By Lily Raff / The Bulletin
Published: August 03. 2009 4:00AM PST
If you go
What: Santiam Cascade 30-mile ride and tie race and 10- to 80-mile endurance races
When: Saturday beginning at 7:15 a.m.
Where: Sisters Rodeo Grounds, 3 miles east of Sisters on U.S. Highway 20
What do you get when you combine one horse, two riders, two pairs of running shoes and a 30-mile trail? One hectic, grueling sport.
One of a handful of annual “ride and tie” races in the Northwest takes place Saturday near Sisters.
In a ride and tie race, each team consists of two humans and one horse. At the start, one person rides the horse; the other takes off running down the trail. At some point on the course, the rider dismounts and ties the horse to a tree. That person then takes off running.
When the teammate — who began the race on foot — reaches the horse, he or she unties the steed and mounts it. That person then rides the horse some distance past the now-running teammate before dismounting and tying it up. The team leapfrogs like this until both humans and the horse cross the finish line.
Ride and tie races can be 10 miles, 100 miles or almost any distance in between.