It takes a special kind of toughness to attempt the Tevis Cup, a lot of hard work and conditioning to complete the race, and an amazing partnership with your horse to compete, complete and WIN Tevis riding with a neck strap instead of a bridle. That’s exactly what Jeremy Reynolds accomplished on his 13-year old Arabian mare, Treasured Moments. They crossed the finish line in 13 hours and 14 minutes. This is the pair’s second Tevis win (they also finished first in 2021), although for that competition, she wore a rope bridle (with no bit). They finished third in 2017. Reynolds has now won the Tevis Cup in 2004, 2007, 2011, and 2021. This was Treasured Moments fifth Tevis Cup.
The pair finished 8 minutes ahead of last year’s winners, Gabriela Blakeley and LLC Pyros Choice. Ninety-four teams entered this year’s competition with 61 earning buckles. Heather Reynolds, Jeremy’s wife, finished ninth this year, riding Super Zonic Zell, a 9-year old Arabian gelding. A seasoned Tevis competitor, she won the race in 2003, 2014 and 2018. The Reynolds have also won five Haggin Cups between them. The Haggin Cup is awarded to the Tevis Cup rider whose horse is deemed to be in the most superior physical condition of the first 10 horses to cross the finish line by a veterinary committee.
“For riders, winning the Haggin Cup is just as important as winning the Tevis Cup,” said Reynolds. “Heather and I consider ourselves fortunate to have won both.”
Due to the heavy snowfall in the Sierra’s last winter, organizers had to make a few modifications to this year’s route. While some people thought it might have been slightly easier, it was still 100 daunting miles.
“The Tevis Cup officials did an amazing job of fixing sections or rerouting the trail that was damaged by the wildfires,” said Reynolds, “Because of the heavy snowfall melt, we were unable to cross the river but a great alternate route was added. Horses and riders adapted well to the changes.”
In an interview with Hannah Clark, Reynolds explains that he’s ridden Treasure all over the world in a thin, soft rope halter, because she’s so good. She asks him when she thinks it’s time to move and he either says yes or no. He said, “So I thought I’d try something different this time, and see if I could ride her on a suggestion instead of control. And aside from one small moment that meant I didn’t get my Cougar Rock photo, she was awesome.”
During a time when much of the equestrian world has been tuned into the misadventures of Cyril Bertheau’s 2Raw2Ride debacle, looking at the healthy, happy horses crossing the Tevis finish line and celebrating the amazing horsemanship of riders like Jeremy Reynolds, is a real treat.