100-mile trek: Riders ready for Tevis Cup on Saturday

Riders make their way toward Olympic Valley after crossing Highway 89 near the start of the Tevis Cup.
Justin Scacco /

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The oldest endurance ride is returning this weekend, bringing more than 120 horses and their owners to Truckee for the annual Tevis Cup.

First organized in the 1955 by Auburn businessman Wendell Robie, the Tevis Cup follows rugged terrain from Robie Park in Reno to the finish line 100 miles away in Auburn.

“Putting on the Tevis is an intricate, complex, exacting process,” said president Jeff Herten. “Behind the 700-odd volunteers each with a vital job, there are vet stop head volunteers each with a mission and a plan. In the background, there is a 30-odd member board of governors that meet and plan year round to make this event the ride of a lifetime for well over a hundred riders from all over the world. Almost all of those governors have silver buckles, several have dozens. They know what it means to challenge this trail and finish in the wee hours at McCann Stadium.”

Aside from making the 100-mile trek through Truckee into Auburn, some of the horses in the field will also take part in a clinical trial to determine if intravenous fluids the day before the ride affect hydration status and elimination from the event. Endurance horses are given intravenous fluids at many large competitions around the world, according to Tevis Cup organizers. The benefits, however, are largely unknown and it’s unclear whether treatment offers an advantage to specific horses or has little to no effect on hydration and finishing the race.

Horses will participate in a blinded, randomized trial in which blood samples will be collected before the ride, at points during the ride, and at the finish line.

This year’s field of participants includes a local woman Phyllis Keller, who will be riding an Arabian named Curious George.

The field of riders also includes last year’s winner Jeremy Reynolds, of Greenwood, along with seven of others who finished the 2021 race in the top 10. Reynolds left Robie Park at 5:15 a.m. and reached the finish line at 10:03 p.m. Additionally, Alpine’s Peter Davies, who last year became the oldest rider to finish the Tevis Cup at age 81, is slated to compete on Saturday with his Arabian FF Fargo.

The race is organized by the nonprofit, Western States Trail Foundation, which works to preserve and improve the route to Auburn. Riders will take off Saturday at 5:15 a.m. from Robie Park and will reach McCAnn Stadium in Auburn later that night and into the early hours of the morning. Riders that compete the course within 24 hours and whose mount is judged “fit to continue” earn a silver completion award buckle.

The Tevis Cup trophy is given to the person that competes the course in the shortest amount of time and whose horse is in sound condition. The other major trophy handed out, the Haggin Cup, is given to the rider whose horse reaches the finish line in the “most superior physical condition.”

The 66th annual Tevis Cup can be viewed online via a webcast and rider tracking at

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