Saturday, July 20, 2013

Back in the saddle again: Auburn’s Hal Hall chasing 3,000-mile Tevis Cup buckle

Longtime rider would be 'honored' if Barbara White presented him the award

By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor

The Auburn resident, a three-time Tevis Cup winner who started competing in the equestrian endurance event in 1969 at the age of 14, has the opportunity to do something no man has ever done before.

If Hall can finish the 100-mile ride that starts Saturday at Robie Park near Squaw Valley and ends at the Auburn Overlook in fewer than 24 hours, he’ll earn a 3,000-mile buckle for finishing Tevis Cup on 30 different occasions — each in less than a day.

Hall, however, wouldn’t be the first person to receive the rare buckle. Barbara White of Scotts Valley acquired one — the only one to ever be awarded — in 2010.

“Like the other (years) in the past, I look forward to riding and competing in the Tevis Cup along the Western States Trail,” Hall said in an email to the Journal. “Probably more so since I will be joining Barbara White as the only other horseman to earn a 3,000-mile, 30-day buckle.”

White, who has known Hall for 45 years, recently expressed that she’d like to be the one to present Hall the hardware when the time comes.

“I’ve known him since he was a teenager and I was 20,” White said. “I’ve known him through every stage of our lives. I’m hoping for a great ride for Hal. He’s an exceptional rider. I’m pretty sure he’ll make it. He’s a savvy fellow.”

Added Hall: “I would be honored to receive the award from Barbara as she has set the standard for what all Tevis riders aspire.”

Hall, who won his first Tevis Cup in 1974 and last in 1990, will be aboard PR Comet for the 58th running of the endurance ride. The 17-year-old Arabian/Standardbred is a gelding owned by Fred Emigh of Georgetown in El Dorado County.

Hall, who also serves on the board of governors for the Western States Trail Foundation, is a three-time Haggin Cup winner.

The Tevis Cup is awarded to the first-place finisher while the Haggin Cup goes to the rider in the top 10 whose horse is judged most fit to continue riding at the conclusion.

Riding CR Rohbellion, Hall finished in 66th place in the 2012 rendition of the ride in 22 hours, 56 minutes.

This year marks the 38th time Hall’s attempted the ride. He was pulled during his first attempt, but a year later at the age of 15 he picked up his first buckle.

“I was there when he got his first one,” Ride Director Chuck Stalley said. “It seems like yesterday. Some of us have been doing this a long time.”

Reach Matthew Kimel at Follow him on Twitter@matthewkimel

[More ...]

No comments: