Welcome to the Tevis
Riders from twelve countries have come together to compete in one of the most unique equestrian competitions in the world. Fifty nine years ago five riders left Lake Tahoe bound for Auburn. In doing so they founded the modern day sport of endurance riding. They could never have imagined that what they did would grow into a worldwide competition. When Gordy Ainsleigh’s horse went lame before the start and he decided to do the 100 miles on foot the sport of ultra-marathon running began. By entering the Tevis you are becoming part of this history. Wendell Robie referred to it as “recapturing the pioneering experience”
We started planning for this year’s Tevis the day after last year’s ride. From a core group of thirty members of the Board of Governors we expand to over eight hundred volunteers on ride day. We take great pride in saying “welcome to the Tevis”
From the Vet Committee
For over 50 years the Tevis has been at the forefront for veterinary research for endurance horses. The past two years the WSTF has sponsored a veterinarian research project where blood was drawn from horses at Robie Park and Robinson Flat and analyzed to look for factors that might predict the success or failure of a horse to complete the ride. Much was learned and this year blood tests will become part of the routine veterinary exam at Robinson Flat. The research continues, this year with questionnaire that Dr. Olin Bach will ask each rider to fill out and a research study by Dr. Carina Cox that involves a voluntary blood draw at Robie Park.
Let me emphasize three things. ONE: If your horse refuses when a blood draw is attempted, we are not going to traumatize him by insisting on a blood draw. Previous experience has shown that about three horses in the ride will fall into this category. TWO: No horse is going to be disqualified or fail his vet check solely because of the results of his blood test. Riders will simply be asked to present for a second check before leaving as is typically done for some other things such as low gut sounds. THREE: AERC rules prohibit riders from receiving the results of any blood test during competition. You will NOT be given the results of the test, only told that that the vets would like to do a recheck of your horse. After the ride the test results will be available to riders.
There is a section of the trail that is around Hodgon’s Cabin that crosses five sections private land. We have always had permission to use the trail, but we don’t have right of way. That means that the owner could deny access and bring the Tevis to an end. We have been working to obtain an easement through this section for several decades. It is now official that the American River Conservancy has signed a contract to purchase nearly 10,000 acres of land for $10,147,000. Here is a link to their website. The Western States Endowment Foundation (WSTEF) has raised $200,000 to donate towards the purchase of this land. In return we hope to negotiate an easement for the trail and vehicle access to Hodgson’s cabin for the ride. We are hopeful that the Western States Endurance Run will make a similar donation. This is a major step in securing the last major portion of the trail for dedicated public use. You can donate to this through the Western States Trail Endowment Foundation (WSTEF). Donating through the WSTEF will let people know that the endurance community supports this project.
The WSTEF was established to create a fund that enables us to preserve the trail. We embarked on an Adopt the Trail fundraiser where a person could adopt part of the Western States Trail for $1.00 per foot. Many, many people have contributed and we raised over $500,000 and only a few sections remain available. The earnings from this fund are spent on the trail and they are a major part of the money we have to do things like copping with the fire damage from last year. It has become obvious that we will need to raise additional money so that we have the means to insure that the needs of trail will be met in the future. This fall the WSTEF will initiate a capital fund drive with a goal of increasing the trail fund to $3,000,000. Through this private initiative the trail will be preserved for the future.
President Western States Trail Foundation
Contact: Victor Lyon
Western States Trail Open Deadwood to the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River
FORESTHILL…..The Forest Service has opened a portion of the Western States Trail that was damaged in the American Fire from Deadwood Ridge Road to the west bridge abutment of the Swinging Bridge. The trail crosses the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River (NFMFAR) over the Swinging Bridge. The American Fire started August 11, 2013 and burned all of the upper NFMFAR drainage. The bridge burned and is unsafe for use. Another smaller bridge on the WST also burned in the fire and is unsafe for use. This smaller bridge is below Last Chance, and is located between the NFMFAR and the Last Chance Townsite. The WST from the west bridge abutment of the Swinging Bridge eastward to Last Chance Townsite will remain closed for the time being.
District Ranger Victor Lyon states "opening the trail from Deadwood to the west side of the bridge allows use of part of the Western States Trail. Once the small bridge below Last Chance is reconstructed we will look at opening up that part of the trail. The Forest Service has requested funding to reconstruct the Swinging Bridge, but to date it has not been funded." The Western States Endurance Run and Ride organizations have volunteered to reconstruct, and donate the materials for, the smaller bridge. Last fall WST volunteers contributed hundreds of hours of effort on Burn Area Emergency Repairs to the trail alongside a few Forest Service specialists. "I am incredibly impressed by the massive well-orchestrated effort that the WST volunteers have provided; they have our sincere appreciation." Ranger Lyon continues "The WST is a multiple use trail; all users should anticipate two way traffic on the open section between Deadwood and the west end of the Swinging Bridge. All users are urged to be cautious of, and considerate to, other trail users". Post fire conditions are dynamic. Trail users should be cautious of rocks and limbs on the trail. Trail maintenance is ongoing; please listen and watch for work activities.
The American Fire area, including the Western States Trail and Loop 6 (11E44) of the Sugar Pine OHV system, have been closed to the public since the start of the fire. The American Fire area opens on March 13, 2014. Loop 6 is closed under Forest Order 17-14-01 along with the rest of the OHV Trails in Foresthill.
Additional information concerning this closure is available by contacting the district office by telephone at (530) 367-2224 Monday through Friday, 8:00-4:30.