Thursday, December 18, 2008

Topanga Ride and Tie

Topanga Messenger Online

By Jessica Jacobs

My favorite sport brought me to Topanga and keeps me here.

I was living in Northern California and competing in Ride and Tie events. I was at the 2006 Championship in San Diego and asked a fellow competitor if she recommended any communities in Southern California where I might move and gave her my list of requirements: commuting distance to Hollywood, near the ocean, near running trails for me, my dog, and my horse, and why not make it a liberal community. The woman laughed, "You have no choice, you have to live in Topanga." That was Topanga resident Kirsten Seyforth and now two years later we have trained and competed in several races together along with fellow Topangan Jennifer Siegel.

From Left to Right: Brioso (horse), Melanie Weir, Jessica Jacobs, Jennifer Siegel, Kirsten Seyforth, and Hoolie (horse), saddle up for another Ride and Tie event. photo by RUFUS SCHNEIDER
Okay, what the heck is Ride and Tie?

Ride and Tie is an extreme sport that combines endurance horse riding with endurance running. One team consists of two people and a horse. One person starts off on the horse while the other begins running on foot. Obviously the guy on the horse goes faster so when he gets far enough ahead, he gets off and ties the horse to a tree and takes off running. Meanwhile, the other person catches up to the horse, unties it and rides until she catches her partner, at which point they switch again. This "leapfrog" continues for about 35 hilly miles and usually, you can't walk very well the next day. Got it? The sport was started by Bud Johns in the early 70s as a publicity stunt for Levi Strauss and continues to challenge men, women and children (of all ages and sizes) every year.

Topanga trails, both the state park and the Old Canyon trails, are perfectly suited for Ride and Tie.

Jennifer, Kirsten, my partner, Melanie, and I just finished a race at Tejon ranch (pictured). It was 34 gruelling miles but we came in 5th and 6th place. The 2009 Championship will take place in Humboldt next summer and we would love for more Topanga folks to join us. If you like to run or ride or both, check out, or call Jessica at (310) 455-1987, and we will set up a training ride (you don't need to have your own horse)

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