Monday, December 07, 2015

Virginia City 100 History - Full Article

by Cliff Lewis

1968 saw the turning point of modern day endurance riding. Where as a couple of years previously there had been only the Tevis Cup and a few "Pony Express Races", there were now several good endurance rides. The Castle Rock, the Tellington's, the Peaceful Valley Ride (in Colorado), and much talk about others.

In the early spring of 1968 I was doing a lot of training with Dean Hubbard. It had been as easy winter with little snow and we were able to get way up into the mountains. We looked at wild horses and searched for a crashed airplane. We saw many deer and coyote, and talked enthusiastically about the coming endurance rides in California. I told Dean about a fifty mile ride I went on the year before, that went twice around a twenty-five mile circle. On that ride we were given the combinations of several locks so we could open gates along the way. We were now riding atop Clark Mountain and could see for 40 miles out across the lava beds. There wasn't a single sign of a fence, a gate, or a "No Trespassing" sign anywhere. Dean looked at me and said, "Why don't we have an endurance ride here"?

I never would have dreamed that this simple statement would eventually foster so many rides.

Dean and I realized it would take more than the two of us to put on an endurance ride. We decided we would start looking for support. We talked to most of the horsemen in the Reno area. We asked if they would be interested in putting on an endurance ride. The responses were mostly negative but some did say they would support a ride if we could get it organized. We had a hard time finding anyone who would jump in and get his feet wet...

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