Senior Horse Superstars: 2016 Tevis Competitors

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Each year, some of the top endurance horses and riders in the country flock to California to try their hand at the Tevis Cup, a grueling 100-mile ride through the Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s no easy task for the most well-conditioned equine athletes in the prime of life. But what really impresses me is that each year, a handful (or more!) riders bring older horses to compete at Tevis É and many of them do very well!

This year, as in past years, our roving reporter Marsha Hayes was on-site with photographer Ron Osborn to cover the ride for TheHorse.com. She kept tabs on the golden oldies during the ride, keeping a special eye on the oldest horse in the field: 25-year-old PL Mercury (or “Merc” for short), owned by Claire Godwin, DVM, and ridden by Lisa Bykowski, both of Laytonsville, Maryland.

Lisa Bukowski and 25-year-old Merc (left) kick up dust alongside 17-year-old Amos, ridden by Merc’s owner Claire Godwin, DVM, as the pair head into the first one-hour rest hold at Mile aaep-2006

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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