The 64th Western States 100-Mile Trail Ride, aka Tevis Cup or simply Tevis, started 184 competitors at 5:15 a.m. on August 17. The trail begins at Robie Equestrian Park, near Truckee, California, and takes riders over, around and down many mountains, along narrow trails, in and out of canyons, through rivers, and across bridges in the infamous Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is a challenge for riders and their horses to reach the finish line in Auburn, California, within 24 hours. The competition is just as much, if not more, against the elements as each other.
The predawn start is staggered into two groups, or pens as they are called, with the more competitive, faster horses in the first pen. “It allows us to put the faster horses up front because there’s little opportunity to pass in the first 12 miles,” says Ride Director Chuck Stalley.