Virginia City 100 – 1970s

Start of the 1970 VC100


Dani Rowe Lewis, Cliff Lewis, Diane Clagett, and Jim Steere DVM
Photo: Charlie Barieau




Ride Meeting at the Virginia & Truckee Railroad Depot


Donna Fitzgerald riding the one and only Witezarif at VC100 in 1970, when they finished first.


Photo: Charlie Barieau
Witezarif won Virginia City 100 in 1970, 1974, 1975, 1976, and 1977. He was a 9-14 years old Arabian gelding.
Their riding times were:
1976-11:37(highest number of entries recorded for the ride, 117 starters, 71 finishers)


1970 – Donna Fitzgerald and Witezarif.


Here Donna is accepting a congratulations handshake from Don Ward for being the first rider in.


1970 – Donna Fitzgerald and Witezarif at the finish



1970 – VC100 


Donna Fitzgerald was the NASTR Club secretary and VC100 ride secretary for many years. She kept copies and records of all correspondence. There were many handwritten letters from all over the country inquiring about the ride and endurance riding in general. She gave advice on how to train and what to feed. Among people in the background is Pat Fitzgerald & Ed Johnson.


1971 – Virginia City 100


Cliff Lewis and Prince Pancake, Nevada All-State Trail Riders Endurance Team, and Chuck Clayton (?) and the 16:2 hh Yagui Blue. Prince Pancake became a 500 mile VC horse in 1974. Photo: Charlie Barieau


1971 Virginia City 100 Ride Chart


page 1


1971 Virginia City 100 Ride Chart


page 2


1971 and 1972 Virginia City 100 Winners


Diane Clagett Marquard riding Jamacia Cricket – 9/10 year old grade mare. They won in a record ride time set in 1971 of 10:07. Ride time for 1972 – 11:43
Cricket was the first 500 mile horse (VC100 x 5 times) on record in 1972.
Connie: “This photo was taken from the 1972 Nevada All-State Virginia City ride brochure. Cricket was a half Arab grade mare. She could sure fly for being such a small horse.”
Marjorie: “Cricket was out of a 1/2 TWH and 1/2 arab mare named Ginger Rogers, and her sire was Buzz Bomb, a racing quarter horse. She was definitely a sprinter and you wouldn’t want to race her to the finish line!”


1971 – 1972 Virginia City 100 Winners


Diane Clagett Marquard riding Jamacia Cricket – 9,10 year old grade mare – Record riding time set in 1971 10:07, 1972 – 11:43
“I believe Diane was the women who rode the Tevis with ski-goggles to keep dust out of her contact lens, and did well back in the 70’s, The following year, many riders following her lead wore ski-goggles the following year.”
“I’ll never know how Diana always stayed so clean.”
Tamara Stewart: “Diane did stay clean! Oh…there was that one year…white britches, bogs..a stallion and a descent downhill! 1995! We finished! She was not happy about being a bit muddy!”


1971 Base Camp in Virginia City



From the 1972 VC100 Ride Brochure



Dolores McKendry


“When I worked at Arabian Horse World, Pat [Fitzgerald] suggested an employee ride the VC 100 on one of his horses. I said “mememememe!” So here I am in 1972 riding Shetan. Pat’s horse was pulled so I had to take over sponsoring the two juniors. I’m the one in the middle.”
The results show 91 starters and 37 finishers that year. Dolores finished in 14th place.

Smokey Killen and Diane Clagett Marquard


Virginia City 100.
Photo: Charlie Barieau


Virginia City 100 water stop.


Riders did not carry water on their saddle, but usually a tin cup to get water where available. Here Phil Gardner and another rider are getting water from a water cooler from the back of ride photographer Charlie Barieau’s car
Photo: Charlie Barieau


1973 Virginia City 100 Winners 


Terry Hecker riding Alizan – 9 year old grade mare – Riding Time 11:14 – 92 starters – 64 finishers


1973 Virginia City 100 Winners


Terry Hecker and Alizan on trail


Donna Fitzgerald and Witezarif at VC100 in 1973


They finished second.
Photo: Charlie Barieau


Donna and Witezarif


leaving Washoe Lake vet check on Eastlake Blvd. – 1973 Virginia City 100
Photo: Charlie Barieau


Donna and Witezarif


heading up the big climb to Virginia City from Washoe Lake. – Virginia City – 100 1973
Photo: Charlie Barieau


1975 – Connie Creech tailing Shiek up Clark Mountain on what would be her first completion at VC100.


Shiek was a non registered 5 year old Arabian gelding, sired by Rushcreek Rikki, and was given to Connie by her brother in-law Louie Henderson for her 16th birthday – the year she started endurance riding in 1973.
Shiek finished Virginia City 100 five times and went on to complete 4030 AERC miles.
Photo: Charlie Barieau


Smokey Killen and Diane Clagett Marquard


being congratulated by Pat Fitzgerald at the finish of the 1975 Virginia City 100.
Photo: Charlie Barieau


1976 Ride Start


amongst others in the photo are Dexter Yeats out front, Churstie Evans, Bill Thornburgh, Pat, Heidi, and Mike Fitzgerald, Mark Scheberies, Smokey Killen, Larry Witherow (#270). That year there were 117 starters and 71 finishers – a record for the ride!
Photo: Charlie Barieau


1976 VC100 winners


Donna Fitzgerald and Witezarif cooling off in Washoe lake.
Photo: Charlie Barieau


1976 VC100 winners 


Donna Fitzgerald and Witezarif at Washoe Lake vet check.
Photo: Charlie Barieau


1976 VC100 winners


Donna Fitzgerald and Witezarif ready to leave Washoe Lake vet check.
Photo: Charlie Barieau


1976 VC100 winners


Donna Fitzgerald and Witezarif.
Photo: Charlie Barieau


1976 – Pat Fitzgerald and Ghost


Connie: “Pat had many Ghosts. Ghost 1, Ghost 2, Ghost 3, never knew which was which.”
Mark Scheberies: “I’m pretty sure that this Ghost was registered as Halanad.”
Photo: Charlie Barieau


1976 – Pat Fitzgerald and juniors


(L to R?) Jimmy Perry, Mark Scheberies, Mary Stueve, (Pat), Heidi Fitzgerald, and Mike Fitzgerald on the Mira Loma Road near the Horseman’s Park vet check. The record shows the 6 of them finishing in the top ten out of 117 starters!


Mark Scheberies receiving the first Junior blanket at 1976 IAHA Virginia City100 mile championship.


Photo: Charlie Barieau



1978 Virginia City 100 Winners 


Tracie Thornburgh and Red, a 10 year old grade mare (a home-bred horse out of a QH mare and a TB sire – Galant Rep), riding time 11:10. The results that year show 95 starters and 68 finishers.


1978 Virginia City 100


Callie Thornburgh and Nipper, a TB/standardbred cross


1979 Virginia City 100 Winners


Marjorie Pryor riding Fritz – 8 year old Arabian gelding – riding time 13:27
Marjorie: “Cliff and Dani Lewis started Fritz for me. Dani was the first to ride him. When she handed him over to me she said he was the best horse she had ever ridden. I think she said that because he was so comfortable and smooth to ride. I was new to endurance and VERY lucky!!
Fritz won several rides, including Tevis twice and came in the top 6 – 7 times. He lost his eye at the beginning of his 6th year. I didn’t like riding those trails in the dark!!”


1970s – Diane Clagett Marquard riding Smokey Killen’s Edelweiss Erik


Shannon Weil: “Smokey Killen’s horse Erik was a full brother to Fritz. Johann and Margaret Baumann of Tahoe City bred incredible horses.”
Mary-Anne Maynard: “We had Erik for several years, a gift from Diane to my son. Erik had over 6,800 AERC miles and taught my son how to ride. Erik had amazing structure, bone and hooves. He could trot to the moon. Taller then Fritz as I recall.”
Marjorie: “Actually Fritz was 15.1 and Erik was 15 hh. I had my choice of the two and picked Fritz. Erik was a little stouter. They had another full brother a year older named Edelweiss Hans. He was really good but got overridden when young and chronically lame. His owners were good friends and they were the ones who told me about Fritz and Erik. They got him for a Ride ‘n Tie horse. Then I told Smokey about Erik and he went immediately and bought him.”


Marjorie receiving the AHA award at the 1976 Virginia City 100.



NASTR President Dean Hubbard and Head Veterinarian, Bruce Branscomb


DVM, in 1977 at Nevada All-State Virginia City 100. Dr. Branscomb was named into the AERC Hall of Fame in 1977.
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