She began riding horses in 1969 during a visit to Virginia City.
“Of course, naturally, we had to buy a horse for me,” Kathie Perry told Gold Country Media. “We went to the Arabian-type horse at the time, but because we lived in the Bay Area, we did not have a lot of space for the horse.”
The 78-year-old Auburn, Calif. resident earned her 25th Tevis competition belt buckle this year. The Western States Trail Ride, popularly called the Tevis Cup Ride, is the oldest modern-day endurance ride, having been held annually since 1955.
Perry has attempted the ride 33 times, beginning in 1975, finishing 25, and winning the race in 1978.
“My mentality is: I’m going to ride to the finish line,” Perry said. “There’s always going to be bumps in the road, but I always go in with a 100-percent sound horse.”
Perry said she rides her horse, Cowboy, up to 700 miles in the months ahead of the ride to make sure it knows the trail.
“I know the trail, so unless something happens, unless he hits a rock or something, I pretty much know that I have a solid horse that day,” she added.
Asked if she will be back for a 26th belt buckle in 2023, she says, “I’ll quit riding the Tevis when it’s not fun anymore.”