Monday, August 3, 2009

The Tevis Cup

For those of you who don't know, this weekend, August 1st, was the 54th Tevis Cup Ride. 100 miles in One Day, from Truckee to Auburn California. Most people I know have never heard of it, but for a growing group of riders this is the greatest test of horse and horsemanship to ever exisit. In preparation for this year's event I read Marnye Langer's book, "The Tevis Cup-To Finish is To Win". I cried all the way through the book, as I reflected on those familiar checkpoints and all the emotions that riders and crew experience as they face this ultimate challenge. I was unable to attend this year because my niece was getting married that day. I had those horses and riders, vets and volunteers in my thoughts all day. As we went home from an evening of dancing and celebrating, I couldn't help but look up at the moon and try to imagine the riders who had been on the trail since 5 am. Now, just after midnight, they were on the last 25 mile leg of their journey under the same moonlight. I tuned in to the webcast and checked out the riders progress and photos throughout the weekend. I saw the familiar face of my old friend Erasmo Sauceda. It was his wife, Carol, that got me riding again as an adult and introduced me to the world of endurance and the Tevis in particular. I'm hooked. I have a great deal of admiration for anyone who would take the time to condition and prepare for that ride. It's not something to take lightly. I have heard of people entering the ride on a whim; they are usually pulled in the first 25 miles. My only personal experience with the Tevis, so far, is camping overnight to watch the start, and crewing one year for my friend Carol. She was pulled that year just before Foresthill, around 68 miles into the ride. I lived in that area for thirteen years, and rode my horses in similar terrain, but only for twenty-five miles at the most. I hope to volunteer for future rides and even ride parts of the trail with Calico someday. Once the Tevis is in your blood, it's hard to shake it.

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