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