Marcia Smith, DVM, Wins Prestigious Tevis Cup For Third Time
Marcia Smith, D.V.M., of Loomis, Calif., recently set a record by being the first person to win the Tevis Cup 100 mile endurance ride three times on three different horses. Dr. Smith, a small animal internal medicine specialist at Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic, has competed in the sport of endurance riding since 1989, recording nearly 5,200 competition miles.
Dr. Smith had set a personal goal to finish this year's Tevis Cup race in only 14 hours and 45 minutes. She completed the event in 14:48, only three minutes off her targeted time, but still almost two hours ahead of her nearest competitor.
The Tevis Cup is awarded to the rider who completes the one-day, 100-mile course in the shortest time with a horse that is "fit to continue". The journey through the Sierra Nevada Mountains is ridden through historic trails of rocky, single tracks with deep canyons containing about 17,000 feet of climbs and 20,000 feet of descents. Veterinary-check points are set up throughout the rail where the condition of the horses is evaluated. Only horses that are sound and in good condition are allowed to proceed.
In the 45-year history of the Tevis Cup, an average of 56 percent of horses and riders have completed the ride. This year, only 40 percent finished. Dr. Smith has entered the Tevis Cup ride five times and finished four times with an impressive record of three wins and one second.
In 1992, Dr. Smith tied for first place in the Tevis Cup and also won the companion Haggin Cup for best-conditioned horse with HARRY. She won the Tevis Cup again in 1997 riding ON A HIGH, or "ELVIS". Her partner in this year's Tevis Cup was SAAMSON CC, a 12-year-old bay Arabian gelding. That pair had placed second in the Tevis Cup in 1998.
"My strategy for endurance riding is to pace my horse to cover the course in the minimal time he is capable of, while still finishing with plenty of energy and drive," Dr. Smith said. "I race the clock, rather than the other rider."
Dr. Smith credits her success to familiarity with the terrain and trails, excellent nutrition and conditioning of her horses, and knowing her horses' capabilities. She likes to compete about once per month, since she believes horses need that long to fully recover between 50- and 100- mile rides. "These horses are working hard and covering miles and miles," she said. "It is important to maintain their body weight so they can compete well."
To achieve this, Dr. Smith has been feeding NEW GENERATION NUTRITION® program from MoorMan's® and NATURAL GLO® since 1992. "NATURAL GLO stabilized rice bran makes it easier to maintain my horses' body weight well into their training," she said. "It helps maintain a lower pulse rate, enabling my competing horses to recover faster and pass through the veterinary check points quicker during the events," she said. Dr. Smith also feeds GROSTRONG® Mineral products, which contain 27 vitamins, minerals and electrolytes specifically formulated to balance horse rations.
Dr. Smith's other accomplishments include winning the gold medal and best conditioned award on ELVIS in the North American Championship in 1995. She also represented the U.S. on the World Endurance Championship Team that won in 1996.
For more information on endurance riding or the Tevis Cup, visit www.aerc.org or www.foothill.net/tevis/.
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