As always, my crew this year will be amazing.
Three of my very good friends - all of them accomplished endurance riders in their own right - will make the trek to the Sierras and sacrifice three days to help make Tevis happen for me and Stella.
Ute Frey was riding at Bay Laurel Arabians (the barn where I picked up this sport) when I arrived.
She taught me a lot about how that barn operated and the sport of endurance. ?I've ridden many miles - both in training and in competition - with Ute at my side and she's a very dear friend. ?Ute has an adorable bay gelding named Huck Finn (how cute is that name even?) who I think she'd like someday to get to Tevis. ?He's still a bit green and learning all about this sport, but she recently did the Fireworks 50 and when I asked her how it went she said "I think I might actually have an endurance horse on my hands". ?So maybe some year soon they'll haul up to Robie for the attempt.
Becky Mertens has perhaps the most positive outlook on life of anyone I know.
She's an absolute gem of a person and everyone loves being around her. ?Becky is relatively new to riding and she is the custodian of a beautiful chestnut gelding with lots of chrome named Kajima. ?She and Kajima have really bonded and she is pushing the envelope of her riding experience from his fancy back.
Jennifer Rader is an excellent and strong rider and friend.
And she has an excellent and strong horse named Latif on who she has finished top ten at Tevis. ?Jen and I go back to Bay Laurel days and have spent many hundreds of hours together on trail. ?Jen actually lives in my dream condo complex which has a barn and arena attached to it (in addition to a pool!).
Ute, Becky and Jen will make certain that Stella and I are given excellent care at each of the vet checks, that all of our needs are met and we leave refreshed and ready to do another 30+ miles. ?I should also mention that my parents will be at Tevis. ?They always come, bringing their mountain bikes to get to Robinson Flat from the distant parking area, and take pictures, keep time and make sure I eat.
These are the sorts of people you need to make a successful bid at Tevis. ?Smart, hard-working, supportive, keen fans of the sport with the kind of experience that makes them invaluable. ?And in addition they need to like you enough to give a significant gift of time and energy on your behalf. ?So if you are contemplating Tevis, surround yourself with excellent humans (some who have handy horse skills) and make yourself useful, charming and in general important to them. ?Actually, you should do that whether you are contemplating Tevis or not, but it's imperative if you are.
I'm actually just realizing as I type this what a wonderful sidebar comes from competing in this epoch event. ?I get to see tangible demonstrations of what amazing friends and family I have through their support and enthusiasm. ?Definitely makes one feel humble.