The next Tevis Cup Ride  (47th Year) will be held on August 4, 2001. About 90% of the Cup-Winning Horses are Arabian or part Arabian... This year there will be a Mountain Horse and rider team of special note among the entrants. Last year a horse fell into a canyon along the trail.  Steve Elliot was responsible for saving the horse and in appreciation for his noble effort the Association honored him with the #1 entry number for 2001. 

Steve Elliot, of Pilot Hill CA, is taking a KMSHA gelding Odom's Raven (owned by Bob Walz) to compete as the #1 entry. Steve has been an Auto Technician for 30 years for VWand Toyota and in his "spare" time likes repairing and driving old farm equipment. He is 47 years of age and has been into endurance horse since when, at age 18,  he got a saddlebred - arab cross mare named Shadow Magic. Steve still owns this  wonderfull 27 year old horse which continues to do endurance! This will be Steves first experiance with using a gaited horse in endurance ( But we are SURE not his last!), he has previously used mostly Arabs. He completed Tevis in 1995.

Steve has also completed several ultra distance runs late in his 40's, he never desired to run till later in life. He began running to help his endurance mounts on down hills to make up time. Steve feels his best acomplishment in running was completing the Foot Race of  the Western States 100, which is 1 month before the Tevis. He finished in 27 hours in a heavy snow year! Steve has also been a Moto Cross racer, he found he was beginning to be passsed up by younger folks in that sport. Now in endurance racing with horses he finds at times he is getting passed by older folks on the horse endurance trail!

Steve feels he is not the shape he was a few years ago, since he received a broken arm from a horse kick a year ago ,but he has the detrimination to take on this challenge. Steve says Odom's Raven is very fit with a very low heart rate. He rides Raven fitted with a heart rate monitor and he is already way below the parameters necessary to compete. Steve says "To do a 100 miler you really bond with the horse and when its over  you need to be with that horse again just to say we did it boy."

Odom's Raven is one of two KMSHA geldings that Bob Walz had purchased a few years ago to use in endurance rides. Bob, a  6'5", 75+  year old man, had ridden Arabs all his life in endurance races but could no longer stand the jolting ride. He also appreciates the mind set of the Mountain horses. Bob is a member of KMSHA and the long distance club, at the time of his purchase of his Mountain Horses he had completed 7500 recorded miles and his goal was to make the 10,000 mile mark before he stopped riding. 

The Tevis Cup Ride,  the oldest modern day endurance ride, is known to be the most difficult of all 100 miles in the world. The ride follows a rugged portion of the Western States Trail which stretches from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Sacramento, California. The Tevis Cup, named for Lloyd Tevis (1824 - 1899), is awarded to the first rider to complete the 100 mile Ride whose mount is "fit to continue."  The other major trophy, the Haggin Cup, is awarded to the rider whose horse is in the "most superior physical condition" of the first ten 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. 

Since 1955 there were 7,082 starting entries, of which 3,983 (56.24%) finished.  As of 2000, the Ride has been completed by 2,056 individual riders. A limit of 250 riders was established in 1989. 

It is said that the Ride has 19,000 feet of "up" and 22,000 feet of "down". 60% of the historic route passes along narrow mountain trails where riders have to ride single file through remote and rugged wilderness territory. Due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the trail, the Tevis Cup Ride differs substantially from other organized endurance riding events. Temperatures during event day can range from about 40F to 120F (5C to 50C) and  the trails are dusty, causing most participants to "eat dust" for much of the trail. .Adequate physical training and preparation for both horse and rider are of the utmost importance. The mountains, although beautiful, are relentless in their challenge and unforgiving to the ill-prepared. 

Bob is confident his KMSHA horse will not only finish, but in good condition and time as well. It is an unheard of concept to bring this horse to this the contest. Steve Elliot and Odom's Raven are breaking ground for the gaited horses of all breeds in this momentous occasion. The entire equine world is watching the outcome of this race.

We wish Steve and Odom's Raven the best of luck!