Holiday greetings from the Western States Trail Foundation Board of Governors!
Congratulations to all of you who finished the Virtual Tevis. I was at No Hands Bridge and my horse went lame. Oh well, it was so popular that riders want us to do it again. That may happen.
All of us on the Board of Governors are hoping to put on a ride in 2021. I am optimistic. My infectious disease colleagues feel we may see a dramatic improvement in the Covid situation in the second quarter of the year. We are going to plan for a ride and make some alternative plans that might involve a smaller ride, less riders and less crew. Time will tell.
In the meantime, we as riders have a lot to be grateful for. We can socially distance better than almost anybody as long as the trails are open. We have a network of similarly crazy friends and most of us have memories to last a lifetime of the trail that brought us all together. The Tevis Trail.
Stay well and ask Saint Nick for a great vaccine. And when it come, take advantage.
Looking to the Future
If we learned anything over the past 10 months, is that we do all we can while we can and hope for the best. In that light, I want to share that the Tevis Ride Committee is fully committed to hosting the 65th annual Tevis Cup Ride, and we are in the process of setting up for the Ride as we speak. The Ride date for 2021 is July 24.
We would like to field as many entries as possible and look forward to receiving the blessings of local authorities all along the 100 mile route. We are not certain whether the Ride will be highly controlled or operating under “normal” conditions. The downloadable entry form will be on line on January 1, 2021. Due to current uncertainty, I would encourage you to enter at your earliest convenience just in case we are subject to a limited number of riders.
At this time, we are working with the US Forest Service on trail projects and USFS removal of hazardous trees in a 22 acre area around Robinson Flat. This is a work in progress, and may or may not affect the vet check at Robinson. Rest assured we are on the issue and much depends on the severity of the winter and ability of the agencies, the Run and the Ride to be flexible.
Have a safe and relaxing holiday season. Enjoy the blessings of this time of year. We are very excited to see the members of the Tevis community, the riders and Tevis supporters come together for the magic of the Western States Trail in July.
Remember WSTF on Giving Tuesday
At the core of our mission, the Western States Trail Endowment Foundation seeks to protect and preserve the ideals of the pioneering experience along the historic Western States Trail.
We are an experienced and committed band of equestrians, outdoor enthusiasts, and local residents and officials, working year-round to apply our passion to enable folks of all ages - both national and international - to successfully cross the Sierra in the footsteps of the pioneers. To experience the rugged beauty of the ridgelines and canyons – unchanged now for more than a century.
But without our supportive members, partners, and donors, our mission would be hard to sustain. Ongoing projects and challenges for the foundation include multiple trail upgrades and repairs, ensuring continued trail access (easements and acquisitions) and annual financial support to the Tevis Cup itself. For a multiplying effect, we are strengthening our collaborations with a broad range of Western States Trail stakeholders – The US Forest Service, The Gold Country Fairgrounds, the Western States Endurance Run, and the Auburn State Recreation Area. Of particular pride is our support to the veterinary study of our amazing equines during the course of the ride each year – including a weight-loss study during the 2019 event. Collectively, these efforts help to sustain the vision of our founders - to preserve the historic significance of the WST route and encourage people to return to a simple life perhaps furthering their appreciation of nature, history and the outdoors through the humane use of horses.
Please consider supporting the Western States Trail Endowment Foundation by joining with the global generosity movement of “Giving Tuesday”, celebrated this year on Tuesday 1 December. This movement seeks to unleash the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and their world. You can donate directly to WSTF via Paypal HERE. Or you can always mail a check to the office - WSTF 150 A Gum Lane, #103, Auburn, CA, 95603.
Tevis Store HOLIDAY SALE!
The Tevis Store invites one and all to shop for Christmas!
Use code XMAS25 from Dec 1 through Dec 15 and receive 25% off all orders.
A Bright Spot - the 2020 Virtual Tevis Cup
We have so much to be thankful for.
Of course, looking back on the events of 2020, many folks may not feel this way, and rightfully so. The year has been fraught with emotional triggers. Pandemic, politics, economics, environment, personal health and well-being. But there really is a bright spot to each stressor. We just have to look for it.
At WSTF, I think we all had a bit of a desperate feeling of dread when we made the decision in April to cancel the 65th annual Tevis Cup ride slated for August 1, 2020.
While the ride itself does not bring in a lot of money, as it’s a huge financial outlay to put it on, it does illicit revenue via donations and associated activities. None of those were going to happen and like so many other organizations effected by Covid-19 we asked, “How will we pay our bills?”
Then our by bright spot made its appearance. One of our BOG members suggested that we host a virtual Tevis. Instead of 100 miles in one day, we would do 100 miles in 100 days. Your trails, your equine, your speed.
The event was slated to start on August 1 (the date the actual ride was to occur on) and end on November 9th . We set up a riding, and a non-riding division. Just like the Tevis Cup you had to complete the 100 miles on one horse. The non-riding division allowed walking, running, hiking, cycling, swimming, etc. Pretty much any type of physical activity, but for 100 miles.
We watched tentatively as the registration started. There was even a side bet among the BOGs for tacos as to whether we would reach 1500 entries.
Tevis fans insured that the taco lover in the group would not go wanting. As of this writing, we have 1637 total participants. 1388 in the riding division and 285 in the non-riding division. Participants are from 12 different countries, with an age range from four years old to the mid 80s.
We had to change the event midway through and extend the completion deadline beyond 100 days. This was due to the poor air quality from the multiple wildland fires that plagued the western states in August and September. Tevis fans continued to endure. You hunkered down, took care of your ponies and once the air cleared and their lungs recovered, you hit the trail again.
As a remembrance of the virtual ride, each participant completing the trail will receive a long sleeve T-shirt designed specifically for the event, and a virtual Tevis buckle sticker, also created just for the event. International participants will receive a bandanna with a similar design to the T-shirt and the sticker.
The event has its own Facebook page where folks have shared their ride stories along the hundred mile journey. As they record their miles and log into the race organization site, they can read about the various landmarks and points of interest as they virtually complete the Tevis Trail.
If you do the math with our $65 registration fee and 1600+ participants, you’ll come up with a number fatter than a Thanksgiving turkey. Out of that number we still have to buy shirts and stickers, pay postage and the race organizing site, etc., but we still had a nice piece of the pie. And the whip cream on that pie? More than $15,000 in just good old-fashioned cash donations for WSTF. The Virtual Tevis Cup ride has been a hit, and has really helped WSTF with some large expenses and trail improvement projects. We are looking at the possibility of making it an annual event and welcome the input and suggestions of all.
As I round this out, your BOG elves are busy stuffing T-shirts and bandannas into envelopes so that the first group of completion awards can be mailed next week, and continue throughout the end of the event on 12-31-2020.
Thank you Tevis fans. You are our bright spot.
Tevis Educational Ride – July 2-4, 2021
We have approval from USFS, stay tuned for updates.