Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tevis Ride Director's Message May 2015

The 60th anniversary of the running of the Tevis Cup ride is fast approaching. To help make this a year to remember, the ride committee is examining every aspect of past rides to ensure that this is a remarkable, commemorative year for all the right reasons.

Special 60th anniversary buckles have been designed and ordered, as well as 1000 mile and 2000 mile “decade” buckles and the first place buckle. When I look at the names of our riders on our starting list, it is clear that specific groups of riders with different goals emerge. There are several who are prepared and capable of finishing first and winning the Tevis Cup. Then there are the ones who dream of finishing in the top ten and earn the opportunity to show for the Haggin Cup with the ultimate dream of winning the Cup. The junior riders, under the age of eighteen, attack the trail and ride to earn the right to have their names engraved on the Scripts Cup. The one group that is as important as any other is the group trying to finish for their first buckles or even to add to their buckles.

Every decision made by the Ride Committee considers the needs and concerns all of these groups whenever we consider adopting any type of change to the ride. One of the changes we have accepted this year was a proposed rule revision put forth from the Rules Committee. Please read and understand ALL the rules before you start the ride. The Cup Committee, Ride Management and the ride veterinarians all strive to enforce the rules in a fair and equitable manner to protect the integrity of the competition. There are some updates to rules 4 and 5 to clarify inhumane treatment and veterinary inspection (timelines and procedures) to protect the welfare of the horse.

Caterers will provide a Friday evening dinner at Robie Park starting at 6 pm for $15 and the Sunday awards banquet at the Auburn Fairgrounds, also for $15. As a part of their entry, the riders will be provided with a Sunday banquet ticket in the rider packet when they check in. The trail used this year uses RD. 43 as it leaves Robinson Flat and then the traditional trail on to Auburn. In Auburn riders will have a 40 minute period to meet criteria at the final vet check in McCann Stadium after he or she passes under the official finish line banner in McCann Stadium.

There will again be a blood draw at Robinson Flat, the results of which could trigger a recheck with the veterinarian before you leave the check. The blood draw will take place between the pulse check and the Vet exam. Riders and vets will not know the specifics of the blood work; they will just be made aware that the results were abnormal and a discussion will take place between rider and veterinarian about use of caution in the ride strategy. One of the missions of WSTF is improving the science behind endurance horses during competition, and we hope this ongoing study takes us further down that path. Individual results are emailed after the ride to the rider and owner if so requested.

WSTF provides an educational ride on the weekend of July 4th for those who wish to see the trail and/or need miles to qualify for entry. Many seasoned Tevis riders will be mentoring small groups over the trail staging out of the Foresthill mill site. I highly recommend this event for those wanting more information about successfully completing the Tevis ride.

This year there will be film crews shooting footage during the ride and possibly at the Ed Ride as well. Tevis has not had a film crew for the past several years and Kooks entertainment is excited to be filming this year.

The trail is open for training except for the section of the trail that goes through Squaw Valley. This section is under such heavy use at this time of year that it is not safe for horses and riders. Our trail crew schedules well in advance to travel through Squaw to maintain the wilderness trail. Trees fall across the trail almost daily and the joint run/ride trail crew takes them out. If you ride the trail and come across any downed trees or trail hazards, please make note of the location and details and notify us. Please be as accurate about the location and the size of the tree as possible, so the crew led by Elke Reimer can get to it with the correct equipment and personnel to handle the work. Please email this info to Steve Hallmark at, and he will forward it on to the correct people. This dedicated crew goes through chainsaw certification, wilderness first aid, and CPR training so they can hike in--leather boots and hardhats hauling heavy equipment to the site--to keep the trail open for riders and runners all year long.

I have reports that there is water available on the trail for training. During the ride additional water will again be provided at places like Millers Defeat, Dusty Corners, El Dorado Creek, Fords Bar, Baltimore Mine and Cal 2 as well as other spots. All this added water along the way is the result of a concentrated effort by the Ride Committee to help you and your horse get to the finish line and look good when you get there. Please do not use these locations to scoop your horse, as they do not get refilled during the ride.

From all of us at WSTF, happy training, and we will see you on the trail.

Chuck Stalley
2015 Ride Director

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