* Official web site for history, vision, and news
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