Karen Donley and Royal Patron Take 2016 Tevis Cup

Also, Lisa Ford and GE Cyclone received the Haggin Cup, which recognizes the horse in the most superior condition.
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Karen Donley of Mountain Center, California, and her 14-year-old gray Arabian mare Royal Patron trotted across the finish line at 9:48 p.m. on July 23 to win the 2016 Tevis Cup. The pair finished 19 minutes ahead of second and third place finishers Lisa and Garrett Ford of Durango, Colorado.

Donley completed the 100-mile event with a ride time of 14 hours, 33 minutes, not including the mandatory rest periods.

Although the team had never won a 100-mile event before, Donley admitted, “winning was the intent with all the training we’ve been doing.” Conley and her son John rode together for 85 miles before his horse was pulled at the Francisco vet check. Royal Patron has never been eliminated from a ride during her approximately 2,000-mile endurance career. The win marks the mare’s fifth Tevis completion.

“The Fords were pushing me all day and I think my mare sensed my excitement as we led across the bridge, four miles from the finish,” Donley said. “She knew it was time to go

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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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