Originally posted August 3rd, 2009 ~
Wowzeeeeee......what a weekend! I love this race and I live all of it in my head. Some romantic idea of the whole thing. A dream to accomplish one day. The closest I've gotten to it is to ride 3 50's and a few 25's. I'm a real novice when it comes to endurance but except for the one race Donna and I got off course, my horses finished in time and sound. I'm good with that.
Tevis is another story. I know that, having read and seen the statistics. I was lucky to help crew for Carl Bruno 2 years ago at Foresthill for a French rider named Phillipe Tomas on a horse named OSO Denmark. They came in 11th place and probably could have finished in the Top 10 had Phillipe known the trail into Auburn. The two other riders, Ed Spitzer and Carl Bruno (who's horse Phillipe was riding) did not make it that far. Ed's horse found a rock and was pulled at Red Star and Carl got stepped on by his horse before the start and had a broken foot. He pulled himself at Robinson. What they call "Rider Option". He was in pain. Ed has started this race some 5 times and never finished. That is not uncommon.
This year we offered to crew for Janine Esler, Diana Lundy, Tom Guise and James "Scott" Griffin. Our job was to feed the riders at Foresthill, so Tony and I made a huge pot of spagetti, salad and watermelon. Then we drove up to Foresthill, found the rest of the crew and waited. But, before then, I went to Robie Park on Friday with Tirzah to watch the vet checks (I didn't), Garrett Ford glue on EasyBoot Gloves on some 17 or more Tevis competitors and met up with Ed, my most favorite farrier from So. Calif.
Ed was my link to Tevis years ago when he would shoe Sabi & Tahoe. I always enjoyed when he came to do the horses, because it was such a pleasure to spend time with him and hear all about endurance. If I still put on steel shoes and lived down south, he would still be coming over. He's got such a great attitude about everything and I don't think I've ever heard him complain. Last year he got punched by a client horse and had broken several ribs. This was about 6 weeks before Tevis and he was going to ride, but the ride got canceled due to forest fires. He's planning on riding in 2010.
BTW, my favorite vendor!!!! Australian Connection!!
Beautiful barefoot hoof!
I think this is Goober Glue on the bottoms.
Vettec Adhere on the insides of the boot and the outside edges.
Sue Walz and Raven. Raven is a barefoot 100 Miler Kentucky Mountain Horse.
Sue's 11 year old Standard Poodle with Tirzah. Standards are on my "could own" list. I love the whites and cream colored in a puppy cut.
Dave Rabe checking in on the action. He finished in 33rd place with glued on Gloves. He is a high-mileage EasyBoot rider and probably no one has seen him ride in anything different than what he's wearing. I don't personally know him but he is a well-loved guy!
Here's the one horse I watched vetted at Robie. I was just so enthralled with the glueing of the boots. What I love about this sport is this rider isn't 20 years old (and if he is OOPS ~ please forgive me!!). This is a sport that virtually any age competes in and there seems to me a high percentage of riders (men & women equal) who are easily over 40 years old. Finishers in their 60's and 70's is very common. You can't say that about a lot of sports. Especially this kind that taxes everything you have for up to 24 hours of riding (not to mention the lack of sleep before and after the actual ride). The oldest rider to complete Tevis was 80 years old. The youngest was 11 years old. For more interesting trivia go to http://www.teviscup.org/stat_pages/historic_inline.html
There are, I think 15 vet checks thru-out this whole process not counting Best Conditon. Your horse has to pass the first one at Robie Park, prior to the ride. There are two one hour mandatory holds where your horse must pass a certain criteria. The horses are heavily monitored. You....that's another story.
On to Foresthill, which is the 70 mile mark. Janine and the 3 others weren't expected til after 5:30 pm. We got there around 3 pm and watched the first horses come in.
I believe this was the first horse in Foresthill ridden by Jeanette Mero, DVM. "Maksymillian". This team looked incredible and we all thought they would finish first. They were pulled at Lower Quarry (reason undetermined). Lower Quarry is 94 miles in. Ouch.
Gotta love your crew. I think without a good one, your chances of finishing in time probably drop a huge percent.
Here is the eventual winner K-Zar Emmanuel, ridden by Sarah Engsberg. This horse actually looked wiped coming into Foresthill, but apparently you never know, as each horse is so individual.
Marcia Smith on AM Sands of Time. She won Tevis (in a tie with Shellie Hatfield) in 1992, then again in 1997 and 2001. She came in 3rd this year.
You can tell Janine from a mile away. Diana is behind her. Her horse must have been whisked away to the water trough.
P & R's before we're off to feed and take care of horses and riders. Foresthill is the second mandatory 1 hour hold. Janine's friend Kathy is a vet, who's taking Kumait's pulse. Good crew member to have!
Yummy spaghetti!!! It looks like Janine's crop is still attached to her wrist. I wonder if she showered with it! Here is proof that she does wear long riding pants. Apparently I wasn't the only one to question it, as I heard someone say something to her on the way out.
Kumait getting tacked up again. (Already????) He looks like such a nice horse. His call name is Predator. I understand he's crazy at the beginning and no amount of training has gotten him under control. Janine doesn't even own this horse. The owner is terrified of him. Yeah...my kind of horse! Not!!
Glow sticks on the breastplate. From Foresthill to Auburn is dark unless you are in the top couple of horses. Tevis is usually run on the full moon, but this year is was only about 85% full and there was some cloud cover. Horses do see great in the dark, but for some people riding in the dark can cause extreme nauseousness. (This is my fear, not the cliffs!) For people who live and train in the area, they have an advantage because they know where they are going, as do the horses. Hal Hall who has many buckles lives at the end of the trail in Auburn Overlook so his horse always knows the way home. This year he didn't finish, but I understand he wasn't riding his usual horse. (??) I wouldn't want to have my house in Foresthill and have my horse say "Enough!" and not want to go the final 30 miles.
Here is Kumait on the way out to leave Foresthill with Kathy leading.
Here's T flingin' Janine up on her horse. She weighs about 90 lbs. with zero body fat. He almost tossed her on the other side. Good thing Kathy was on the other side! That would be a screwed reason to have to pull!!
Waiting for the timer to tell her she can go.
One final goodbye! I had a good feeling about our riders finishing. The weather was awesome and that really helps with the percentage of riders finishing.
Diana waiting for the call to go.
Two more riders to feed. Scott (#89), got pulled at Franciscos which is at 85 miles.
Tom (#92) finished at 4:56 am, 19 minutes before the cut-off. I might not feel very good, but I'd be happy with a finish that close. (9 riders finished after him.)
Here is the ceremonial finish line at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. The official finish is actually at the end of the trail at Auburn Overlook where you also take your horse for his nearly final vet check. From there, you go over to the stadium to make your final round where you're lucky if anyone waits up for you. Janine came in at 3:11 a.m. T and I had gone home from Foresthill to take care of the dogs, shower, then sleep. We got back just minutes before her and Diana came up out of the dark. Pretty cool.
Kumait and Janine. They came in 26th and Diana 27th.
Kumait and Janine. Look at those stands with one person looking on! Kumait looked amazing. I know Janine sobbed after she was done. These horses are real athletes and I know I felt so close to my horses having ridden my few races. There's nothing like that feeling and I can't even imagine how a Tevis rider feels about their horse after such an event.
If you aren't lucky enough to have access to the internet, this is the next best thing!
Potato Richardson making his final ride around the stadium. He received his 20th buckle and 2000 Mile Buckle this year. He won Tevis in 1998 on a tiny mare named Fille de Cailana, then again 2002 on SMR Fayette de Cameo. If someone knows how to ride and finish Tevis, he'd be the one!
Garrett Ford with his Glove'd horse Tahos Thunder. They finished 29th.
Dave Rabe finished 33rd on Double Zell. See....same outfit!!
Another horse with EasyBoot Gloves. So sorry I don't know who. Maybe Duncan McLaughlin or Kevin Myers? Garrett's glued on Gloves finished at 72% (13 out of 18 riders. What a great day for barefoot horses!!
This is EZ Silver Dollar, ridden by Matt Scribner. This is the horse that Janine and I tried to get T to buy this last year. Nice, nice horse. I asked T if he was sad and he said he was. They finished in 36th place. You snooze, you lose......
I don't know who this horse is, but he just was very pretty to me. I imagine he's a part-arab, seeing as he's a palomino.
On to the Awards Ceremony.
Julie Suhr gave out the buckles to all the finishers. What an icon. I have her book "Ten Feet Tall, Still" listed in my favorite books section. She has 22 buckles. Her daughter, Barbara White just completed her 29th Tevis. Wow. I had to take a picture with her. As a woman who has lived life to the fullest and has written a wonderful book of which all the proceeds go to the Western States Trails she is easily an idol of mine.
Tom's hard earned buckle. Someone like Potato or Barbara White, do they have 20 plus belts for all of their buckles? Or are there just so many you start finding them in the bathroom drawers or your tack box? They're bigger than life than the gizillion .29 cent dog show ribbons I have, so I suppose I'd have a special place for each and every one. If I ever get a Tevis buckle I will wear it. That's a given.
Janine, Tom and Diana with their buckles. This is Janine's 6th buckle.
A side note and a note of merit. Diana just ran and finished the Western States Run and came in 137 out of 238 finishers.http://ws100.com/home.html Apparently this is a first in the same year for someone to finish the run, then a month later, finish Tevis. She was feeling pretty peuky here and during the ride. Someone later told her she should have taken anti-nausea meds as she was a-peukin' for about 30 of the 100 miles. What a girl! I would have just fell off and died....Good job Diana!!
Diana's official Tevis picture.
Janine's official picture.
Here is 10th place, Mark Engemann with PR Comet.
9th Place, Jennifer Nice and BA Bearcat.
8th Place with Megan Doyle and Kanga Roo wearing EasyBoot Gloves.
7th Place, Christopher Baker and Zoltaan, who I believe is Potato's horse.
6th place, Tennessee Mahoney and Salty with EasyBoot Gloves.
5th Place, with Kathie Perry and Inkhogneto.
4th Place Bronwyn Swan without her horse Splashees Maskrade.
3rd Place, Marcia Smith and AM Sands of Time.
2nd Place Melissa Ribley DVM and LD Monique.
1st Place, Sarah Engsberg and K-Bar Emmanuel.
Sarah had a very touching story about riding this horse. Apparently he is owned by someone else, and the husband had died recently, but on his bucket list was to have this horse be ridden in Tevis. All he wanted was a finish for the horse. To hear the story and win the race brought tears to mine and everyone's eyes. He is a beautiful animal.
Love this horse!
The Haggin Cup is probably the most coveted award of this race next to winning it. Best Condition and most riders want that award. It is given to the horse with the best condition out of the Top 10 Finishers and not judged til Sunday. The basic criteria for all the vets who judge the horses is which horse is most fit to continue. Truly a great honor.
The winner of the Haggin Cup was Melissa Ribley, DVM and LD Monique. Congratulations to everyone!!
And, because Tirzah was there at the start.....Woof!!