received 4WD vehicles - though there was some horse trading going on, when a few were not present to receive their great awards, and another lady not in the Top 5 had a grandchild who really wanted a 4WD.

The fierce competitors were well-dressed, including Mike Cobbley in bright blue and black Crazy Legs tights, which I complimented as we passed each other on the trail. (This must be the only sport where you can go up to a guy and say, "Hay, I really like your tights," and he says, "Hay, thanks" without either of you thinking the other is totally weird.)

Attendees, including top officials of Belesemo Arabians and Drinkers of the Wind Arabians, were duly impressed as they witnessed the competitiveness and best-dressedness of these illustrious competitive endurance riders and their handsome steeds.

After being awarded her 25-mile 4WD vehicle and precious Championship prizes (a pretty horsie plate and a Tough Sucker coffee mug), Champion rider Linda gave a speech. "I got Ted into shape by dragging a mule behind us up and down these hills. In this ride, he didn't have to drag a mule." He finished the 25 miles in 3:46.***

"He didn't have to drag his Ass," a helpful rider contributed.

Jammer outraced a couple of racing mules. The Mule Gals showed up and kept on Champion rider Tamara's tail for the first loop, but she and Jammer gained some time on them in the vet check, and they had loop 2 to themselves, finishing in 5:51***.

Catherine Lee, a Junior on the mule Irish, finished second nearly an hour later. Her mule partner, ridden by Trinity Jackson riding Out of Idaho, didn't pulse down in time for a completion. Tamara's later comment was, "Two triumphs today: Jammer won first place and Best Condition at Tough Sucker and I only missed a couple spots with the sunscreen. Win-win."

Finishing in 8th place, Lee Pearce and Fire Mt Malabar achieved illustrious Decade Team status. Congrats! You might remember that duo as 2013 Heavyweight 100-mile National Champions, or 2011 National Best Condition winners (with 12 BCs). Lee rode and finished with his wife Naomi Preston, who, as a busy Eagle City Councilwoman and owner of Eagle's Wild West Bakery and Espresso (only The Best Cafe in Idaho), got to ride for the first time in forever, on JAC Redtail, aka Buddy. "Felt GREAT!" she said.

This of course unfolded way ahead of me and Dudley on the 50. We rode with Connie and Phinneas (a bundle of Muscle who tugged on Connie the whole way even though he's 18 years old now) and Junior Sarah on Dessie.

Regina had kept The Dude on his Tough Love Diet while I was away down south for much of the winter, so I have her to thank for having only the task of getting Dudley in shape for the Tough Sucker, and not getting him in shape AND losing weight.

While Dudley has clearly lost a gazillion pounds and looks almost like a totally normal horse now (he just carries a bit of neck crest as a trophy of his by-gone Fat Days), Robert the vet still called him a "7 - Fleshy." We all pshawed that and proclaimed Dudley a "6 - Moderately Fleshy", because he has worked so hard over the years, he deserves it. Robert did concede that Dudley was not the fattest horse at the ride, which was not always the case!

It was a superb day in the Owyhee desert - blue skies, cool enough, a little breeze when it warmed up later in the day, and grass galore on the trail. Any horse could get at least a "B" on gut sounds if they stopped to snack now and then. Dudley's biggest goal in an endurance ride is to get "A" on his gut sounds. He did get all A's on his 4 gut quadrants after the first loop, and finished with B's in all 4. Dudley recognizes there is room for improvement on his gut sounds and is willing to diligently work on that.

Loop 1 took riders toward the Snake River into the Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. After an hour vet check in camp, Loop 2 headed south and west alongside and then above Hart Creek on some of our most scenic trails.

All 17 riders finished the 25, and 23 of 24 riders finished the 50. "This historic Tough Sucker event saw a wide participation of the elite riders in the world of endurance, or at least the elite riders of Idaho and Oregon and thereabouts," said some official, "but the high level and determination by the riders reflects their eagerness to compete strongly to win the trophies."

"Oh, and the other best part of the weekend, besides the great riding and horses and trails was the evening jamming with the Pickett Crick Ramblers. They are truly spectacular to behold*."

*they are, really!
**they aren't, really
***not really races, you see

Let It Be Spring - Steph Teeter

April 2

First ride of the Northwest endurance season today - based out of our ranch (The Teeter Ranch) in Oreana. This was the 10th running of the Owyhee Tough Sucker ride. The trails aren't really all that tough - some sand, some rock, some climbs, but the weather... can be anything! We've had wind, rain, snow, hail, hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, volcanoes, earthquakes... it can be Tough out there! Our Tough Sucker Mascot has been Yosemite Sam, he's pretty tough, right? Ride awards are usually coffee mugs with the mascot and a few other silly things printed on it.

Well this year we decided to have a little fun. We're just a small ride, but we have big ambitions. The really big rides in the Middle East, where Sheiks and Royals compete, have grand prizes - typically shiny new 4WD vehicles - Toyota or maybe even Mercedes rigs. So what the heck. We advertised 4WD trucks for the winners of the Tenth Annual Tough Sucker ride. We even let folks pick their preference when they registered online - Toyota, Jeep, or Mercedes.

Well the competition was fierce* and the day was long. But oh what a day - it was the first really lovely spring day of the year. High of 75 degrees, light breeze to keep everybody comfortable, lots of green grass on the trail, wildflowers, blue sky... it really was a beautiful day, smiles all around. Of course the trail was tough enough, especially for horses and riders on the first competition of the season. We threw in some good climbs and sand washes and tried to keep up our reputation. But it was a happy day.

We let Sam have a little fun (at least on the completion mugs).

And the winners were excited about their 4WD truck awards. There was even some back room dealing on who would get the best models, and what to do with the vehicles if the recipient had to go home before the awards ceremony.

We lined up all the trucks for a photo before they went home with their new owners.

It really was a fun day. I had a fantastic 50 mile ride on Smokey, she felt good all day and just ate up the miles. She's a good one, we just have to keep our relationship firmly defined. (I'm the boss).

A good day for Tough Suckers.


Postcard From Owyhee: It Takes a Village

Live Concert at Owyhee Tough Sucker

March 5 2015

At the April 2 Owyhee Tough Sucker endurance ride, rumors are that there will be live old time bluegrass music at the ride venue provided by the Pickett Creek R amblers before and after the ride on the Teeterville Common.

The Teeterville K-9 corps will likely be on hand to provide crowd control due to the expected crush of groupies and wild fans at the concert.

Rumored guest appearance by legendary songwriter, fiddle and guitar player Trapper may materialize.

I'm still trying to grow my fingernail out from the last concert, it was that crazy," one banjo player was heard to lament. "I need my fingernail for picking."

Greatly looking forward to their repeat smash performance, one banjo player said, "I changed my banjo strings for the first time in 17 years in anticipation of our reunion!"

"Horses were heard to neigh in their paddocks while we played," said one guitar player of last year's concert.

"A producer was at our last show and tried to sign us up, tried to video some of our performances right there," declared a fiddle player.

"I thought our band name was Pickett Cricksters," said a bass ukulele player.

"Wait." said a mandolin player. "This isn't the Teeterville Jammers? Have I been showing up with the wrong band?"

Despite a year on the road (as in, driving twice round trip on the 10-mile bumpy-ass crick road to the ride and concert venue last year) the Pickett Crick Ramblers are still full of energy, enthusiasm, laughs, mistakes, and slightly off-key notes, but they play on anyway.

4WD Vehicles* on Offer for Owyhee Tough Suckers

February 27 2016

Oreana, Idaho - A number of top Northwest endurance riders and horses are expected to vie for honors in the 11th annual Owyhee Tough Sucker Endurance Cup Race Ride, which will be run up the crick over the championship distance of 50 miles on April 2.

The Idaho race ride is being held under the directives of veteran Owyhee ride managers Steph Teeter and Regina Rose.

“Riders from southwestern Idaho, and possibly southern Idaho, central Idaho, eastern Idaho, southeastern Idaho, northern Idaho, in addition to maybe-if-we're-lucky some out of staters will battle for honors,” said Teeter, Director General of the Up The Cricksters Equestrian Club.

“For the first time ever, the winner of this glorious endurance race ride will walk away with a 4WD vehicle. And, what the heck, the rest of the Top Ten will get the same thing.

“Apart from this, since the Tough Sucker races rides invariably turn out to be a bit chilly, a warm meal will be distributed to all those who participate in the 50 mile race ride. Those who participate in the 25 mile race ride will receive the same," Teeter added.

Chief Information and Menu Advisor Admiral Rose commented, "We feel that someone needs to up the game of endurance in Owyhee County. Who wouldn't want to be seen around the town of Oreana (population 8, maybe 9), in fact the 7,697 square miles of Owyhee County, in fact the entire country with a shiny new 4WD vehicle, won in an endurance race ride?"

For more information on the Tough Sucker ride and to sign up, see: http://www.endurance.net/international/USA/2016ToughSucker/

*Awards are as pictured right here. They are plastic. They are worth not more'n a dollar each. Get Tough, Suckers!

Watch the Tough Sucker Video

Ride Managesr: Steph Teeter & Regina Rose
Head Veterinarian: Robert Washington DVM
for more information, contact:
Regina Rose
Driving Directions to Teeter Ranch
  • From I-84 West (Oregon/Washington) Take Exit 35, south onto Nampa Blvd. (towards Nampa). Left on 3rd St, follow signs to Hwy 45 towards Murphy and Silver City. Right onto Hwy 45 (12th) to Dans Ferry (gas) and Snake River bridge (approx 15 miles). Go LEFT on Hwy 78 just after crossing Snake River. Stay on Hwy 78 approx. 23 miles. Turn right on Oreana Loop Rd. (past mile marker 42) Take first right past trailer houses onto gravel road. Continue 5 miles to camp. Driving time from Nampa is about 1 hour.
  • From I-84 East (Boise, Mountain Home) take Idaho Center exit (exit 38), left off ramp, left at traffic light on Flamingo Rd (towards shopping center) and then take Right onto Happy Valley Rd. Follow Happy Valley several miles, take right on Bowmont Rd, then left onto Hwy 45. Continue south to Snake River (see above)

    OR Take the Simco Rd exit off of I-84. Go south on Simco Rd until you get to the Mountain Home highway. Turn right onto highway. Follow to Grandview. Turn right past Grandview onto Hwy 78. Turn Left (south) onto paved road (Oreana Loop Rd) just past mile marker 43. Go 1.5 miles on pavement, turn right past trailer house onto gravel road, just before dumpsters, onto Bates Creek Rd. Go 5 miles to camp.

  • From I-84 East (East Idaho,Utah/Wyoming) Take Exit 112 at Hammett. Follow signs to Hwy 78 West, towards Bruneau and Grandview. Continue west on 78 past Bruneau and Grandview (approx 50 miles), turn Left (south)onto - paved road, just past mile marker 43. Take first right past trailer houses onto gravel road (about 1.5 mi. from turnoff onto Oreana Loop Rd) Continue 5 miles to camp.
  • From Hwy 95 (Nevada, California): continue north from Winnemucca, turn right on Hwy 55, then right on Marsing/Murphy Rd, this becomes Hwy 78. Follow 78 east along the Snake River, past Murphy. Turn right on Oreana Loop Rd. (past mile marker 42) Take first right past trailer houses onto gravel road (about 1.5 mi. from turnoff onto Oreana Loop Rd) Continue 5 miles to camp.