Sunday, November 20, 2016

Walter Tibbitts: October 14, 1923 - November 07, 2016 - Full Article

Posted Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Board of Governors of the Western States Trail Foundation honors the memory of Walt Tibbitts, an amazing man whose devotion and contributions to the Western States Trail, to the Tevis Cup Ride, and to the horses and people who challenge them, is legendary. Walt passed away after a short illness on November 7, 2016 at the age of 93.

Infusing the imperatives of the present with the best of the past, Walt’s steady guidance helped the WSTF meet many challenges along a winding trail that spanned 45 years. With the wisdom of experience and unfailing good humor, his values were a keystone for the Foundation, and the energy and motivation he possessed continue to inspire.

As a young horseman with the heart of an explorer, Walt was intrigued when he first heard about this crazy 100-mile adventure held annually in his beloved High Sierra. After a successful Tevis debut in 1967, he was totally hooked — by both the excitement of the sport of endurance riding and the magic of the Western States Trail. With Tevis Cup completions in each of four successive decades (1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1996), Walt earned the coveted 1000 Mile Buckle in 1996, notching a Haggin Cup win along the way in 1969 with his wonderful Appaloosa gelding, Ruff Spots Banner.

Walt lent his prodigious organizational talents to the Western States Trail Foundation when he joined its Board of Governors in 1971. He served as WSTF President in 1995 and 1996, and was particularly instrumental in securing safe access through Section 29 in the high country. Adapting the proven principles of Wendell Robie’s founding vision to the changing face of the future characterized Walt’s 40-year tenure on the Board; he guided the Foundation toward strategic decisions which have kept the Ride at the pinnacle of the sport...

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