Meet the NEW Board of Governors Members!

Posted Sunday, November 10, 2019 6:11pm



I am Nanci Gabri and my husband and I moved to Foresthill because of the Western States Trail.  We were up every weekend running the trails training for Western States 100 mile run.  I completed the run 2 times.

We originated the Lyon’s Ridge aid station for the run and worked there for more than ten years. Also, we originated the Lyon Ridge aid station for the ride.  In the beginning it was water only and grew from there.  Time passes after a few years  my knees got tired, so I decided to have four legs do the work for me.  During my childhood my father used to take me with him when he would go riding in the high country and I loved it.  it was an easy transition for me to go from running the trails to riding them.  I have completed Tevis 12 times and I have also completed Virginia City 10 times.  One of my favorite memories from Tevis goes back to 2004 when I had 3 of our horses in the ride and all 3 horses finished together.  I feel very honored to be on the Tevis board. My passion is for the trail and I hope that I am able to make a contribution to keeping the ride a true trail ride for everyone to enjoy.  



Hi endurance family! My name is Melissa Formica and I live in Wilton, CA. I am an operating room nurse, currently working on my master’s for nurse practitioner. I’m so excited for this opportunity to give back and serve on the board for this ride that has meant so much to me throughout my life. I started riding when I was 8 years old at Knicker Knob Stables in Loomis. My instructor was Terry Haney who herself has 10 Tevis buckles including a top ten finish. I was destined with her mentoring to fall in love with endurance and the Western States Trail. When I was 12, she came to me and asked me if I wanted to do Tevis. I started training that fall for the following year. I rode with Matt Scribner as my sponsor that following year, completing a few 50’s then entering that infamous ride. I made it to Foresthill, but with “watch right front” all over my vet card, the vets didn’t want to send me out into the dark on an iffy horse, I was pulled. That moment was the biggest gut check I had ever experienced in my young life but it was also the moment that bore a sense of determination, obsession, love, and respect for this ride. I didn’t attempt Tevis again for 20 years after that. I got married, had kids and went to school to become a nurse. After moving away for awhile I came back to CA and picked up where I left off. Purchasing my heart horse Twilight and loving every attempt and chance I’ve had to be back out on that trail, each ride trying to get better. She has given me 2 buckles so far. Every time I get to that start line I think of that moment as a 13-year-old and just thank my lucky stars that I’m there at all. I love my endurance family, it’s been a pivotal part of my life, my best friends are horse people and always will be. I will do everything I am able to support and protect this ride and its legacy, thank you again for the opportunity! 




My name is Abigail Madden.  I was born in Oroville, CA and now live in Corning, CA.  I have been a Police Officer with the City of Chico Police Department for the last 26 years.  I was always a “horse crazy” kid and that interest never waned into adulthood.  In 1996 I was seriously injured at work and during my rehab I met some folks that introduced me to endurance, and I began conditioning their horses.  Shortly thereafter I discovered The Tevis Cup and a dream was born.  Unfortunately, my career path made it very difficult to attend endurance rides.  I rode when I could and volunteered when I couldn’t ride.  I have crewed at Tevis several times and have volunteered for the last two years.  In 2014 I started riding a lovely mule that carried me to a Tevis completion in 2016.

The Tevis Cup is a magical event to me.  The foundation, that very first ride that Wendell Robie made is the epitome of the thriving human spirit.  One person wondering if a challenge can be met, then seeing it to fruition.

I’m excited to be a part of the BOG.  I want to help ensure that the Western States Trail is preserved for future generations to enjoy, and make the ride challenging, but without imprudent risk to equines and humans.



Thank you for considering me for the Tevis Board of Governors. My Tevis story starts in 1974 when I crewed for my mother Betty Cherry. I thought once was enough of that so the next year I figured out a way to ride. I leased a horse from Cliff Lewis for $1/mile plus $25 for the shoes which paid off with my first buckle on my first endurance ride.  I was in college at the time and not very flush, so I got permission from Wendell to make t-shirts of the buckle which I sold in order to finance the adventure. Mom and I went upstairs to his office at the bank where I gave shirts to Wendell and Dru and got to experience The Handshake. I moved to Colorado in 1976 but returned twice in the ‘90’s for two more successful finishes. Recently I have racked up four years working the Chicken Hawk vet check. 

In general, I have just under 6,000 endurance miles on top of several years of NATRC riding before that. I lived in Colorado for over 40 years and was very involved with the Mountain Region Endurance Riders club as an officer or board member.  I helped with such club functions as putting on rides, conventions and clinics. I continue to travel back to Denver every winter to emcee the convention and see my friends. Starting in 1983 I worked for Dave Nicholson for nine years as the ride secretary for the XP rides back in the point-to-point days, certainly times of high adventure!  In the 2000’s I did three tours as chef d’equipe for the Mountain Zone at various PanAm/North American FEI championship rides. 

In 2017 I moved to Cool, CA as I did not have any family left in CO, had had enough of the weather and encroaching development. I am now on the board of the Gold Country Endurance Riders, have helped on their ride, and hosted a Centered Riding clinic with Becky Hart. 

As a regional outsider I have the perspective of how other parts of the country view the Tevis. This is the ride that gets people hooked and into the sport of endurance riding like no other event. The sport needs this ride.