Contact: Jenni Smith
Potato Richardson Wins the 60th Tevis Cup
The oldest rider to ever win rode a horse with a history
Auburn, Calif. – August 6, 2015. At 10:05 PM on Saturday, August 1, 2015 Potato Richardson crossed the finish line of the Western States 100-Mile One-Day Trail Ride (a.k.a. The Tevis Cup) in first place on his Arabian mare SMR Filouette.
Richardson (72) is the oldest rider to win the storied 100-mile race, acknowledged as the “hardest endurance ride in the world”. This was Richardson’s third Tevis Cup win. He previously won in 1998 (on Filouette’s dam) and 2002.
Filouette has her own story. The granddaughter of a famous winning Tevis horse, Bezatal, Filouette pulled off her own win on the 50th anniversary of Bezatal’s.
The stallion Bezatal was owned by Kathi Johnson Theile. In 1965, Kathi’s father Ed Johnson proclaimed that her horse wasn't tough enough to do a ride like Tevis and dared her to train him for it. In the end, it was he who ended up riding Bezatal and their win was record-setting.
Tevis covers 100 miles of rugged, historic trail in the California Sierra, traversing steep canyons and wide river crossings. Each year some 200 horse and rider teams attempt the course, and typically only half will finish. This year was no exception; 198 rider/horse teams started and 90 finished, reflecting a 45% completion rate.
Sponsored by the Western States Trail Foundation, the 2015 ride welcomed competitors from California, Nevada, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, Nebraska, New York and New Jersey as well as Chile, Guatemala, Israel, France, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, and Canada.
“We had a very competitive field for the 60th anniversary Tevis Cup this year,” notes Western States Trail Foundation president Tony Benedetti. “But as typically happens, the trail had the last word. Those riders who finished in 2015 should be very proud of their and their horses’ accomplishment.”
In addition to the Tevis Cup, which is awarded for finishing first, the WSTF awards the Haggin Cup to the horse among the top ten finishers who is judged “most fit to continue” on the morning after the race. This year’s winner was Auli Farwa, a 15-year-old Arabian gelding owned by Kevin Myers and ridden by Jenni Smith. Smith and Far finished in 5th place at 10:59 PM.
About the Western States Trail Foundation (WSTF)
The mission statement of the WSTF includes maintaining, building and keeping the Western States Trail open in perpetuity for use by riders, runners and hikers. In concert with a number of governmental agencies, WSTF volunteers work year-round to keep the 100-mile historic trans-Sierra route clear of fallen trees and debris, maintained to safety standards, and protected from soil erosion.
The Western States 100-Miles-One-Day Trail Ride represents the Foundation's commitment to the ideals of a pioneering experience along historically significant trails. This ride represents the origin of modern day endurance riding as well as ultra running. Since the Tevis Cup’s inception in 1955, thousands of horsemen and their athletic steeds have attempted the feat. The event counts among its alumni many experts of American and international horsemanship.
For more information about the Tevis Cup visit www.teviscup.org