Prize Money Doubled for 33rd World Championship Ride & Tie

Ride and Tie

This shot is of competitors at the 2002 Championship event. The runners and rider are coming in off one of the course loops, and into the vet check, where the runners will pick up their horses and the rider will leave his horse with his pit crew. The vet check is a mandatory rider/runner switch for all teams. The competitors in this shot are Top 10 contenders at this point in the race.

Photo Credit: Gore/Baylor

December 16, 2002 - Los Altos, California - The Ride and Tie Association, the national sports organization dedicated to promoting the sport that combines running and equine endurance, today issued a challenge and an invitation to runners, triathletes, adventure racers and all comers: 2003 is the year to attempt the all terrain human/horse race of Ride & Tie. The novice incentive prize "Pat’s Purse" has just been doubled for the 2003 World Championship Ride & Tie. The event will be held September 6th in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Lake Tahoe California. The only qualification for "Pat’s Purse" initiated by Pat Browning, a veteran Ride & Tie competitor, is that at least one human team member must have never won the Championship Ride & Tie race.

Curt Riffle, president of the Ride and Tie Association cautions newcomers: it isn’t easy. "Riding a horse isn’t easy, it’s an athletic sport which requires an investment in training time. These guys are riding rugged terrain at speed. To do that, you need to develop riding skills." The World Championship course is 30+ miles in length, up and down extreme mountain trails, at altitude. By issuing this challenge at the beginning of the year "newcomers to the sport have time to develop the necessary skills, find partners and plan their winning strategies" assures Riffle.

The only team to claim Pat’s Purse, winning the championship in 2001, was novice William Emerson, ride and tie veteran Chris Turney, and a horse called Buddy. Turney, who holds four championship titles, had a running injury. Emerson didn’t have a lot of riding experience. But by combining their strengths and adjusting for their weaknesses, they triumphed over the field to take the championship. Emerson, who also competes in ultra running and adventure races, describes their horse, Buddy, as a "user friendly" mount, and acknowledges that he would have benefited from more riding experience. Both Turney and Emerson admit the prize money wasn’t their motivating factor: it was the challenge.

Pat’s Purse went unclaimed at the 2002 championship where the closest qualifying team of Jeremy Reynolds and Tom Johnson, North American record holder in the 100K, placed third overall, eighteen minutes behind the winning team.

About The Sport of Ride & Tie

The sport of Ride & Tie combines trail running, endurance riding, and strategy. The goal is to get all three team members, two humans and one horse, across a 25 to 40 mile cross country course by alternating riding and running. Everyone starts out together. The rider, being faster, will ride ahead, tie the horse to a tree, and continue down the trail running. The team member who started on foot gets to the horse, unties, mounts up and rides past the runner, ties… and this leapfrog continues the entire course. When, where, and how a team exchanges riding for running is almost entirely up to them, and this is where the strategy lies.

About The Ride and Tie Association

The Ride and Tie Association is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the sport of Ride & Tie and safe endurance horse management. Over 150 years old, ride and tie originated in the old West, where frontiersmen discovered two men could travel great distances at a fast pace without wearing down the horse if they traded off. Ride & Tie was invented as a sport, and gained national attention in 1971 when Levi Strauss sponsored the Ride & Tie Championships. The association offers a mentor program, partner matching, training videos, hosts practice Ride & Ties, and sanctions regional and national events. For more information about Ride & Tie, visit the web site at or call 650 949 2321.

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Biz Eischen
Ride and Tie Association, publicity
408 885 1283

Curt Riffle
Ride and Tie Association, president
650 949 2321

Laura Christofk
2003 World Championship Ride & Tie, event coordinator
530 268 8647