Ralph Smith and Gigi - 1970 Virginia City 100
Kathleen Smith Plambeck: "Gigi was Dad's first horse. Hard to believe he had never ridden before we moved to Washoe Valley!"
Ralph Smith was the longest active member of NASTR from 1969 to 2016. He and his wife Lorraine joined the club in 1969. They and their daughters Becky and Kathleen rode many of the Club rides including the Virginia City 100 multiple times.
After riding for many years, Ralph continued to support the Club by volunteering on the Triple Crown rides. Very few years did he miss helping at the Virginia City 100. Ralph also kept the record for the Derby Ditch 50 Mile ride, compiling and updating all the riders and the years they finished the ride until the ride was moved from Fernley, Nevada in 2004.
Ralph completed the Virginia City 100 twelve times. His horse Beansprout, a 1/2 Arabian gelding, was a 1000 mile Virginia City horse, completing it 10 times. He and Ralph completed the ride in 10 consecutive years without a pull from 1978 through 1987. Ralph and Beansprout were also the very first NASTR Triple Crown Winners with the fastest time in 1985. At that time the Triple Crown consisted of the Derby Ditch 50, NASTR 50 and Virginia City 100.
A Memorial Service for Ralph was held on February 16, 2019 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 3835 Lakeside Drive in Reno. In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations be made to the Honor Flight Network.