Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Tevis Story: Endurance riding making comeback

Endurance riding making comeback

MONTAGUE - Yvonne Underwood discovered Endurance Riding 25 years ago through a friend.

If the idea of a sport that requires you to prepare for months in advance, building up yourself and your horses' strength and abilities steadily, involving lots of traveling, entrance fees and medical inspections with the final culmination being a physical token that says 'I did it' then Endurance Riding could very well be for you.

This sport began 50 years ago with a simple bet. In 1955 the attitude among horse enthusiasts was that modern horses were not as strong and resilient as the horses during the pony express days. A small group of men decided to test that idea and proposed a challenge to have a ride from through the Sierra Nevadas from just north of Squaw Valley, a parcel of land now named Robie Park, to Auburn, California, a 100 mile distance. The terrain includes steep hills, rocky surfaces, single tracks (narrow trails), creeks, a swinging suspension bridge and a crossing of the American River.

Six men began the challenge and five finished. This was the beginning of what is now known as the Tevis Cup ride.

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