Message from the Ride Director
There are a couple of changes planned for this year's ride. The ride committee has decided to raise the entry fee to $400, which now includes the Friday night dinner for riders as well as the Sunday Awards Banquet. The change in the entry fee is also necessary because of the increased costs of all aspects of the ride--not just the trail maintenance caused by the 2013 fire.
The veterinary committee is planning to implement a couple of new proposals this year. One of the proposals is to give your horse a body condition score during the veterinary check in at Robie Park . Experienced Tevis riders know that a horse that is too thin or too heavy has less of a chance to finish in good condition. Therefore, look for an article from head veterinarian Greg Fellers on how to judge and score your horse's conditioning, which should help you moderate your horse's weight long before the event.
Our record-breaking drought has the ride committee identifying many locations along the trail to add water troughs where natural water would be found in a normal year. The message on the social media sites this year is clearly about horse welfare and having opportunities for your horse to hydrate is the number one concern of the Tevis ride committee.
Steve Hallmark and the trail committee are making plans and working with the USFS to restore the canyon trail from Last Chance to Devils Thumb which incurred major damage last summer from the fire. The Devil's Thumb side has had most of its work done in October and November but the east side of the canyon is scheduled for early spring.
Please note the joint trail committees have a website for volunteers to sign up to help restore the Last Chance trail and the side hill bridge on the east side near the bottom. Please volunteer if possible for one or more of the work days. This is a chance to improve this canyon trail and make it safer. This section of WS Trail is scheduled to be opened by April 1st but check the websites to be sure.
The 2014 Tevis is continuing to offer the legacy buckle program for first time finishers. This is a very popular program that continues because of the generosity of the donors.
The Signature Rider entry is back, which is an all inclusive entry. While offering no competitive advantage, it allows riders to donate back to the ride and fund maintenance work and improvements to the trail.
The first ten juniors to enter with a qualified sponsor will have their entry fee paid on their behalf. Thank you, Easycare, for your continuing dedication to the next generation of distance riders and making this junior program possible. For details on these programs please see the website and read through the pages of the entry for all the details.
On behalf of the Board of Governors of the Western States Trail Ride happy training.