The Western States Trail Ride, called the Tevis Cup Ride, is a 100-mile endurance ride, held annually since August 1955.
The ride organizer, Wendell Robie, an Auburn businessman, and some friends covered the rugged trail of the Sierra Mountains from Lake Tahoe to Auburn in a single day on horseback. Much of the trail is along narrow mountain trails through rugged wilderness, with narrow switchbacks, edged by thousand-foot drops, climbing 50-degree inclines and crossing bridges. Safety is first to both the horse and rider, with many vets along the trail to check the condition and hydration of the horse.
Conditioning the horse adequately is important as well as having a strategy to finish Tevis. “To Finish Tevis is to Win” is a logo of many riders.
Sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC), the Tevis Cup Ride starts at the Robie Equestrian Park near Truckee, Calif. Each rider completing the ride within the 24-hour limit, and whose mount is "fit to continue," is awarded a Completion Buckle. The Tevis Cup Trophy, named for Lloyd Tevis (1824 - 1899), is awarded to the person who completes the ride in the shortest amount of time and whose horse is in sound condition and "fit to continue."
The Haggin Cup, named for James Ben Ali Haggin (1821 – 1914), is awarded to the rider whose horse is in the "most superior physical condition" of the first 10 horses to cross the finish line. The Josephine Stedem Scripps Foundation Cup was established in 1994 to recognize each of the finishing Junior Riders for their special achievement.
Brenda Messick and Virginia Prey participated in the Tevis Educational Ride on June 1-2, 2013, experiencing 70 miles at a slower pace. Each group of 2-3 riders had an experienced Tevis guide. Each evening, speakers talked on related topics. Riding earned mileage credit toward the 300-mile requirement for Tevis.
The Western States Trail Foundation was established to preserve the 100-mile trail and the Ride. Check out the Tevis Cup Ride at www.teviscup.org.