Monday, August 26, 2013

Waco endurance riders vanquish 24-hour marathon - Full Article

August 25, 2013

When Ragan Kelly returns to school at Vanguard this week, she could show off a pretty nifty belt buckle if she wished. It’s not one that the 12-year-old picked up at the Gap or Cavender’s, either. She earned it.

She’s got the callouses and sore muscles to prove it.

The buckle carries the message “100 Miles, One Day,” and it’s emblazoned with a picture of a pony express rider. To receive it, one must finish the Tevis Cup, which has been called the nation’s most grueling equine endurance ride.

Back in late July, Ragan and her mother Tracy, a Waco veterinarian, accomplished just that. They had to endure scorching temperatures, rugged terrain and even rattlesnakes along a 100-mile ride through the Sierra Nevada mountain range from Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, Nev., to Auburn, Calif.

And to get credit for the finish, they had to do it all in a single day. Come in over 24 hours, and it doesn’t count.

“This race is the pinnacle of our sport,” Tracy Kelly said. “It’s like Wimbledon for a tennis player...”

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