The Robie Run

Posted Thursday, June 6, 2019 4:06pm

“Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire.  It is a grand passion.  It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.”  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are reading this article, you know exactly what Emerson meant. 

Horses have been inspiring humans for centuries, and those that reach the pinnacle of the Wendell Robie Trophy - signifying five completions of the Tevis Cup - are demonstrably special individuals.  Here we present the stories of two such creatures, both of which will be at the starting line (fingers crossed), ready to add their names to the trophy in 2019.

LS Steele Breeze ("Breezy") - Remington Steele x LS Shareem

[written by Erin Glassman]

You may have to train your ears to listen for one of the latest horses competing in the race for her 500th Tevis mile.

Robie Cup contender LS Steele Breeze15, Breezy, lost her voice due to a bout with strangles as a yearling.

Owner Connie Creech says that “people laugh at her whinny—it comes out as a whisper.”

Breezy’s endurance career, however, is no laughing matter.

Born and bred on Creech’s farm in 2000, the grey ⅞ Arabian mare was raised specifically to do endurance. Her current lifetime accumulation of 4,690 AERC miles reflects her inherent talent that also includes a propensity for 100 mile rides.

“Breezy has completed seventeen 100 mile rides, six of those at the Virginia City 100 and four at Tevis,” states Creech. “She is a strong and steady horse.”

breezy rock
Breezy and Connie on Cougar Rock in 2009 | Hughes Photography

 

 

 

2019’s attempt at Breezy’s Tevis 100 is special not only in that once finished she will have had her 5th completion and Robie Cup award but also because it will help fulfill a dream for one of our junior riders in endurance.

“Last year, Breezy teamed up with 13 year old Riley McHenry to finish the NASTR Triple Crown, including the Virginia City 100. Riley’s dream is to ride Tevis and what better way to fulfill that dream than to ride {Breezy} at Tevis in pursuit of the Cup!” beams Creech.

The duo is off to a good start this year already after completing 3-50s and a pioneer ride of 155 miles. Training goals, according to Creech, are heat training while taking care to keep her at a modest pace to avoid extra strain on her legs.

Past completions also have a part in their conditioning program; Creech attributes them to having a good solid base.

“We seldom race, which I think has contributed to her longevity and soundness,” reflects

Creech. “I do always try to condition her harder than I would ride her on ride day. We have the good fortune as well to live close to and train in the Sierra Mountains.”

The strategy of conserving Breezy’s energy has worked well for Creech in their 2009, 2010,

2011 and 2014 Tevis completions.

“We often take 22-24 hours to complete, taking advantage of her tremendous downhill walk.

She eats up the canyons and always finishes strong and happy!” Creech remarks. “In addition to being the sweetest and most affectionate horse, she’s smart and knows that trail.”

If past tradition continues for Breezy, early morning this upcoming August 18th, many people will eagerly await the arrival of the 19 year old mare and her young rider Riley, fastidiously getting another 100 miles under their belts.

While you may have to listen hard for Breezy to announce her arrival, you can be sure that the cheers of an anxiously awaiting crowd greeting one of the newest Robie Cup recipients will be heard.

Monk: Another Tevis Finish Means Robie Cup

[written by Jaya Mae Gregory]

I first saw Monk during the Haggin Cup judging a few years ago. It was a year I had not finished the Tevis Cup myself and so I was rested well enough to enjoy the judging. His rider, Lindsay Graham Fisher, was a fit and young 30-something. She trotted him out with grace and ease, but he didn’t show as well as the other horses. “He doesn’t trot like a normal Arab, but that’s just him,” says Lindsay. Those who know him best call his trot the “Monk Shuffle.” According to Lindsay, there is no wasted movement in his gaits.

Lindsay first began riding Monk about 10 years ago. The now 17-year-old CMK Arab surprised his rider and owner when he casually trotted to a first place finish at the 2009 AERC National Championship. “We just cruised to first place completely by accident,” said Lindsay. “It was a very humbling experience. That was when I knew what kind of horse I had underneath me.”

monk galzer
MONK and Lindsay under the Swinging Bridge in 2017 | Lynn Glazer Photography

 

 

Since 2009, Monk has completed several AERC and FEI rides. In 2012, Monk finished strong after 100 miles at the President’s Cup in Abu Dhabi. “He looked like a million bucks.” But then he went off to Texas and injured his suspensory. Monk suffered a 50% tear in the ligament, an injury which should have been career ending. However, Monk’s owner, Chris Martin, sent him to UC Davis for stem cell therapy. He was off the rest of 2012 and 2013, but came back strong in 2014.

Since recovering from his injury, Monk has finished the Tevis Cup with his rider Lindsay four consecutive times. Four consecutive times, all in the Top Ten. This year, Monk could not only earn the Robie Cup honor, awarded to those horses who have five Tevis Cup finishes, but if he also finishes in the Top Ten again, he could be the second horse to earn this honor five consecutive years all in the Top Ten, after the horse Wetezarif.

When asked about their secret to success, Lindsay replied, “He gets to just be a horse. He has intense training, but he also gets to just be a horse. He is always ready to go all season. He is always moving, he is always fit.” Owner Chris Martin has Monk living out on several acres and he carefully monitors his weight. He also incorporates a lot of hill work into Monk’s training and does a lot of conditioning miles without the weight of a rider. All of this has proven to work for Monk in the past, and hopefully, his ride through the Tevis Cup this coming August will be another success and earn him the honor of the Robie Cup award.

Regardless of whether or not Monk finishes the Tevis Cup this year, however, he will always hold a permanent place in Lindsay’s heart. “I just feel really lucky that he came into my life. I thought it was going to be a short one or two year thing and even though he’s not my horse, he feels like my horse. [One day] He will get to live out his life with me and get to be loved on by my kids. He’s a very special horse.”