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Tevis competitors go with the flow

Foresthill’s Hackley siblings will tackle the ride after homecoming while veteran riders roll with changes
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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For a couple of heavily involved Foresthill High students, homecoming week means a whirlwind of activity. So when the Tevis Cup endurance ride was pushed back to Saturday from its usual July start date, the Hackleys had some decisions to make. Despite the festivities at school, Rylee Hackley, a senior at Foresthill, and her sophomore brother Bryce could not pass up the chance to compete in endurance riding’s most prestigious event with their mother Peg. “I was kind of surprised they both wanted to do this instead,” said Peg Hackley, who first rode Tevis at age 17 in 1973. Rylee, a forward on the Wildfires’ basketball team, and Bryce, a member of the Foresthill football team, were busy Thursday night working on floats for tonight’s homecoming parade. After the festivities Friday night they’ll wake up early Saturday for a Tevis Cup ride that unusual snow severely altered. The ride that began in 1955 has been held during the seventh full moon of the year, starting at Robie Park in Truckee. Heavy snow in the high country forced ride organizers to postpone the event this year. A storm that rolled through the Sierra Nevada mid-week left nearly two feet of snow in some places. The ride committee met Thursday afternoon and decided to change the route, starting it in Auburn and making it an out-and-back journey. The wild weather left riders in limbo all week until the announcement Thursday. “We had a family conference and decided we would wait and see what tomorrow brings,” Peg Hackley said. “Then we got the phone call.” Ride president Kathie Perry said the heavy snow caused dangerous conditions for the competitors. “There were about 18 inches of snow in the high country,” Perry said. “That’s not conducive to horseback riding.” The route change could mean riders will be sharing the trail more. There could be two-way traffic at times on the trail as the altered route will see riders turn around near the Chicken Hawk checkpoint and return back toward Auburn. “I think that’s certainly an issue,” said Potato Richardson. “There are a lot of variables, but we just have to ride through the challenges. People come from all over the world for this and we’re going to make the best of it. This ride is going to go down as one of the most bizarre years in history.” The field competing for the prestigious endurance riding prizes is filled with contenders. John Crandell is not back to defend his Tevis title, but runner-up Shannon Constanti of Auburn is saddling up. Reigning Haggin Cup winner Garrett Ford of Durango, Colo. is back with his 9-year-old Arabian named The Fury. Jeremy and Heather Reynolds are back in the Tevis field. The San Jose couple has combined for three Tevis titles in recent years. Jeremy won in 2007 and 2004 (tying with Auburn’s Becky Spencer). Heather won in 2003. Local perennial contenders Hal Hall, Becky Spencer and Richardson are among the field of 190 riders scheduled to start. See Sunday’s Journal for complete coverage of the event.