Saturday, June 04, 2011

Sierra snow moves Tevis Cup endurance ride to October

Auburn Journal
By Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer

Snow that just won't quit on Sierra trails has caused organizers of the Tevis Cup to postpone the endurance horse ride from July 16 to Oct. 8.

The Western States Trail Foundation has been searching for an alternate route but even that effort has been hampered by snow and high river flows, Ride Director Chuck Stalley said in a statement that followed the Board of Governors decision Thursday.

"We literally didn't even have a safe and adequate alternate route six weeks before the Tevis," Stalley said.

Kathie Perry, Western States Trails Foundation president, said the move was made in the interests of rider and horse safety.

"The new date will give riders the needed time to get their horses ready for the challenge of the trail, as well as give them the experience of the traditional trail with its magnificence and history," Perry said.

The Tevis Cup has become an Auburn summertime staple since 1955. Its only cancellation came in 2008, when smoke from several fires blanketed the course. More than 200 horses and riders had already been registered for the 100-mile ride.

While the endurance ride from Tahoe to Auburn is now postponed, there will be riding activity on the weekend of what initially was the date set for the Tevis Cup. Stalley said the Western States Education Ride will be held July 15-17. Riders will be given the opportunity to see the trail first-hand, listen to lectures from veterinarians and experienced riders and gather miles toward the Tevis application requirements.

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