Final newsletter before the ride

Posted Friday, July 28, 2017 9:07pm

Ride Director’s Message

The 62nd Tevis ride from Soda Springs to Auburn is merely a few days away. I would like to go over a few key points:

This year we are starting on a wide dirt road, and on August 5th from 4:30 am to 5:30 am, it will be darker than Tevis riders are used to. We will split the riders into two pens.  Pen 1 requires a ticket to be admitted as is customary at Tevis.  Pen One riders will have their ticket attached to their check in packet which they receive at Registration on Friday. Assemble on the road starting at 4:30, and we will move out at the walk in a controlled start for 2.3 miles. More details will be provided at the ride meeting Friday evening.

The reason for the extended controlled walk is that we have agreed to have all horses walk over a flat bridge at mile 2.1 which crosses the Yuba River. From that point and for the next 4.5 miles, it is mostly double track trail with good going. The double track connects into Soda Springs Rd that has just been graded and is extremely good going. Tevis Ride management is contractually obligated to restore the total first 6 miles of trail out to Soda Springs Rd asap after our ride leaves the Soda Springs venue. In order to minimize impact and damage to this trail, riders are not allowed to pre-ride past the power lines until Friday, August 4th. Riders are required to stay on the trail through this first area as the grassy meadows have been recently reseeded the past few of years. Thank you in advance for protecting this sensitive area and being mindful that we are guests of this property.

In the interest of safety, we have added rules this year regarding riders using lights on the trail.  You need to restrict your lights to 250 lumens or less, turn them off when asked by other riders, and turn them off when approaching riders in front of you. Cup Committee members will confiscate lights that are obviously too bright, so leave them at home.

The trail from the start to Red Star VC is 8.5 miles shorter than in traditional years (we make up the difference in Duncan Canyon on the way up to Robinson Flat).  Riders will get to Red Star sooner than usual, so adjust your ride accordingly. The Red Star VC is designed to have a one way flow for riders vetting their horses.  You will not have interference from vehicle traffic. I look forward to a relaxed check area with plenty of room.

Parking at Soda Springs, Robinson Flat, and Foresthill remain tight this year. I ask that you and your crew drive carefully and park as directed. It would be wise to bring a pop up for shade. At least one or more of these places will put you in the hot August sun. Ride management has arranged for less space for parking in the shade at Foresthill making more room available for crews and horses in the shade. When you go to the Foresthill VC to leave your vehicle (any time after 10 am on Thursday, the 3rd) follow directions given to you by the volunteers, so horses and riders can get needed rest in the shady areas.

Starting Friday at 11:00 am, a complete lunch is available for purchase for $10 at the Soda Springs Lodge parking lot. Friday's dinner (a great carbo load for $15) starts at 5:45 pm and the mandatory preride meeting starts at 6:45 pm. Maria's Tacos will serve at Foresthill; Fast Friday's will serve beer and burgers at the McCann Stadium Saturday night, and the Native Son's will serve at the Wednesday Barbecue and a hearty Sunday morning breakfast in the Auburn fairgrounds stadium.

We will have a few extra river monitors on hand this year at the Poverty Bar river crossing after Francisco’s as the shape of the bank has changed due to the high water flows this spring. PCWA assures us that they can get the river flow down to acceptable levels for riders to cross. Let the volunteers there know if you need assistance or directions.

As is customary, the Cup Committee will be in the usual places along the trail to insure a fair and equitable competition.  Be sure to thank the volunteers and managers of the stops along the way as they thrive on the love from the riders! They literally work all year for this one day as they aid you on your way to Auburn.


Chuck Stalley

2017 Tevis Ride Director



Trails Report

Nicole Wertz, Trails RBM

lake shot

As race day approaches, the WSTF Trail Committee team wants to thank all of our volunteers and trail crews and teams who have been working extremely hard to provide riders with a great Tevis trail ride from Soda Springs to Auburn this year.

Mother Nature was not kind to the trail this year and many extra efforts were spent by volunteers to clear trees, as many rocks and possible, repair bridge decks, and repair damaged trail beds so that the trail is in good shape for you and your horse. There is lots of natural water available on the trail this year so take advantage of that water to cool your horse. There will also be water troughs in the usual places but those are for horse drinking water and no sponging is allowed.  So use the natural resources and enjoy the beauty along the trail.

Most of the trail is open for use with the following three exceptions that cannot be used until ride day August 5th.

1) Soda Springs- In order to preserve the start location and respect agreements with those who live in the area, riders are reminded that the trail is closed one mile out of ridecamp and the start trail can only be used on ride day. We want to thank our partners at Soda Springs resort and the private land owners allowing us to use their area to stage in and start the ride this year.

2) Duncan Canyon trail- planned trail work is still being performed on the Duncan loop route from Red Star Ridge to Robinson Flat up through August 2. The trail will be useable race day and beyond and will be a great loop on part of the original Western States Trail for riders to enjoy. This trail is very safe and scenic with sweeping views of canyons and distant mountain top views on each side. It's a climb into Robinson Flat on this trail so plan to cool off well in Duncan Creek before the big climb and take it easy into the vet check.

3) River Crossing- the river crossing will only be safe to cross race evening thanks to continued efforts of WSTF and PCWA to coordinate flow ride evening to allow riders to cross in approximately 3' to 3.5' of water through the night. There will be water safety personnel ride evening at the crossing monitoring riders safely across but since the flows will be down to normal levels ride day we don't anticipate any issues. Please do not try to cross the river before or after the ride as river levels beyond ride day will be flowing extremely high and fast.

This fall and next year if you are interested in volunteering to work on the Western States Trail, please send an email to We are expanding our trail stewardship program. If you know of any individuals, groups, schools, Boy or Girl Scout troops interested in helping learn about trail stewardship please send them to for more info or to the Tevis webpage. We can always use additional help and are also looking for more certified sawyers and first aid people to help with our trail work days.



down trail

Vet Study Update

A volunteer veterinary study will be conducted this year at Tevis by an eight-person team from Michigan State University, headed by Hal Schott, PhD who is also on the AERC Veterinary Committee.

The study will involve ultrasound exams of participating horses guts at the vet in at Soda Springs, at McCann Stadium if the horse finishes or at any vet check where the horse might be eliminated.

The purpose of the study is to see if pre-ride gut ultrasounds can predict a horse's performance. This is a non-invasive study, takes only 5 minutes, is funded by the Western States Trail Foundation, and may result in very significant findings.

We are hoping for at least 80-100 riders volunteering, but with four ultrasound teams, the researchers can accommodate as many horses as are available.

Read more about the study here.






Figured out which horse you’re going to ride yet?  Let the office know ASAP!  E-mail them at or call them at (530) 823-7282



Ride Week Schedule

(in brief, see packet for detailed version)

Monday, July 31... last day before the madness !

more trail

Tuesday, August 1 |Foreign, Signature, VIP BBQ, North Lot , 6 pm INVITATION ONLY !!

Wednesday, August 2 |Kathie Perry Endurance Capital Tile dedication at 4:30 in Auburn Town Square (details below), Riders BBQ, Gold Country Fairgrounds, Auburn - 6 pm, $7 per ticket, everyone welcome!

Friday, August 4 | 10 AM rider check-in begins at Soda Springs, 11 AM BBQ lunch, 12 noon – 6 PM vet check at the sheep pens, 5:45 dinner, 6:45 Ride Director's briefing (mandatory)

Saturday, August 5 | 62nd. running of the Tevis Cup, start 5:15 AM


Celebrate Kathie!

On August 2nd, join us at 4:00 PM at the Auburn Town Square at High St and Lincoln Wy (less than a mile from the Gold Country Fairgrounds ).  Here the city showcases its title as the Endurance Capital of the World. On display are many commemorative tiles honoring the founders and early supporters of the Tevis. The Endurance Capital Committee will welcome you with cold water  to drink and information about our ASRA trail system.

Promptly at 4:30 PM we will have the privilege of being present when Kathie Perry's many contributions to the sport of endurance riding and the Tevis will be celebrated and honored with the placement of a commemorative tile.



The following vendors will be at the start in Soda Springs;

and yet, more

American Trail Gear


Bill Gore Photography

Tevis Store

EEZ Keeper


Reactor Panel Saddles


Hought Endurance Tack




Following the Ride Live

The Western States Trail Foundation has a loyal group of volunteers who will be working hard to bring you up to date information during the ride weekend.

When the ride starts, there will be a link on the main website to the LIVE WEBCAST. That link will allow you to search the progress of a specific rider, information status by checkpoint, current leaders, and a list of pulled riders. New this year, you can even save a list of Favorites to make checking on their progress throughout the day more streamlined!

Get all the details on following the ride live here.



2017 Tevis Educational Ride - Wrap Up


Congratulations to all the riders who successfully completed the two days of the Tevis Educational Ride this year! Our records show that 19 of you are going on to ride the Tevis this year. Wow! Our best wishes for a safe and successful ride. Our hearts will be with you every step of the way. We also send our best wishes to the mentors who safely guided and shared so much knowledge with their riders. Many are also riding the Tevis this year.

Everyone who helped make the event a success this year has our deepest appreciation, respect, and gratitude. The whole was indeed greater than the sum of the parts. The final accounting is not complete but it looks like the event will net $15,000 +. All proceeds will go to the preservation of our national treasure, the Tevis trail.

Next year, look forward to the Tevis Fun Ride. In 2019 we will host the Tevis Educational Ride once again. Let's hope mother nature allows us to ride all the way from Robinson Flat to Auburn over two days.

Thank you,

Lori Stewart, Education Ride Manager

Tony Benedetti, WSTF President