Friday, June 24, 2016

Tevis Ride Director's Message: June 2016

4 weeks till Tevis:

Message from the Ride Director Chuck Stalley

We have several new policies for 2016, and I will present them in this Eblast so that you may properly prepare.

IF NOT YOU, WHO? The first policy relates to cleaning up after the riders as they proceed through the ride.  Many riders spend a few days in Auburn at the Gold Country Fairgrounds and then go up to Robie to start the ride. The fairgrounds need to be cleared of trash and manure before you leave.  Many times that is done by the rider and has not been a big issue. The same attention to cleanup needs to be done when leaving the fairgrounds for the last time-- whenever that is.  Tools and dumpsters are provided by the ride for you to use.  It is the responsibility of the rider to leave a clean stall when finished.  If you delegate that chore to a crew person, please double check that it has been done. Fees and fines assessed against Tevis are becoming a significant item in the ride budget. We want to avoid increasing costs wherever we can; avoiding the payment of fines is an easy way to do that.

Our thirty-six mile vet check at Robinson Flat is a pristine high-mountain camp ground 364 days of the year.  WSTF is required by our USFS contract to remove all hay and debris from the grounds before we leave the area. We are requiring riders to leave the area clean by placing all manure and leftover hay in the bins provided. Vet Check management will be there to remind crews to take an extra few minutes sanitizing their crew area of debris and will expect cooperation. Volunteers are vital to the success of this event and have many responsibilities. Asking them to clean up after 180 horses and their support crews should not be one of them. This is how we lose these vital people from year to year. If you haul it in; haul it out. 

At Robie Equestrian Park, the protocol is to pick up or spread hay and manure. We understand that riders may station crews in advance of the ride, ie, you are at Robie Equestrian Park, but your crew members meet you for the first time at Robinson Flat or Foresthill. You must make sure your crew knows what is expected at each vet check even if those people cannot be at the preride briefing at Robie Park. Again, it is the rider's responsibility to inform their crews of the policies of the ride at each stop.

It is also a ride policy that riders and crew shall not save spaces ahead of time at Robie Equestrian Park or Foresthill.  Parking and crewing locations are strictly first come, first served. One of the reasons for this is that it is unfair for locals to have the advantage of setting up in advance. The Robie Foundation Board feels so strongly about this that they have written possible significant fines into our agreement to use the park. As a result, Tevis management has no room for negotiation on these issues with nonconforming riders.

Drop your vehicle on Thursday after 10 am at Foresthill Mill Site or Fridaybut do not set up your pop up shades until you arrive to crew at the site. 

If you need to leave you vehicle in Auburn in the Sacramento Street parking lot, you need to leave it at the far South end of the lot. Doing so allows the public to use the North end of the lot as they need to come and go more often.  Just a reminder that no horses are allowed in the Sacramento Street lot. Please unload them on the dirt through the participant's gate at the South end of the lot.

Now to shift gears somewhat. The blood draw at Robinson Flat will be only for research purposes this year. It is a blind study; you will get your results after the ride. This will allow the research veterinarians to continue their study and will only take a couple of minutes to draw your horse's blood, while waiting in line to see the control judge at Robinson Flat.

Pen Seeding System

The Pen 1 and Pen 2 seeding system will be used again this year. The selections for pen one are made a few weeks before the ride based on the horse's ride record. The horse's record is the basis for the seeding-- not the horse and rider's record.  If you think your horse might qualify for Pen 1, please apply by the deadline. In most years, horses need to average a 20 to 25% placing to be allowed to start in Pen 1.  It is very challenging to meet the mathematical requirements to qualify.

Occasionally a rider will stop to help an injured rider or horse during the ride. This might cause the rider to fall behind the cutoff time at the next few stops. The ride committee is implementing a procedure that would allow the rider to make a request from a Head Volunteer or Cup Committee member for an allowance to exceed the cut off times at the next stop(s).  The HV or Cup Committee member needs to radio in to Net Control with details of the request. The Ride Director and the Head of the Cup Committee are the only people authorized to grant the request.

The Cup Committee member or HV who initiated the request will flag and sign the rider's card with the approval of a time extension.

The 5:15 AM finishing time will not be extended under any foreseeable circumstances. This year the cutoff time at Chicken Hawk/Piper Junction has been eliminated entirely.

This information is vital to the success of your Tevis experience as well as management's need to fulfill many agreements and restrictions communicated to us in our permits and contracts to conduct the event. We will continue to publish this information in multiple settings to be sure everyone gets the word. Please read your rider epacket, the rule book, the EBlasts, the Forum and the website for ways to share information with your support crews-the unsung heroes of your ride.

The Tevis ride is a rugged, historical adventure conducted in a 21 st century world. We look forward to seeing your earn your buckle and wish you all the best in your remaining weeks of training.
Happy Trails!
Chuck Stalley
Ride Director

For entry forms, and more information on the 2016 Tevis Cup, see

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