Are you Ready for the 64th Tevis Cup?

Posted Thursday, July 25, 2019 9:07pm

The 64th TEVIS CUP is 2 WEEKS, 5 DAYS Away...


President’s Message

tonyThe 2019 Tevis Cup Ride is fast approaching and I look forward to seeing all the riders and spectators in a few weeks. The riders are planning their final training so that their horses are fit and ready. We just received information that there are only a few snow drifts remaining in Granite Chief and that they are expected to melt by race day. All the final planning and coordination by Chuck Stalley, the race director, is being completed as I write this article so that we are prepared to see everyone at Robie Equestrian Park on August 17th. 

If you are not a Signature Entry, please consider being one. The money generated from the Signature program really helps WSTF fund the work that helps maintain the Western States Trail for equestrians. Some of the long timers say the trail is in as good shape as they have ever seen it. So if you can afford it, please participate in the Signature program.

I also want to remind everyone to participate in the weight study. There has been a great deal of promotion for it and you should consider it. It will be great information for you individually and will help us better understand how to prepare and manage our horses in this sport.

I hope to see you on the starting line. Have a great day riding, crewing, or volunteering on the 64th Tevis Cup Ride.

Tony Benedetti



Ride Director’s Message

chuckWelcome to the 64th running of the Western States Trail Ride.

As we approach the August 17 Tevis date, I am pleased with the progress of the melting snow load in the high country, which will allow the ride to start at Robie Park. Trail maintenance has started in Granite Chief to repair water damage from the heavy snow fall last winter.

Temperatures in August will likely be high, so train appropriately and bring plenty of drinks for riders and crews.

The Tevis trail crew has the majority of the trail in the best ever condition and expect to have the entire trail ready for a great ride. As our annual trek from Tahoe to Auburn is merely a few weeks away. I would like to go over a few key points:

  • Rider parking passes, rule books, and rider number information (if available) will be mailed from Williams, California on or shortly before August 1st.
  • Riders in states outside of California, Nevada, and Oregon will not receive mailings. Rather, those packets are being held in Auburn at the Tevis office located at 150 Gum Lane, Suite C. Jean will be in the office full time from August 12-15 and can provide assistance to you if you need to pick up your passes or need anything else.
  • In case we don’t have the rider numbers when we mail the rule books and passes, the Rider Number list will also be available at once it is generated by the office.
  • In the interest of safety, we are again enforcing rules regarding riders using lights on the trail. You need to restrict your lights to 250 lumens or less, turn them off when asked by other riders, and turn them off when approaching riders in front of you.  Cup committee members will confiscate lights that are obviously too bright, so leave them at home.
  • All vet checks (except the one hour holds at Robinson and Foresthill) are designed to have a one-way flow for riders vetting their horses. Once you meet pulse criteria, the vet will examine your horse and ask you to trot away from him/her. If you are not called back, you will continue out of the trot lanes, remount your horse, and process through the out timer. There will be hay and mash past the out timer for additional “chow time.”

Again, we would encourage you to participate in the research study at this year’s Tevis:


This study is being conducted by Jerry Gillespie, DVM, professor at UC Davis, school of veterinary medicine. He and his colleagues will be conducting a study of weight loss in competing equine athletes.

Please register to participate in this important study HERE.

Home Weight:  The first step for the study is to complete a “home weight” for your horse before traveling to Tevis. You can complete the home weight form at the link above or print a document which you can fill out and turn in either at Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn or at Robie Equestrian Park – wherever you and your horse initially arrive.

Arrival Weight(s):  An equine scale will be set up at the Auburn Fairgrounds beginning on Saturday, August 10 (check at the Red Barn to find out where). If your initial arrival point is the Gold Country Fairgrounds, please weigh your horse within 12 hours.

All participating horses will also be weighed within 12 hours of arrival at Robie Park.  Please find the scale (near the Mansfield Arena) starting on Wednesday, August 14.

Start Weight:  After you have picked up your rider packet on Friday, August 16, proceed to the vet in to check your horse in to the ride. Once you are vetted in and your horse is numbered, please find the research team and the scale near the Mansfield Arena and they will get your horse’s start weight.

Ride Weights:  Horses will be weighed (without tack) after the vet checks at Robinson Flat, Foresthill and the finish.

Page 2 of the E-packet contains more detail about the logistics and purpose of the study.

Tevis is committed to learning more through research to help our athletic equine partners perform happily, efficiently, and successfully. Your participation is greatly appreciated, and the research committee has gathered some great incentives to entice you to participate in this study.

Parking at Robinson Flat and Foresthill remain tight this year. I ask that you and your crew drive carefully, and park as directed.  It would be wise to bring a pop up for shade. At least one or more of these places will put you in the hot August sun. Ride management has arranged for less space for parking in the shade at Foresthill making more room available for crews and horses in the shade. When you go to the Foresthill VC to leave your vehicle (any time after 10 am on Thursday, the 15th) follow directions given to you by the volunteers, so horses and riders can get needed rest in the shady areas.

This year’s event will feature some great food vendors:

  • Starting Friday at 11:00 am, a complete lunch is available for purchase for $10 at the Robie Park vending area. 
  • Friday’s dinner (a great carbo load for $15) at Robie starts at 5:45 pm and the mandatory pre-ride meeting starts at 6:45 pm. 
  • Maria’s Tacos will be cooking up delicious fare at Foresthill.
  • Fast Friday’s will serve beer and burgers at McCann Stadium Saturday night.
  • Los Establos will be making tacos at the Auburn Overlook on Saturday night for hungry crews awaiting the arrival of their riders.
  • Native Son’s will serve at the Wednesday Barbecue and a hearty Sunday morning breakfast in the Auburn fairgrounds’ stadium.

As is customary, the Cup Committee will be in the usual places along the trail to insure a fair and equitable competition.

Be sure to thank the volunteers and managers of the stops along the way as they thrive on the love from the riders! They literally work all year for this one day as they assist you on your way to Auburn.


Chuck Stalley

2019 Tevis Ride Director



Headlamp Policy

In the early days of 100 mile rides, riders would carry flashlights when riding at night. The problem was that riders couldn’t hold the flashlight still while riding. The bobbing light would bother the horses and give the riders motion sickness. Etiquette did evolve for the use of flashlights during this period. Riders did not ride upon other horses with their flashlight beam flashing about and riders turned their flashlight off when asked.. Flashlights were mostly used for an emergency or for equipment repair.

Now, there are LED headlamps. They weigh almost nothing, mount nicely to a rider’s helmet, and for under $25, one can be purchased with lumens ranging from 150 to 2,200. The use of these headlamps is displeasing to many riders as the lights have become more common and brighter. There are complaints that these lights scare horses when coming from behind, these lights make it difficult for other riders and the horses to see in the dark as the beams are blinding, and the lights make some riders motion sick. Some riders complain that these bright lights ruin the enjoyment and solitude of riding down the trail in the dark. This is a situation where the equipment of some riders ruins the enjoyment for other riders.

After many years of complaints, the Board of Governors is now addressing this issue. The BOG has decided to implement a rule limiting the size of lights/headlamps and educate riders to the etiquette of their use. Of course the use of headlamps for emergencies and equipment repairs is always acceptable. The Cup Committee will enforce the following rules regarding the use of headlamps/lights during the ride.

Headlamps or any other devices providing light during the Tevis Cup Ride are subject the following policy:

  • Headlamps shall not exceed 250 lumens.
  • Riders shall turn their headlamps off as they approach other horses and riders from behind.
  • Riders shall turn off headlamps at the request of other riders.
  • Glow sticks attached to the front of a horse are allowed.

The Cup Committee will monitor for lights that are too bright and ask riders to not use them. The Cup Committee will also address complaints about riders that are disrespectful with their use of headlamps. The intent of this rule is to find a middle ground where some lights can be used but not to the annoyance of other riders. 


Trails Update

trailThe Western States Trail Stewards have been working hard and the trail will be in great shape for 2019.

USFS and trail Steward crews are currently working the higher elevation trails through early August. We expect the last few remaining snow drifts to melt in the next couple of weeks.

ASRA and Auburn Mounted Patrol are working on clearing the final trees and trail on the California trail for safer night riding.

Please note that we do not recommend crossing the American River prior to Tevis day. Only on ride night do we have the flows reduced specially for the ride.

As always if you are local and are training on the trails and notice any trail maintenance issues please take note of the location with a mileage reference point and a please take photo to help the trails team address the issue as efficiently as possible. You can email those trail needs to or text them to Nicole (Chappell) Wertz at (916) 296-1461 or PM to Facebook page. 


Upcoming Events on the Western States Trail

If you are training on the trail, please take note of the following upcoming events and schedule your conditioning to respect these events/stay off the trail during them.

  • Sat 7/27 – Pioneer Spirit 50 : 50 mile running event going on in Cool to Auburn to Folsom at Beales point..
  • Sunday 7/28 – Blood, Sweat and Beers : VERY large 800 runners 5-10 mile event from Railhead Park to Robie and looping to China Bar and finishing at Railhead park. The Auburn Overlook is expected to be congested all weekend. 
  • Saturday 8/3 Twilight Trail Adventure Run Event : Auburn Overlook to China Bar/Cardia Hill
  • Saturday 8/10 - Sunday 8/11 Cool Moon Races : 100 mile run in Cool that will utilize a portion of the WST between Cool and No Hands Bridge

Thank you,

WS Trails Team


2019 Tracker Program

Riders!  Sign up for Track Leaders' SPOT GPS tracking (or use your own device) rental for the ride.  A live tracking map will reflect your progress on ride day – your crew, friends and family can see where you are at any point during the ride. 




Crissy Wilson Tadlock


Volunteers are still needed

If you want help make the 2019 Tevis Cup even more amazing - just click on the "How to Help” link on the Tevis website for more information and to sign up today. You’ll have a great time while helping make Tevis dreams come true!  








Are you riding TBD? 

Riders who have yet to name their horse are urged to do so.  It saves time at check-in, hassle for the office, and puts $25.00 back in your pocket!


Dreaming of Pen 1? 

Applications are required from all interested riders and due to the Tevis office (you can e-mail it in) by August 2.


Attention All Riders : Now is the time to upgrade and become a SIGNATURE RIDER!!

This is our continuing effort to provide enriched opportunities for riders that would like to give back to the trail that means so much to us all ! The $1,500 entry fee includes your buckle upon successful completion of the ride as well as a swag bag of wonderful goodies. It also includes an $800 letter of donation for your tax records.

Please see the entry online or sign up today.

We already have sixteen committed riders and our goal is 20.Help us reach that and know that you are participating in preservation and improvement of the world famous TEVIS TRAIL !!!!!


From the education committee:

ed ride
Dominique Cognee photography

Best Wishes for a safe ride to the participants at the Tevis Educational Ride who going on to ride Tevis in just a few weeks. A well-deserved $200 gift certificate to Taylored Tack will be yours when you receive your Tevis completion!

  • Courtney Bloomer
  • Alicia Campbell   Signature
  • Ken Campbell     Signature
  • Peter Davies
  • Cressy Drummond
  • Karen Gardella
  • Barbora Hoagland
  • Denise Meehan
  • Gayle Muench   Signature
  • Ashley Sansome   Signature
  • Robin Rush
  • Jaime Wedel
  • Jelena Woehr



Best of luck for a successful ride to this year's mentors who are riding Tevis! We all appreciate and respect you for so generously sharing your time, energy, and knowledge with this year's riders. 

Anyone from the Tevis Educational ride who isn't planning to ride Tevis - VOLUNTEER! Help at the ride. There is more to learn and more to enjoy!! Thank you!