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4 Durangoans ride away with top trail-ride honors

Courtesy of Lisa Ford

Four Durangoans lead the pack in the Tevis Cup trail race on Saturday in California. The four front riders from left are, Rusty Toth, Garrett Ford, Lisa Ford and Kevin Myers.

By Dale Rodebaugh Herald staff writer

Four Durango residents rode away with the top honors in the 57th Western States Trail Ride last weekend.

The one-day, 100-mile race, from Lake Tahoe to Auburn, Calif., is better known as the Tevis Cup. There is an associated award, the Haggin Cup, for the horse among the top 10 finishers that is in the best condition at the end of the race.

Garrett Ford, his wife, Lisa, and Kevin Myers finished first, second and third, respectively, in the race Saturday. Rusty Toth finished fourth and won the Haggin Cup.

Starters numbered 205 this year; finishers, 98.

“There’s no money involved, just the prestige,” Lisa Ford said by phone Monday from Lake Tahoe.

The Durangoans finished the race just shy of 15 hours.

Garrett Ford, who makes polyurethane boots that substitute for steel horseshoes, has participated in the race eight times; Lisa Ford and Toth were in their third race and Myers his fourth.

All the mounts of the Durangoans were Arabians.

The race is nonstop except for mandatory time-outs of one hour each at 36 miles and 68 miles to allow veterinarian inspections.

The race was first run in 1955 but was canceled one year because of wildfires, hence No. 57 this year.

During the 100-mile course, riders experience 17,000 feet of climbing and 22,000 feet of descents.

The Tevis Cup was named for Lloyd Tevis (1824-99) by his grandson, Will Tevis, a San Francisco attorney and early benefactor of the trail ride.

Lloyd Tevis and James Ben Ali Haggin, college friends from Kentucky, worked in the California gold fields before establishing a law practice in San Francisco. They married sisters.

The Haggin Cup honors the memory of James Haggin’s grandfather. James Haggin’s horse, Ben Ali, won the Kentucky Derby in 1886.


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