The Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Race, September 2007

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Article: Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Race: Crazy or not: 800-mile, 13-day endurance race becomes official from the Free NewMexican, June 25, 2006
At the end of March, 2006, the story of initial planning for the Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Race was picked up by two newspapers:
  • Kansas City Star
          800 miles, 1,000 horses: A new frontier in sport?, Plans for cross-country trail race pick up speed, by Edward M. Eveld
  • Seattle Times:
          A New Sports Frontier: 800 miles at a gallop, Edward M. Eveld

    The idea has continued growing after Rob Phillips, email, of the 57 acre Free State Farm north of Lawrence, KS heard about the race from Jim Gray, email, founder of the C.O.W.B.O.Y. Society and owner of the Drovers Mercantile in Ellsworth, KS

    Teams will race for the coveted Aubry Trophy, named after Santa Fe Trail rider, Francis X. Aubry (1824-1854). This French Canadian was also known as Francois Aubrey and Francis Xavier Aubry. Back in the summer of 1848, Francis won a $1,000 bet by quickly traveling, on foot and horseback, from Santa Fe to Independence in 136 hours. At that time, his was the fastest trip ever made between the two cities.

    But speed sometimes kills, and the Kaw Mission State Historic Site states that the shortest of his trips that summer - made in 5 days and 16 hours - ruined 6 horses.

    This time, rather than endangering the lives of the teams involved, the hope is that tourists will be attracted to some of the small towns of New Mexico and Kansas that the race is hoped to speed through.

    Places to stay along the Santa Fe Trail

    Interactive Santa Fe Trail
    2006, Nancy Sween