Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Volunteers help hold together Tevis Cup - Full Article

Some have been involved for more than 20 years
By Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer

Judy Suter knows that the Tevis Cup isn't just about the horses and riders; it's about the army of volunteers that help make the whole event happen.

Suter is the head volunteer coordinator for the Western States Trail Foundation and oversees the 800 volunteers it takes to make the 100-mile race happen every year.

Of those 800 volunteers there are 40 head volunteers stationed throughout the various checkpoints throughout the race.

Horses have to be checked by a veterinarian at each stop to ensure they can continue on. If they can't, the horse and rider are pulled from the race.

Each checkpoint has around 30 volunteers and usually four veterinarians. Some of the busier checkpoints can have up to 70 volunteers, according to Suter.

Volunteers are responsible for giving riders their timecards so they can know when they were in and out of the checkpoint and at some stops giving weary horses and riders food and water.

Suter, who has two Tevis buckles of her own, knows how exhausting the ride can be and how important the stops are.

"I may ride again someday, but I was doing so many endurance rides at one time I ended up deciding to help with the ride instead," Suter said...

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