A locally bred gelding, Remy (aka khnight to Remember) has once again completed the grueling 100-mile, 24-hour endurance ride, the Tevis Cup, at the age of 161⁄2.
Known as “the toughest endurance ride in the world,” Remy and his owner⁄rider Peter Claydon of Buellton came in 16th place out of 160 starters, despite having had a fall on a precipitous mountain trail. The ride, which has been held annually since 1955, took place July 20. The temperature in some places reached 110 degrees over a trail that covered more than 4,000 feet of elevation changes in the High Sierras. Only 75 horses actually finished the ride.
“Remy is one of the oldest horses being ridden by one of the oldest riders,” said Claydon, who is 67 years old. “Remy and I first completed the Tevis in 2004 and at the time I swore I’d never do it again. It was so hard, so technically challenging and so exhausting. I clearly didn’t listen to my own advice and as a psychologist, I should recognize that I need professional help!”
Remy is now officially a “Decade Horse” meaning he has completed at least one endurance race in each of 10 years. Remy and Claydon have together amassed over 3,000 endurance miles (races of over 50 or more miles) with 41 top finishes including 14 in first place.
Remy has had an outstanding career. He overcame a serious injury to his right hind leg suspensory ligament in 2008 and again in 2010, but completed the Tevis Cup ride last year, finishing 20th and he did it again this year with flying colors.
“I know that Remy is a naturally gifted athlete, but I am sure his
remarkable longevity at the top of this most demanding of equine sports, is in large part due to the quality of the feed supplements from Grand Meadows — both during his periods of rehabilitation and before, during and after competition,” Claydon said. “I have to thank Angela Slater, Grand Meadows co-founder and Valley resident, for her advice and support throughout Remy’s outstanding career. In addition, Dr. Ben Branson of Oak Leaf Veterinary Clinic has proved himself to be an expert architect in reestablishing Remy’s soundness.”
Claydon maintains a private therapy practice in both Solvang and Santa Barbara. In addition, both he and his wife Susan Miller are founders and co-chairs of the Santa Barbara Youth Project, dedicated to working with at-risk children through the magic of horses. Claydon is also an adjunct faculty instructor at Antioch University and regional clinical director of Aegis Medical Systems in Santa Barbara.
Clayton says he would rather ride than sleep.