Drought, Temperature, Fires Challenge Tevis Water Supply

Drought, Temperature, Fires Challenge Tevis Water Supply

An endurance horse can sweat 3 to 4 gallons an hour or more, and natural thirst will stimulate the horse to replace about two-thirds of that water loss.

Photo: Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

With California entering its fourth year of drought and temperatures climbing to over 100°F, assuring a plentiful and palatable water supply for the 2015 Tevis Cup 100-mile endurance ride participants is a must—but a challenging one—for ride organizers and volunteers alike.

This year’s Tevis Cup will take place Aug. 1 in Northern California.

“An endurance horse, working in the heat, can sweat 3 to 4 gallons an hour or more, although the hourly average over the course would be lower,” explained head veterinarian Greg Fellers, DVM. “Natural thirst will stimulate the horse to replace about two-thirds of that water loss.”

Ride director Chuck Stalley said, “We have six water trucks capable of hauling 4,000 gallons each, along with two smaller 500-gallons rigs.”

In addition, volunteers have placed pumps at two river locations to supplement the hauled water.

“One of our trucks has been diverted to fighting the Lowell wildfire, but a replacement has been obtained,” Stalley added.

Volunteers are currently out placing 94 100-gallons water troughs at critical locations, as well as at veterinary check points.

Also this year, written guidelines outline water procedures at the three types of water stops. For instance, scooping water to cool horses might be curtailed at certain locations to assure plenty of drinking water remains for all equine participants.

About the Author

Marsha Hayes

Marsha Hayes has been covering endurance, trail, and other equine topics since 2005. She believes every horse has a story.

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