Friday, September 09, 2011

Tevis: Four Weeks Away

5 September 2011

Ride policies update

The following policies are part of the application for entry into the Western States Trail Ride. They will assist you in planning your ride. Your entry application will have the fee schedule included. There will be added costs, including camping at the formation area, Robie Equestrian Park south of Truckee, and stabling at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn.

You will be required to sign a waiver of liability and to complete other questionnaires, including one regarding your own medical status. The information required is for research, and for assisting management.

The Western States Trail Ride (The Tevis Cup) is an amateur sporting event, and entrants are not eligible for monetary rewards. Participants who complete the Ride within the time allotted receive a silver buckle or a certificate of completion.

1. Receipt of completed entry by the Western States Trail Foundation (WSTF) does not guarantee acceptance to the ride.
2. When the quota of participants has been reached, further entries will be placed on a waiting list.
3. Riders must be qualified by having completed a minimum number of sanctioned distance riding miles. You are qualified if, at the time of application, you have completed at least 300 cumulative lifetime miles of competition in AERC, NATRC, or competitive rides of 50 miles or longer approved as equivalent by WSTF ride management, or you have completed the Tevis Cup Ride. Riders fully completing the Tevis Educational Ride and Seminars will be given credit for 150 miles for a two day ride and 75 miles for a one day ride toward the 300 mile requirement. The Veterinary Committee of the Western States Trail Ride strongly recommends that horses entered in the Ride have at least 300 miles of completed distance competition in events of 50 miles or longer.
4. Entries of minors at least 12 years old but not yet 18 on Ride day will be accepted only if accompanied by the entry of an adult rider (21 years or older) as sponsor.
5. No Shows will not receive a refund.
6. Note that the rules of the Western States Trail Foundation (WSTF) for the Western States Trail Ride (Tevis Cup 100-Miles-in-One-Day Ride) differ from those of the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC). The Western States Trail Ride (WSTR) is sanctioned by AERC and follows AERC rules except where WSTR rules are different, in which case WSTR rules govern. Read the WSTR Rules carefully.
7. For a safe and successful ride, the Western States Trail Foundation strongly recommends that each rider be thoroughly familiar with the horse he or she will be riding, including the horse’s regular physiology and behavior, especially in crowded conditions and on narrow trails at night.

Rules of the Western States Trail Ride
2011 Edition

The philosophy of the Western States Trail Ride (“The Tevis Cup”) is to ride in the best tradition of good sportsmanship, good horsemanship, and to finish with a mount that is “fit to continue.” Toward that end, the following rules governing participation in the Tevis Cup Ride have been instituted by the Western States Trail Foundation.


1. Equines: All horses, mules, donkeys and ponies, except lactating mares and mares in foal, are eligible to enter the Ride provided they are shod or wearing protective footwear, are at least 72 months old, are in compliance with the Ride drug and medications policy, and in the sole opinion of the Ride Veterinary staff are in fit condition to compete. References in these rules to horses include other equines as well.
2. Riders: The Ride is open to all riders 12 years of age and older on the day of the Ride who have paid their entry fees and signed the Ride application and waiver of liability release forms. All riders will be weighed with their tack during the pre-ride veterinary check at Robie Park for statistical purposes only.
3. Juniors: Junior riders under age 18 must be accompanied by one or more responsible adults 21 years old or older who are entered contestants and have agreed in writing to sponsor that Junior throughout the ride unless the sponsor is pulled or unable to continue. In that event, the Junior may proceed, but only if a new sponsor can be found willing to sponsor, in writing, the Junior rider for the rest of the ride. The new sponsor must be recorded by the Ride Director or the Head Volunteer at the Ride checkpoint nearest to where the former sponsor is pulled.
4. Safety: Riders under the age of 18 are required to wear ASTM/SEI certified safety helmets (for listing, see or call (703)442-5732). All other riders are encouraged to wear protective headgear.


Riders must assemble with their horses for the start of the Ride as specifically directed by Ride Management at the pre-ride meeting. All riders must attend the pre-ride meeting to get the specific start instructions. All riders must leave the starting line no later than fifteen minutes after the official starting time of the Ride.


The Tevis trail is well marked and well traveled. Riders must stay on the trail at all times throughout the Ride and meet the cut-off times established for each checkpoint. Finally, riders must reach the Finish line within 24 hours elapsed time from the official starting time to be eligible for an award. Ride management may change the trail if necessary due to weather or trail conditions. A written description of any trail changes will be given to riders prior to the ride and such changes will be posted on the Tevis website.


No abuse or inhumane treatment of equines, accidental or deliberate, will be tolerated, nor will violations of the Ride’s Medications Policy. In both instances the penalty is immediate disqualification from the Ride. In extreme cases, a rider may be barred from competing in the Ride in future years.


1. The care, comfort and health of the equines are of concern to the Ride Veterinarians from the time of arrival until horses are in their trailers heading home. Riders are required to comply with veterinary instructions with regard to the care of their horses before, during and after the Ride until released by a Ride Veterinarian.
2. Horses shall be considered to have begun competition for the Ride when initially presented to the Ride Veterinarians for the Pre-Ride Examination. A horse that does not pass the pre-ride examination may be rechecked by ride veterinarians no later than one half hour following the initial examination. The horse may not be removed from the vet check area. Only one recheck will be allowed. It is the responsibility of the rider to present the horse for examination only after the rider is satisfied that the horse is loosened up and in sound condition to enter and complete the ride.
3. All horses are subject to saliva, urine, and blood tests at any time. Test samples may be drawn by either California State drug testing personnel or a Ride Veterinarian.
4. Each rider, in all cases, must be present with his or her horse at every inspection (a friend or crew member can trot the horse out in the presence of the rider and the veterinarian). Each rider is responsible for informing the veterinarian of any problems his or her horse may be having.
5. Any conflicts or disputes involving the veterinary judging of a horse shall be resolved on the spot by the Lead Veterinarian at that stop, whose decision is final.


A crew member is defined as anyone who provides material support for an equine or rider during the Tevis event. Cooperation by crew members is essential to the safety of the riders, horses, and other crew members, and to the efficient running of the ride, including limiting congestion in vet checks and in traffic flow.

1. Riders will be held responsible for the actions of their crews. Crew members must comply with all event rules and with all regulations and instructions issued by Ride management. They must also comply with all parking, traffic and access instructions. Failure to do so may result in sanctions to the individuals involved and/or the rider up to and including disqualification of the crew’s rider.
2. Crews are to help the rider and horse only at the checkpoints listed below. Crews must not meet riders at isolated, out-of-the-way spots or follow the rider along the trail. This kind of extra help is contrary to the “fair competition” spirit of the Ride and may result in sanctions to the individuals involved and/or the rider up to and including disqualification of the crew’s rider.
3. Crews are only allowed at the following points on the Ride:

Robie Park
Robinson Flat (No overnight camping before the ride)
Dusty Corners
Michigan Bluff (no vehicles) (Crews allowed in town only.)
Chicken Hawk (no vehicles, walk in)
Bath Road (beginning of pavement to vet check) (no vehicles)
Foresthill Mill Site to California Street Trailhead
No Hands Bridge
McCann Stadium (Finish Line)


Common courtesy and good sportsmanship by riders, crews, and spectators govern all aspects of the ride including the use of the trail.

1. Riders must, at the first opportunity, give passing room to an overtaking rider who asks for the "trail please." If a horse kicks, it should have a red tail marking. Hikers have the right of way at all times. Watch for mountain bikes.
2. No pacing on horseback, on foot, or on any type of vehicle is allowed.
3. Because of extreme fire danger, smoking is prohibited on the trail and strongly discouraged in camp and at vet stops.
4. Consumption of alcoholic beverages by participants and crew members is discouraged.
5. Dogs must be leashed at all times.
6. Everyone is required to comply with the rules of the Wendell and Inez Robie Foundation with respect to the use of Robie Equestrian Park and with the U.S. Forest Service, and other landowners with respect to the use of their lands.


These rules will be enforced by Ride Management and the Veterinarians under the direction of the Ride Director. Disqualification for a violation of Rule 4, Inhumane Treatment may be ordered by any Ride Veterinarian. With respect to all other rules, the Head Volunteer at each vet stop, in consultation with the Ride Director, or the Ride Director alone, are authorized to disqualify a contestant during the Ride.


Successful completion of the ride entitling a rider to a Tevis buckle or completion certificate requires:

1. That a rider arrive at the Finish Line within 24 hours’ elapsed time from the exact official starting time of the Ride;
2. That the rider’s horse meets criteria and passes the Finish Line Vet Check at McCann Stadium within 30 minutes of arrival;
3. That not earlier than one hour nor later than two hours after the rider’s Finish, the rider presents his or her horse to the ride veterinarian at McCann Stadium for a post-ride final evaluation of the metabolic stability and general welfare of the horse (no trot out required).

To assure safety, finishing order will be determined within a quarter mile of the finish line. No passing will be permitted beyond this point. Ties are not allowed.


Violation of any of the rules or directives of the Western States Trail Ride, may, at the discretion of the Board of Governors or the Cup Committee, be grounds for disqualification or other sanctions after the Ride. Except for drug violations which are found by the State of California or WSTF drug testing or other means, and rule violations observed by members of the Cup Committee or Ride Management, any rule violations alleged by others should be reported, in writing, to the Ride Director by 10:00 a.m. on Sunday (day following the Ride) under the following guidelines:

1. Rules violations should be called to the attention of the rider and his or her crew as the incident occurs, if possible.
2. Rules violations, with the rider’s name and number, should be reported to the next available Head Volunteer, if possible.
3. Rules violations should be reported in writing, at the Finish Line (McCann Stadium) to the Ride Director. All rider protests and complaints of rule violations by riders or crew must be submitted by 10:00 a.m. Sunday following the Ride. They shall include the name of the person who is lodging the protest or complaint as well as the names of any known witnesses and details of the alleged violation.
4. At the discretion of the Cup Committee, the complainant and the person or persons complained of, as well as any known witnesses, to the extent practicable, will be invited to discuss the complaint of alleged rule violation and/or rider protest at the meeting of the Cup Committee prior to the awards ceremony on Sunday. At that time, a resolution of any issue affecting the order of finish, including whether or not to disqualify the rider or riders complained of, will be made by the Cup Committee. Issues not affecting the order of finish may, at the discretion of the Cup Committee, be deferred for later action.


1. Except as provided herein, the top ten finishing equines, whether or not competing for the James Ben Ali Haggin Cup, must remain on the Gold Country Fairgrounds or adjacent parking areas designated by the ride director from the completion of the ride until the completion of the Haggin Cup judging on Sunday morning in McCann Stadium. Each top ten equine shall be presented at the Haggin Cup judging to have a blood sample drawn by State drug testing personnel or a Ride Veterinarian for the purpose of testing for prohibited substances. After the blood sample is drawn, those not wishing to present their equines for the Haggin Cup judging may be released by the Ride Veterinarians.
2. If an equine finishing in the top ten requires veterinary treatment at any time after the finish and prior to the Haggin Cup judging, the Ride treatment veterinarian on the Fairgrounds shall be immediately notified and shall draw a blood sample prior to the administration of any prohibited substances. After the mandatory blood sample is drawn, the equine may be treated and can then be released from the Fairgrounds by the Ride treatment veterinarian.
3. Leaving the Fairgrounds prior to the mandatory blood test and/or any evasion or avoidance of the testing will be grounds for disqualification.
4. There is currently no weight requirement for either the Tevis Cup or the Haggin Cup Awards. However, restoration of the weight requirement is under consideration for future rides. It is the responsibility of the rider to be aware of any changes regarding weight requirements.


The Western States Trail Foundation does not allow the use of medications, substances, or treatments that alter, or potentially alter, the natural performance of endurance horses in any manner.


The Western States Trail Ride (WSTR) is sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) and follows AERC rules except where WSTR rules are different, in which case WSTR Rules govern. The WSTR Ride Medication Policy uses more general language than AERC’s Section 13, but our rule with respect to drugs is equally strict. The policy of both organizations is to absolutely ban substances and procedures that would enhance the performance of a horse in competition and both organizations severely punish any infraction of this policy. However, for the benefit of riders, and to avoid any confusion, be advised that as a practical matter, there are no substances and procedures banned under Section 13 of the AERC Rules and Appendices A through G that are not also banned under WSTR’s Ride Medication Policy. Likewise, substances and procedures that are permitted by Section 13 of the AERC guideline come within the permissible substances and procedures of the WSTR Ride Medication Policy.

Please refer to AERC Rule 13 and Rule 13 Appendices for 2010 for specific lists: Appendix A Prohibited Substances, Appendix B Categories of Prohibited Substances, Appendix C Allowed Substances, Appendix D Threshold Levels, Appendix E Known Detection Times for Substances Used Therapeutically in the Horse, Appendix F Prohibited Treatments, and Appendix G Allowable Treatments.

“Competition” means from the time of the pre-ride veterinary check exam on Friday until after the final vet exam at the finish line, OR, until after the Haggin Cup judging on Sunday morning. California State drug testers are present during the Ride (taking random urine samples) and all horses judged for the Haggin Cup are blood tested. It is the rider’s responsibility to know which substances are prohibited. If your equine requires veterinary care prior to the event, it is your responsibility to advise the treating veterinarian of your intent to compete in the Tevis Cup Ride. Administering certain drug treatments may result in disqualification. Please see WSTR Rules 5c and 11a,b,and c.

If your horse requires treatment prior to the Ride and you are unsure about whether a treating substance is allowed, consult your veterinarian and the AERC list of prohibited substances and the length of time after administration that they will test positive. IT IS THE RIDER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO AVOID ARRIVING AT THE RIDE WITH DRUGS IN YOUR HORSE’S SYSTEM. For further clarification, refer to AERC Rule 13.2.6 Appendix E, “Known Detection Times for Substances Used Therapeutically in the Horse.


If prohibited substances are found to have been used, as determined by drug testing or other means, the rider will be subject to disqualification. All reported violations will be evaluated by the Cup Committee and Veterinary Advisory Committee of the WSTF Board of Governors. If the committee finds a violation, it will be referred to the WSTF Executive Committee for evaluation and presentation to the full Board, if the Executive Committee feels such action is warranted.

The rider involved will be notified and afforded an opportunity to appear before the Board and present any mitigating facts. Determination regarding disqualification, forfeiture of any award, or other penalty will be made by the full Board after presentation of all proffered relevant evidence and shall be final.


Regulation §1280.1 of the Bureau of Animal Health, California State Department of Agriculture, requires the collection of $5.00 from each participant in all endurance and trail ride events (as well as horse shows and any event of public nature) for testing, or random testing, by the Department for drugs or medications prohibited within the meaning of §24001 of the Agriculture Code. This fee is included in the entrant's application fee.


While the Tevis Cup Ride is open to all qualified competitors, the WSTF cannot be, and is not responsible for any diminution in anyone’s “professional reputation” or financial loss of any kind which in any way results from entry to, participation in, completion of, failure to complete, disqualification from, or sanctioning in any form following the event.


The Western States Trail Ride endeavors to assist junior riders and their sponsors during the event, but the Ride cannot take responsibility for the custody of these riders if it is necessary for them to withdraw. In most cases, a withdrawn junior can be returned to Foresthill or Auburn in the custody of an adult who is willing to assume responsibility for the time necessary to reunite the junior with crew and/or family. However, it is strongly advised that you arrange for a responsible adult to attend as many veterinary locations as possible to ensure the ability of the sponsoring rider to continue in the event a junior must stop riding. The responsibility for acquiring a new sponsor, should a junior rider need one, belongs to the junior and his or her crew and/or family. However, Ride Volunteers, if they have time, will assist in locating sponsors within the vet check where one is needed. Riders are encouraged to become sponsors if needed. Junior riders who attempt The Tevis Cup are experienced and well prepared, and their horses are usually carrying less weight and are strong. Juniors are instructed to ride with all the items they need to take care of themselves and compete, including watches, jackets, water and snacks. Riding with a junior is a unique and positive experience.

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