The Tevis Cup – 100 Miles In One Day Trail Ride – The World’s Best known And most Difficult Equestrian Endurance Ride

The Western States Trail Ride, popularly called the Tevis Cup is the annual 100-Mile One-Day endurance ride from Lake Tahoe to Auburn, California.

Tevis famous

The Tevis Cup was named for Lloyd Tevis (1824 – 1899) by his grandson Will Tevis, a prominent San Francisco businessman and early benefactor of the Ride. The trophy is awarded to the first rider to complete the 100 mile Ride whose mount is “fit to continue.” It was first awarded in 1959 to Nick Mansfield, riding Buffalo Bill, an eleven-year-old Thoroughbred Cross gelding.

Lloyd Tevis and James Ben Ali Haggin, college friends from Kentucky, met again in the California gold fields in the early 1850s. By 1853 Haggin and Tevis had moved to San Francisco where they established a successful law practice. The men also married sisters, Susan Gano Sanders and Elizabeth Jane Sanders of Kentucky, further strengthening their bond. Haggin raised thoroughbred horses on his ranch in Sacramento, and in 1886 his horse, Ben Ali, won the Kentucky Derby.

In 1964, Louis Haggin of Versailles, Kentucky, donated the James Ben Ali Haggin Cup in honour of his grandfather. It is awarded to the horse among the first ten finishers that is considered, as Lloyd Tevis stated, “to be in the most superior physical condition.

Tevis buckleHere’s what Time Magazine had to say about the Tevis Cup:

A 24-hour, 100-mile horse ride from Lake Tahoe to Auburn, California, the Tevis Cup was first held in 1955. The important thing to know about this race is found on the Tevis Cup FAQ: “The weather conditions from year to year are mostly the same: HOT and DUSTY.” One of the major difficulties here is not just getting your horse to the finish line, but making sure your horse is still “fit to continue” when it reaches the finish line. If you do so, no matter what place you come in, you get a silver belt buckle. That’s right: 100 miles in 24 hours. For a belt buckle.


A video of Shellie Hatfield and Bob Spoor racing the 2017 Tevis Cup. Bob is attempting to complete his 12th finish and Shellie is attempting her 10th. Pre-race footage, race footage, crew member interviews and post-race interviews.

Go to the Tevis Cup website at for lots more information.

2020 Ride has been cancelled. For more information click here...

Further reading:

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