2019 Tevis Equine Research to Focus on Weight and Hydration

The researchers will weigh the elite equine endurance athletes before they travel, before they start, and during and after the grueling 100-mile ride.
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2019 Tevis Equine Research to Focus on Weight and Hydration
A horse competing in Tevis gets weighed prior to making the trip to Auburn, California, for the 100-mile endurance ride. | Photo: Courtesy Marsha Hayes

Horses competing in the 2019 Tevis Cup endurance ride are prepping to hit the trail on Saturday, Aug. 17. But before they load up for the trip to Northern California, they’ll get weighed as part of a research project to investigate the correlation between weight and hydration in horses during endurance competitions. Jerry Gillespie DVM, PhD, of Hopland, California, will conduct the research project.

Tevis offers unique equine research opportunities, because it gathers nearly 200 top endurance athletes from across the country to traverse the difficult 100-mile course. Gillespie’s study actually begins when competing horses leave home. “We know horses dehydrate when traveling, and knowing the magnitude and starting point of dehydration is important,” he said.

The voluntary study requests competitors weigh horses before transport and keep a detailed log of the horses’ food and water intake, stops, and miles and hours traveled per day. Researchers will weigh the horses upon arrival in Auburn, California, at check-in the afternoon before Tevis’ 5 a.m. start, at two stops along the course, and at the finish

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Marsha Hayes has been covering endurance, trail, and other equine topics since 2005. She believes every horse has a story.

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