AUBURN, Calif. (KTXL) — Following the death of two horses and the injury of a third horse during the 66th annual Tevis Cup, the Western States Trail Foundation has announced a series of safety improvements for future races.
The Board of Governors for the foundation said that while “horseback riding, in general, carries risk,” they are going to be focusing on the known dangerous areas along the trail.
Their main area of focus will be the section of the riding trial between “Last Chance” and “Francisco’s” checkpoints, according to the board.
The board said there are plans in place to widen the trail, create a more stable base and remove any obstacles where possible.
“The higher risk areas will be a priority and trail work will be completed as soon as possible in addition to the normal volunteer trail maintenance that takes place on a continual basis,” the foundation wrote in a news release.
In order to provide these trail improvements, the foundation said it will be working with the Western States Endurance Run, Auburn State Recreational Area and the United States Forest Service.
Additional trail security is also being developed while the race is going, according to the board.
The board said that it plans to improve emergency response time and implement a more effective response strategy.
“The horse-rescue teams WSTF (Western States Trail Foundation) contracts with will be stationed along the course and focused in areas that are identified as higher risk,” the foundation wrote in its release. “They will also stage rescue equipment and provide veterinarian support to all rescue efforts.”
The foundation continues to investigate the off-trail incidents that happened during this year’s race.