Saturday, September 04, 2010

Horse-rider partnership endures through grueling 24-hour race - Full Article

Jennifer Garreau Special to the Journal | Posted: Saturday, September 4, 2010

On July 24, Paschal and Deb Karl saddled up to attempt the 55th Annual Tevis Cup Western States 100-mile, one-day endurance ride. In one of the most challenging and technically difficult endurance rides in the world, horse-and-rider teams are tested through grueling terrain through the Sierra Nevada Mountains in hot, July temperatures.

Riders and their mounts have 24 hours to complete 100 miles of narrow, rocky and slippery shale trails with sheer drop offs into the abyss and treacherous, hoof-sucking bogs. Teams must ford rivers, cross high mountain bridges, negotiate rocky climbs and 105 switchback descents.

In June, Time magazine listed the Tevis Cup as one of the top 10 endurance competitions in the world, along with the Tour de France bicycle race and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, among others.

“Half of all endurance riders are afraid of the Tevis,” Paschal Karl said. Statistically, only half of the riders finish it. This year, 96 riders, or 52.7 percent, completed the ride. To date, 9,102 riders have started the ride since its inception in 1955 and 4,946 have completed it...

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