WSTF President’s Message
Dr. Mike Peralez is the head veterinarian for the Tevis in 2017. Mike is a rider and rode in NATRC in the 1970s as a junior. I know this because I competed against him then. He also has four Tevis buckles, including one from 1983, when Tevis also started in Soda Springs due to excessive snow. He said riding the alternate route was a wonderful experience. In the article below, Mike shares his experience of riding the Tevis that started in Soda Springs with the riders who will start the 2017 Tevis also in Soda Springs.
Tony Benedetti, WSTF President
1983: The First Soda Springs Tevis Ride
by Dr Mike Peralez
Mother Nature has a way of messing with the Tevis Cup ride. Recently, we have had fire (2008),snow, subsequent postponement, and more snow (2011), and, of course, this year’s white trail. But how many of you remember the snow of year of 1983?
I was lucky enough to have ridden the 1983 Tevis Cup when we started out of Soda Springs in the ski area parking lot. I was young - not yet 20 years old - and anxious about another Tevis start. We all gathered in Squaw Valley on Friday, July 22, 1983 for the usual pre-ride vet checks and socializing (“partying” may have been more accurate, right?). Early the next morning, though, all of us had to load our horses into their trailers and drive almost 25 miles up highways 89 and 80 to Soda Springs. Many of us shared trailer rides to the start to avoid vehicle congestion. It was exciting as all 233 riders lined up for that 5:00 a.m. shotgun start. As many of you may recall, up until that time, the Tevis Cup always had staggered starts with as many as 30 groups. My memories of that fun and exciting mass start are still vivid - as if it were last year.
What I enjoyed most about that first Soda Springs start was the different trail early in the ride. Of course, the usual Tevis Cup trail is always beautiful; however, riding through the pine forests south of Soda Springs, through The Cedars, and into the first vet check at French Meadows Reservoir was profoundly gorgeous. We left the French Meadows vet check and rode up and over Red Star Ridge and into Duncan Canyon for the long climb to Robinson Flat...
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