April Showers Bring...[April 2018 Newsletter]

Posted Friday, April 20, 2018 9:04pm

Enter the Ride!

The sun is shining (most places), winter coats are carpeting the cross ties, miles are being covered and it’s time to make the plan.












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President’s Message

Preparations for the 63rd Tevis Cup Ride are well underway. While the Sierra Nevada is currently snow covered, we are confident that we will use the traditional starting point at Robie Equestrian Park for the 2018 ride.  Our ride director, Chuck Stalley, and his ride committee are putting all the final pieces of the ride together. Trail crews are poised to start work as they wait for the last storms of the season to roll through. All indications are that this is going to be a good year for the Tevis. I look forward to seeing everyone up at Robie on July 27th.

Tony Benedetti




Ride Director’s Message

I would like to announce that Tevis is offering a limited number of sponsored "free" entries to the juniors who enter the 2018 ride with an adult sponsor.  This year, the Junior Rider "free" entry is for any junior who has NOT already completed the Tevis.  Also, juniors are now defined as 12-17 years old.  Eighteen year olds now ride as an adult and are allowed to sponsor a junior rider.   So juniors, identify your adult sponsor and send in your entry while the "free" entries last.

For all the riders out there who want to "ride, really ride," get those entries in for the 2018 Western States Trail Ride.  We are joyful to be back at Robie Park for base camp and riding the traditional trail to Auburn.  If you aren't ready or able to ride, join a crew or volunteer for the adventure of a lifetime.  See you on the trails. . . 

Chuck Stalley


Trails Update

The Tevis Trail Team has been documenting all reports coming in for trail areas in need of work so far. Please continue to report locations, photos and scouting time to wstftrail@gmail.com or to Nicole Wertz's Facebook page.

This year the WSTF is teaming up with Placer County Sheriff work program to work on trail maintenance. Major trail repairs will still be done mostly by volunteers. Please keep an eye on the Tevis Facebook page and website for trail work dates to be announced. Work dates sponsored by our partner the Western States Endurance Run are currently published and available for signing up at wstrail.org.

2018 Tevis Trail work locations to date: 

  • Minor Bridge plank replacements on single track between Robie park and Hwy89 crossing
  • WSTF will hire a Conservation group who will be working in the GCW area near where Hodgkins cabin used to be June 18-25th
  • Robinson Flat: We have permission to add a gravel one way in/out path to the well to use during the ride
  • Dardanelle’s Creek Crossing: Armoring and repairs to be completed prior to Tevis Fun Ride
  • FH to Francisco’s: Trail is in need of general brushing
  • 2 miles prior to Francisco’s  – tread repair/trail reinforcement needed in two locations 
  • Francisco’s to Poverty Bar River Crossing – Brushing, minor tread work, downed trees
  • Hwy49 crossing to Finish – brushing, tread repairs, tree trimming

Upcoming Events on/near WST/Auburn trails: 

  • April 14: K2 Challenge 6 hour Run (Confluence to Training Hill Loop)
  • April 21: Folsom Lake Trail 50k Run (Folsom Point to Salmon Falls and back)
  • April 21: American River Endurance Horse Ride 50miles (Granite Bay to Auburn to Cool and back)
  • April 28: The Canyons 100k Run (Foresthill to Swinging Bridge and FH to Rucky Chuck and back)

Nicole Wertz, WSTF Trails Chair


Veterinary Update

Doing preliminary studies at the Virginia City 100 and Cooley Ranch Two-day Ride last year, Dr. Jerry Gillespie and his team from UC Davis found a significant degree of dehydration occurred in horses during transport to the ride.

The Western States Trail Foundation Board of Govenors has voted to conduct additional study of this subject at the 2018 Tevis Cup.  Please read the note from Dr. Jerry Gillespie below for more detail.

Dr. Melissa Esser, DVM presented preliminary results of the gut motility ultrasound study done by her team from Michigan State University at last year's Tevis. She has written an excellent article that will be published in this year's Tevis Forum.

And special thanks to Affordable RV for again providing the trailers for our hard working vets at the ride in 2018!

Jeff Herten
Chairman, Veterinary Committee






2018 Dehydration Study is a Go!

Dear 2018 Tevis Riders: 

Following the favorable action of the Tevis Board, this past weekend, we are now going forward with detailed planning and organizing our study of Dehydration in Horses Traveling to the Tevis and During the 2018 Tevis Competition.  The study has been fully approved and funded by AERC and by the Western States Trail Foundation (WSTF).  We are obviously grateful to our sponsors and excited to go forward with this study, which we believe can add to riders’ understanding of their horses’ response to endurance competition.  AERC’s and WSTF’s approval was based in part on the travel-dehydration and competition-dehydration that we have shown in previous studies at the 2016 Cooley Ranch Ride and the 2017 Virginia City – 100 Ride.  With your participation at this year’s Tevis, we hope to be able to learn more details about the cause and effects of dehydration in endurance horses during travel and during competition---and their recovery during the 24 hour period after the ride.    

It is important for you to know that our two scales are accurate, safe and fast.  We have developed a system that essentially every horse accepts, and we can collect their body weight safely in a manner if seconds.  Our scales were designed specifically for research on horses during endurance rides.

We have found that riders appreciate knowing how their horse is doing prior to, during and following the ride.  We will make sure you are given your horses weight at every weigh-point, and a full accounting of his/her weight will be sent you after the ride. 


Here are factors that are essential to the success of the study:

  1. Rider and horse participation.  Critical to the study will be a complete set of accurate weight data beginning with home-stable weights of horses prior to departing for their travel to the Tevis venue; Followed by participation in weighing prior to, during and following the Tevis ride.   Rider participation is voluntary, but of course we want all riders/horses to be a part of the study.  It is NOT necessary for you to weigh your horse at every Weigh Point to be a part of the study, BUT you and the study will have better information if you weigh at every point. 
  2. Researchers and Ride Management Collaboration throughout the study.  Every aspect of our planning and execution of the study is being coordinated with Chuck Stalley, Tevis Trail Manager, and he is working to assure that our planning is in sync with all sectors of the 2018 Tevis.  It is critical that our weight data collection be non-intrusive to the flow and enjoyment of the ride.  What we hope for is to have arrangements such that Riders look forward to having their horses weighed at each weigh point.
  3. Plan, Plan; Execute, Execute; We will have experienced and dedicated research volunteers, most of whom have been a part of our studies at 3 previous rides.  We are planning to have logistics for our research team worked out in detail to assure smooth data collection at every point in the study.
  4. Here are current plans for “WEIGH POINTS,” at which we plan to have two scales at the Tevis venue:
    1. Home stable weights---This is critical to the study and depends entirely on riders going that “extra mile” to find an appropriate scale in their home-stable neighborhood and weighing their horse within a week of departing for the Tevis (more on this in a later communication).
    2. Arrival Weights---we will be prepared to collect weights beginning Wednesday prior to the Tevis weekend at Auburn Fair Grounds and/or at Robie Park.
    3. Start Weights---collected on each horse the evening before start of Ride at Robie Park.
    4. Robinson Flat---Two scales positioned to catch the weights of horses without delay.
    5. Foresthill---Two scales positioned to catch the weights of horses without delay.
    6. Finish---Auburn Fair Grounds
    7. 24 hrs. after finish---Auburn Fair Grounds
    8. Provide each participant-rider their horses’ weights throughout the study. Special recognition for those riders that gather weights at every weigh Point (including home-stable weights).
    9. Report find
      ings to AERC and science literature.

Contact me or Chuck if you have questions about the Tevis Dehydration Study.  I want to help those Tevis riders who are willing to collect home-stable weights.  You can do this!

More to come on the background and objectives of the study.

Dr. Jerry Gillespie


Alert - Air Med Care Network membership costs going up June 1 - join now!

On-Line Enrollment: www.AirMedCareNetwork.com/msm/Sonja-Conklin

Enter Group Code: 10973-CA-BUS




Tevis Fun Ride Bonus!

There will be a Kelly Williams Stehman Endurance and Limited Distance Clinic at the Tevis Family Fun Ride on Sunday, May 20th

Join us at 1:00 - 3:00 PM at the mill site at Foresthill Rd and Bath Rd, Foresthill Ca.

clinicFree to Tevis Fun ride participants, 4-H members, Pony Club Members
Horses already on site will be used for demonstrations

Kelly Williams Stehman, Clinician
Kelly's passion for the sport of endurance riding is infectious! She started first as a young junior riding limited distance in 2000, then took on 50
milers beginning in 2005, and now she coaches, trains, instructs, and competes in endurance distances up to 100 miles in one day. Kelly will
share her love for the sport, the beautiful trails she is blessed to ride and how to take on the big challenge: To Finish Is To Win!
Come join Kelly at the Tevis Family Fun Ride and have fun learning!






Preserving the Past


As we approach the 65th Anniversary of the Western States 100 Mile Trail Ride, many individuals in our community have begun to ask “How we will celebrate this monumental anniversary and preserve the WST legacy for future generations?”

One goal would be the creation of a Western States Trail Museum. The WST foundation is working on a project to collect an archive of awards, photographs and memorabilia, particularly those in danger of being damaged or lost if not properly preserved. 

Do you have Tevis or Western States Run memorabilia that you would like to donate? Can you help with research and planning activities? If so, we need your help! Please contact Terry Reed (530-852-2111, hrAFlame@hotmail.com) for more information.





jackieVolunteer Spotlight

This issue we are spotlighting Jackie Rice!  We asked her to tell us about her experiences volunteering at the Tevis Cup:

“I volunteered at the Tevis for the first time in summer 2017, working at Robinson Flat. I drove from Oregon to be there and it was so worth it to be immersed in horses and horse people for the weekend, and feeling like you made a difference to a successful event.  Be careful, it may leave you wanting to ride the Tevis, or crew, or just come back year after year to volunteer.  I highly recommend you try volunteering at least once!  You may get hooked like I am.”






Breaking News!

Are you 60 Years of age or older?

Would you like to win an entry to the 2017 Tevis Cup Ride?

Through the generous donation of a fellow horseman WSTF is offering an entry to the world famous Tevis Cup 100 Mile Ride.  The entry will be awarded to a First-Time Rider that is 60 years of age or older who has successfully completed the Tevis Cup mileage requirement as of May 1, 2017. 

We want to hear about your dream of riding the Tevis Cup!

To enter the contest, in 500 words or less tell us about yourself, your horse and your journey together as a team.  Please share the experiences that you feel have prepared you for this challenge.  Let us know the impact this entry will have on reaching your dream of participating in the legendary Tevis Cup. 

Entries must be postmarked by May 20th, 2017.  The winning rider will officially be announced on June 7th  2017.