Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Ridge resident wins trophy

100-mile ride nets award for Roush

By Brian Hamilton,
July 27, 2005

Though the Western States Trail Ride is most commonly referred to as the Tevis Cup, the name of the trophy presented to the overall winner of the 100-mile, one-day ride, Michele Roush says that, given the choice, she'd rather win the Haggin Cup.

And considering she's a veterinarian, that personal preference seems an appropriate one.

Roush wrapped up her third finish in six starts in the annual event on Sunday, crossing the finish line in ninth place and earning her prized Haggin Cup, the award presented to the top-10 finishing horse determined to be in the best physical condition following the ride.

"I've always thought anybody can go out and ride fast," said Roush, a North San Juan resident. "To me, (the Haggin Cup) is a bigger deal than the Tevis Cup. It's judged on both horse and the rider. It's a comprehensive award."

Roush rode Cayenne, a horse she first rode just months earlier in an endurance riding event in Nevada, in the 51st annual Western States Trail Ride, crossing the finish line at 12:12 a.m. Sunday morning - nearly 19 hours after starting the ride at 5:15 a.m. Saturday morning.

"At that race in Nevada, I rode three different horses on three different days," Roush said. "And on that third day, I rode Cayenne. He did the Tevis last year, with his owner from Utah, so I knew he could do it.

"One of his strengths is that he is very good downhill and the Tevis is a downhill race, pretty much."

In January, Roush rode in the World Endurance Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates atop PR Tallymark, a horse owned and ridden by Steve Shaw of Santa Cruz in this year's Tevis Cup.

"I didn't really know (Cayenne) really well, but I certainly know him better now than I did last Friday," she said. "He just goes and does his own thing.

"Tallymark is high maintenance, where I have to do a lot of positioning with him to do his best. But Cayenne, just works it out and seems to do what he needs to do."

Greenwood's Cathy Richardson claimed the Tevis Cup, as the first to the finish at Auburn's McCann Stadium, riding SMR Fif d'Or across the finish line at 11:06 p.m. Saturday. Richardson was also the 2001 winner of the Haggin Cup.

Though complete results of the event are not yet available, Roush said that nearly 200 riders and horses started the event, with 88 finishing.

Among the local finishers, Colfax's Char Antuzzi rode Galahad across the finish line at 3:28 a.m. Sunday, while Grass Valley's Kimberly Nunez was right behind, as she and Tenook's Magic Wind reached the end point at 3:30 a.m. Sunday. Grass Valley's Frank Smith rode his 10-year-old mule Batman to the finish by 3:30 a.m. The finish was Smith's eighth completion of the course.

Robert and Melissa Ribley, also of Grass Valley, each finished the event at 4:58 a.m. Sunday, with Melissa riding Oak Hill Tidbit and Robert atop Oak Hill Rambler.

Three other area riders and their mounts were pulled from the event at Robinson Flat, the 36-mile mark of the event. Penn Valley's Beverly Altevers and her mount Flash of Elegance were pulled from the race, as was Grass Valley's Ina Hutchings and Rebel Dancer, along with Colfax's Chuck Mather and Dance of Hallani.

To contact sports editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail or call 477-4240

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