Tevis Cup returns, 133 horses take on 100-mile ride
Since 1955, riders have taken their horses across 100 miles of terrain on a race from Olympic Valley to Auburn.
After being canceled a year ago due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Tevis Cup returned Saturday, bringing 133 horses to the start line for one of the premier endurance riding events in the nation.
Riders and horses left Olympic Valley at 5 a.m., and shortly after 10 p.m. Jeremy Reynolds, of Florida, crossed the finish line in Auburn, winning his fourth Tevis Cup.
“I want to thank the whole community in Auburn and all of the Tevis board,” said Reynolds.This race is just so special, and the atmosphere — it’s just so fun to keep coming back.”
Reynolds would top the field of riders by more than an hour to take the win across a dusty, dry 100-mile course
“It’s a rocky son of a gun because people haven’t been using it and maintaining it,” said Race Director Chuck Stalley. “The Forest Service is doing other things. They’re up to their eyeballs in this fire stuff.”
Stalley said the 133 starters are down from usual years, which average 175 horses and can reach upward of 201 participants.
“It was a smaller year, but it was a little easier because of that because the trail was a little more open — not as much backup, not as many lines,” he said.
Stalley added that with around 70 horses not making it to the finish line in Auburn, this year’s race had a lower-than-usual finishing rate, something he attributed to the lack of competition for riders and horses in 2020.
“They haven’t been competing in the past year,” said Stalley. “They get a lot of conditioning from racing, and they just haven’t been competing. The ones that have been were the top horses. It takes a while to get all the way back.”
Christoph Schork, of Moab, Utah, was second, reaching the finish line at 11:13 p.m. Vicki Holzer, of Houston, Texas, was the top woman, coming in at 11:13 p.m. Jeanette Mero captured the Haggin Cup, which is awarded to the rider whose horse is in the “most superior physical condition” of the first 10 horses to cross the finish line.
Mero also rode with her daughter Reyna Mero. The two finished in sixth, and seventh place, respectively. The mother-daughter duo and Auburn’s Ann Hall, who completed the event for her 10th time, were the only three riders in the top 10 from California, something Stalley called unusual for a Tevis Cup.
“That’s not typical,” he said. “But that shows you how broad the base of competitors is.”
For full results, visit http://www.teviscup.org.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2643
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