Durango resident Garrett Ford and his horse, The Fury, won the prestigious Haggin Cup last Sunday in the 55th annual Tevis Cup Ride.
The award is given to the horse that is in the best shape after the nearly 24-hour race across rugged terrain. According to ride director Mike Pickett, horses climb and descend about 22,000 feet during the course of the 100-mile race.
Winning the Haggin Cup is just as cherished as winning the Tevis Cup, Pickett said Tuesday.
The Tevis Cup is given to the rider who wins the race.
Only the top 10 horses in the race are eligible for the Haggin Cup. At 10 a.m. Sunday, almost 29 hours after the race began, the horses were paraded into the stadium at Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, Calif., before a crowd of nearly 600.
A panel of 17 veterinarians examined the horses, checking their metabolic rates and making sure they were drug-free. Horses then trotted in circles so the vets could check their gaits, noting any irregularities.
The whole idea is to treat the horse kindly, to have them in the best condition possible and to get to the end of the race with a horse that could continue on, Pickett said. Garrett did a great job.
The 100-mile race began at 5:15 a.m. Saturday near Lake Tahoe, Nev., and ended at 5:15 a.m. Sunday in Auburn. It follows the historic Western States Trail, first used by Native Americans and later by miners during the California Gold Rush of the mid-1800s.
Ford and The Fury finished the race in eighth place at 12:56 a.m. Sunday morning. Virginia resident John Crandell and his horse Heraldic won the Tevis Cup, finishing at 10:14 p.m. Saturday night.