72-Year-Old Endures, Tops Tevis FieldBy Marsha Hayes August 3, 2015
Potato Richardson, 72, of Greenwood, CA, and his 14-year-old chestnut Arabian mare, SMR Filouette, beat a scrappy field of 201 riders to claim victory in the 60th Tevis Cup endurance competition. Twenty U.S. states and 11 countries were represented in the Aug. 1-2 ride, a 100-mile marathon that begins at the Robie Equestrian Park (elevation 7,000 feet), south of Truckee, CA, and ends in Auburn, CA.
Richardson had 22 previous Tevis completions and two victories to his credit. He completed this, his third win, in 16 hours, 50 minutes. “It took dedication, staying focused on goals,” Potato said shortly after crossing the finish line. “I knew I had it about three miles back.”
Gwen Hall and Sizedoesntmatter (Dakar) were second; Lisa Ford and GE Cyclone of Durango, CO, were third; riding an 18-year-old Russian Arab gelding, MCM Last Dance (Emmers), Barrak Blakeley (Jr.) of Terrebonne, OR, was fourth.
Participants ran the spectrum, from senior citizens to a high school senior, Claire Taylor, who attends North Hunterdon High. Taylor completed in 21 hours, 4 minutes.
Only 90 of this year’s starters finished the very demanding race — the Mustang, Paint horse and mule did not make it to the finish (but no doubt had fun trying), nor did two-time previous Tevis winner and Pan Am Silver Medalist John Crandell III (Star Tanney, VA), teamed this time with LR Bold Cody. A couple of riders were injured en route. Roger Downy suffered a head injury and broken ribs and was airlifted from the Western States Trail. Kristine Hartman broke her arm at Volcano Canyon, but signed a medical indemnification and pushed on to finish the race.
Fifth-place finishers Moraga, CA-based Jenni Smith and Auli Farwa, a 15-year-old Arabian gelding, won the Haggin Cup for Best Conditioned Horse.
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