Competitor Preps for 100-Mile Tevis Endurance Ride

The first competitors in the 2009 Tevis Cup endurance ride to arrive at the Auburn, Calif., fairgrounds last week were Thor Halseth, of Agoura, Calif., and his 8-year-old gray Polish Arabian gelding, Road Rage.

Halseth arrived early to participate in the race sponsored training ride where experienced former competitors guide riders over the last 70 miles of the 100-mile course. Road Rage, a former Florida racehorse, traded his track career for a career as Halseth's endurance partner three years ago. The team has completed numerous 50-mile events and one other 100-mile effort leading up to the Aug. 1 Tevis.

Tevis Cup competitor Road Rage

Road Rage gets his game face on.

When asked what "Roadie's" weakness was, Halseth quickly answered, "Me." Although often running along beside, in front, or behind his trusted partner, Halseth confessed, "I'm planning on a hip replacement as soon as Tevis is over."

During a recent training ride from the fairgrounds, a deer attempted to cross the trail in front of Roadie and Halseth, but hesitated too long before jumping down from a 6-foot embankment beside the Western States Trail.

"She leaped, but just fell with a huge plop in front of us," Halseth said. "It was like a deer fell out of the tree." Roadie stopped and spun left. With only days before the event, the evasive maneuver left Roadie was sore in his right stifle.

Halseth searched for information on stifle injuries and called a Loomis, Calif., veterinarian to examine Roadie. "He prescribed two days rest and found no serious injury," the relieved owner reported.

With only about 50% of starters finishing the 100-mile course within the allowed 24 hours, will Halseth and Roadie be among those awarded the coveted Tevis belt buckle?

Thanks to a crew of volunteer ham radio operators and the event's Net Control, people can track rider progress on the Internet as the competitors pass through veterinary checkpoints. Go to and select "Where's My Rider" to see if Roadie and Halseth (rider #95) complete their quest.

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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