2013 Tevis Forum - page 7

TEVISFORUM2013
M
y wife Lisa and I crossed
the Tevis finish line hand in
hand for the thirdyear inarow.
Although the results won’t
show it,CycloneandFury tied
for first place. Lisa and I both
won themostdifficult100-mile
horse race in theworld.
Tevis has dominated my
dreams and goals since I was
a young boy. I’ve dreamed
about having my name on
the Josephine Stedem Scripps
Foundation Cup, the Haggin
Cupand theTevisCup. When
I was 12 years old I would go
tobedmaking the turns of the
CaliforniaLoop. Iwouldwatch
thechalkcirclebeingdrawn for
the Haggin Cup judging and
I would work on trotting my
ownhorse in thatchalkpattern
at home. Making the 100-mile
journey area over the Sierra
Mountainsonahorse thatIwas
responsible for conditioning,
andfinishingfirst,would fulfill
mywildest Tevisdreams.
I thought Iwould feel dif-
ferent. Although I’ve now
accomplished my Tevis and
endurancegoals, I’m leftwitha feeling
that is different than I expected. The
cups leave me with a feeling of “So
What,”but the journeyand theprocess
working toward thegoalhavechanged
me. It’snot about havingmynameon
the Scripps Foundation Cup, it’s not
abouthavingFurywin theHagginCup,
it’s not about Lisa and me finishing
Winning theTevis Cup
byGarrett Ford
first andwinning the Tevis Cup. The
memoryof thecupsandaccoladeswith
quickly fade. Mostmemoriesblurwith
timebutIwillvividlyremember thefeel
ofLisa’shand inmineaswecrossed the
finish line, Iwill remember the tears in
mymother’s eyes, Iwill remember the
hoursgetting special horses ready, and
Iwill rememberhow racingendurance
horses has changedwhere I live, what
I drive, how I smell andwhat I do for
a living.
The last threeyears I’vebrokenone
of my own rules on theway to finish-
ing theTevisCup.One of thepieces of
advice I tell otherswhengetting ready
for the Tevis Cup is to ride
yourownride,don’tridewith
a friendor relative, anddon’t
let another rider get attached
to you during the ride. In
2010, 2011and2012Lisaand I
crossed thefinish linehand in
hand all three years.We rode
each section of trail together,
ran the canyons together,
vetted through each check
togetherandcrossed thefinish
linehand inhand.Yes, Iknow
thisstrategywasn’t thebest to
optimize thestrengthsofeach
horsebut Iwouldn’tchange it
for theworld. Finishinghand
in hand with Lisa is burned
in a special place ofmymost
covetedmemories.
In the chaos of a very
well executed 2012 awards
banquet I wasn’t given the
opportunity to speak. I’m
still disappointed in myself
for not tracking down the
microphone and publicly
thanking the folkswhomade
Lisa and my ride possible.
Myparentswereseated in the
audience and I was not only
eager to thank them for all thehelpon
thedaybut thank them forgivingmea
gift that has changedmy life.As I look
back at thememories in life that built
family, work ethic, character, compas-
sion and competitiveness many seem
tobeassociatedwithhorses, road trips
with horses and the Tevis Cup. I’m
thankful formyMom andDadhaving
thewisdom to involve the familywith
an animal and a sport thatwouldhelp
shapemy life.
After thanking my parents for
givingme the opportunity to growup
with endurance horses I would have
thanked them for all thehelp and sup-
Above:Headed forHighCampwithLake
Tahoe in the background.
(photograph by
ReneBaylor, Gore/BaylorPhotography)
Left: Garrett Ford andThe Furywon
the 2013TevisCupwith a riding time of
16:50.
(photograph byLynneGlazer)
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