Board of Directors
Biographies of the Officers and Board Members who make up the Western States Trail Museum Board of Directors
Hal V. Hall, President
- Finished the Western States 100-Mile One-Day Trail Ride (Tevis Cup) 30 times including:
- Three-time winner and recipient of the Lloyd Tevis Cup (1974, 1977, and 1990)
- Awarded the James Ben Ali Haggin Cup three times for the contestant whose horse is judged to be in the most superior condition from the first ten to finish the Ride (1972, 1978, 2002)
- Current President of the Placer County Historical Foundation
- Past President of the Placer County Historical Society
- Co-Founder, American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC)
- Authored an interpretative guide to the 100 miles of trail over the Sierra Nevada Mountains between Squaw Valley and Auburn, California, titled The Western States Trail Guide
- Co-Executive Producer of the 2008 film documentary, They Crossed the Mountains: A History of the Western States Trail
- Inducted to the American Endurance Ride Conference Hall of Fame in March 2000
Commemorative Tile honoree, Central Square of Auburn, California, by the Auburn City Council and their Endurance Capital of the World Committee, on April 13, 2019
- Winner of Levi’s Ride and Tie Race from St. Helena to Sonoma, California (1971)
- American Endurance Ride Conference National Championship (1972)
- Traveled horseback 1,950 miles in 52 days over the historic Pony Express Overland Trail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California (1976)
- Owner of AERC Hall of Fame Endurance Horse inductee – El Karbaj (1978)
International endurance completions include:
- FEI United Arab Emirates (UAE) President’s Cup 100 Mile ride, Abu Dhabi, UAE (February 2002); Tom Quilty Cup, Australia 100 Mile Ride (October 2004 and June 2006), and FEI North American Endurance Championship 100 Mile CEI 3*, Elkton, Maryland earning a Team Silver Medal as member of the Pacific North Zone (October 2005). Also competed at the Germany National Championship FEI 100 Mile Ride (June 2005), FEI UAE President’s Cup (February 2005), and Shining Moon FEI Japan Endurance Championship 100 Mile Ride (June 2007).
- Executive and consultant in banking industry
Terryl Reed, Vice President
- 1965: Started competing in North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) Rides (competitive trail rides); Crewed on Tevis and have not missed a Tevis since then. Crewed for Tevis and Haggin Cup winners and top 10 finishers. Finished Tevis five times and conditioned a number of horses for other successful Tevis riders.
- 1967: President of the Los Altos Junior Horsemen, completed first endurance ride (Castle Rock Ride)
- 1968: College; began professionally training horses
- 1970: Campaigned in NATRC; won NATRC Sr. Horsemanship Award
- 1972: Animal Science Major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Manager, Cal Poly NATRC Ride; Certified as NATRC horsemanship judge
- 1979: Started showing Arabians
- 1990: Earned teaching credential; Western States Trail Foundation Board member; Cup Committee member; Chairman of Historical Committee; head volunteer at Michigan Bluff Vet Check ; Won Arabian Horse Association (AHA) Champion Competitive Horse; Reserve Endurance and Best Condition
- 1998: WSTF Chairman of the Historical Committee; with the help of Bob Kelley, conducted video interviews of historical Tevis personalities
- 2018: Founded Western States Trail Museum. Gathered historical artifacts and formed board and committees. Established non-profit status, corporation and opened financial backing avenues.
Preston Ketcherside, Treasurer
Shannon Yewell Weil, Secretary
- 1967 – Graduate of Wentworth and Linda Tellington’s Pacific Coast Equestrian Research Farm School of Horsemanship where the U.S. Cavalry Methodology of Horsemanship was taught. Began endurance riding.
- 1970s – Seven years of experience in the Thoroughbred horse industry in California and Kentucky.
- 1976 – Crewed on a four-month adventure for a participant in the Great American Horse Race, was among the group that split off and formed the 1976 Pony Express Race traveling the grueling 1,960-mile Pony Express Trail while living through pioneer-like experiences during profound adventure.
- 1977 – Employed by Wendell T. Robie at the Heart Federal Savings & Loan Association, mecca for the Western States Trail Foundation.
- 1977 – Co-Founder Western States Endurance Run, serving on its Board of Directors for 33 years, currently Emeritus Director.
- Along with Italian sculpture, Franco Vianello, created the Cougar Trophy, and San Francisco artist Jacque Boothorn the WSER logo, conceived the coveted Cougar sterling silver completion buckle, later named by Runner’s World 2000 Best of Running magazine’s nationwide survey as the Best Race Award.
- Western States Endurance Run Little Cougar Award recipient.
- 1978 – Claimed the phrase “Auburn Endurance Capital of the World” for the City of Auburn, CA.
- 1977 & 1979 – Completed the Tevis Cup Ride two out of four attempts.
- 1982-83 – Two-year stint in Pago Pago, American Samoa, South Pacific.
- 1986-96 Corporate risk management software company that managed claims for Fortune 500 companies. Helped bridge technical information into easy to understand client training programs.
- 2000 – Created the Western States Endurance Run RAFFLE in an effort to generate funds for trail maintenance and preservation. Its success has raised nearly a million dollars and supports the Trail Stewardship program and medical research projects benefiting the entire sport of ultra-running.
- 2003 – Co-founder of the City of Auburn’s Endurance Capital of the World designation and Committee Member.
- 2008 – Recognized in Auburn’s Endurance Zone’s with an inaugural sidewalk tile citing “Curt Sproul, Phil Gardner, Mo Livermore and Shannon Weil – The Gang of Four” as the creators of the Western States Endurance Run’s infrastructure and taking it to an internationally acclaimed trail race.
- 2013 – Authored Strike A Long Trot – Legendary Horsewoman Linda Tellington-Jones, a 356-page book covering the 40-years of her distinguished life and equestrian career. It chronicles her School of Horsemanship, pioneering the sport of endurance riding, three-day eventing and steeple chase racing with the Hungarian horses and much Tevis Cup Ride history. Five decades later, the friends still work together on many projects including training presentations, advertisements, and social media content.
- 2019 – Inducted into the Sacramento Running Association’s Hall of Fame for her groundbreaking work on establishing the Western States Endurance Run.
- Shannon is a graphic designer and a resident of Cool, California.
- BS Forest Management – Humboldt State University, Arcata, California
- Thirteen years as a Consulting and Industrial Forester
- Joined Hewlett Packard; Manufacturing, Accounting, Data Base Management
- Selected as the recipient of the Honorary Ranger award, California State Park Ranger Association, 2020
- Placer County History Award, 2020
- Native Sons of the Golden West (NSGW), Auburn Parlor #59, 1991 to present
- Native Sons of the Golden West Grand President 2011 – 2012
- NSGW, Historical Preservation Foundation Board Member 2001 – 2021
- NSGW, Historical Preservation Foundation Chairman 2001 – 2004 and 2012 – 2020
Leadership and Community Involvement
- Joined Native Sons at Auburn Parlor #59 in 1991, progressing up to Parlor President in 1996. Became more involved at the Grand Parlor level. Joined the Historical Preservation Foundation of the NSGW in May of 2001.
- Board of the DeWitt Community Complex (2020 – present)
- Board Member Gold Discovery Park Association in Coloma, California 2003 –2006. Interim Executive Director in 2005 and 2007.
- Award-winning videographer and owner of BobKat Productions since 1989
- Documented the history of Tevis through videoing interviews of riders and volunteers
- Web commercials, safety videos, media training, seminars, product demonstrations, conference and speaker forums
- Showcase facilities and equestrian ranches
- Horsemanship series for commercial broadcast
- Photojournalist for Fox News and Associated Press
- Two PBS documentaries aired nationally
- Clients include Dignity Health, UC Davis, Lowes, Home Depot, PBS, Safeway, Discovery Channel
In the early 1970s husband Ernie and Kathie had too many horses for the one-acre the steeds lived on in California’s Bay Area. They both loved the Western States Trail and decided to move to Auburn to be close to this historic route over the Sierra, home to the Western States 100-Mile One Day Ride, known famously as the Tevis Cup Ride.
Kathie, a now-retired banker, has served on the Western States Trail Foundation for over 30 years and was its first woman president. She currently serves as vice president and is the vice chairperson for the Western States Endowment Foundation. She was one of the founding members of the American Endurance Ride Conference and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1983. She was one of the founding members of the American River Ride and has served on the horse-mounted unit for the Placer County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue for 25 years.
As winner of the Tevis Cup (1978) and recipient of 24 Tevis buckles, Kathie has a unique, unprecedented familial relationship to the Tevis:
- Wendell Robie, Kathie’s former employer and grandfather to Marion Robie Arnold (who was married to Kathie’s brother); four-time winner of the Ride; 13 Tevis buckles; founder of the Western States Trail Foundation
- Sam Arnold (Kathie’s brother) won the Tevis Cup and the Haggin Cup in 1976 and was husband to Marion Robie Arnold (Wendell’s granddaughter); holder of three Tevis buckles
- Marion Robie Arnold (Kathie’s sister-in-law) won the Tevis in 1969; holder of 11 Tevis buckles
- Kathie’s nephew, Wendell Arnold, holder of one Tevis buckle
- Kathie’s son, Jimmie, holder of four Tevis buckles
Jennifer Walker Hemmen is an ultra-distance trail runner and mother of three from Fair Oaks, CA. She manages a small environmental permitting company, focusing on implementing conservation projects in California that benefit endangered species, wildlife habitat and water quality.
Her passion is being part of her running community, especially through mountain trail races. The Western States trail holds a special place in her heart and she has paced, crewed, and volunteered at the Western States 100 Endurance Run from start to finish for 16 years and counting. In 2015, she earned her silver buckle at the race, finishing 15th woman overall. She has completed over fifty ultra-races from 50K to over 100 miles as well as competed in EcoChallenge Fiji and multi-day adventure races.
In 2020 and 2022, Jennifer joined locals Tim Tweitmeyer, Bob Crowley and Elke Reimer on the historic 100-mile Forlorn Hope and Donner Party Relief Expeditions to honor the bravery of the emigrants who took part in the rescue of the Donner Party. She plans to continue supporting History Trail Trekking in the Sierras and beyond, combining endurance and story-telling to educate on the historical events of America.
She lives on the American River in Fair Oaks with her husband Travis, kids Sophia, George, Willem, 3 kitties and their doggo, Loki.
Avid outdoorsman and ultrarunner, Charles “Chaz” Sheya resides in Sacramento, California, close to the Sierra Nevada Mountains where he enjoys both summer and winter sports.
His maternal grandmother is from northern Mexico’s Tarahumara heritage, also known as Rarámuri or ‘running people’, they proficiently cover the mountainous trails of Copper Canyon. Chaz found his home the first time he ran on the Western States Trail.
• During his 30-years in real estate and lending businesses, Chaz worked with buyers and sellers looking for properties ranging from luxury renovations to investments. He represented markets ranging from the Monterey Peninsula to East Sacramento’s ‘Fabulous Forties’ Land Park area to El Dorado Hills. Always making his clients best interest as his first priority.
• Founder and owner of Epic Endurance Events, a company that produces trail races in the Auburn and Sierra Nevada area including the ever growing and popular Canyons Endurance Runs by UTMB® and the Overlook 50k, which starts in Foresthill and ends at the Overlook in Auburn, CA.
• In 2012 while training on the Western States Trail, Sheya thought, ‘Man, this place is really freaking cool,’ and said to his buddy, “Why are there no other races out here? Understandably, he relates, “The more time you get in the canyons, the better shot you have at finishing Western States,” and that’s an opportunity that Sheya and his buddy felt compelled to offer his fellow runners.
• As a new race director, Sheya shifted his business acumen by spending two years cultivating the necessary relationships and how to navigate the logistics that come with a race in Western States Trail canyons.
• 2014 – the 50k The Canyons Endurance Run was founded. His problem-solving abilities and friendly style quickly honed him into a well-respected race director and team leader on the Northern California circuit.
• By 2016 his race became a Western States qualifier and by 2019, the Canyons 100k was a Western States Endurance Run Golden Ticket race, a significant claim within the sport.
• 2021 the popularity of the Canyons Runs gained world-wide attention and was acquired by UTMB® in a partnership with The Ironman Group, Sheya remains as the Race Director.
• In 2022 the Canyons Endurance Runs by UTMB® became the very first UTMB® World Series event to take place in the United States seeing over 1,000 participants from 15 countries, regions, and territories toe the starting line.
• 2023 will add a 100-mile distance to the 100km, 50km, and 25km distances making this event the largest race held to the birthplace of mountain ultras and the historic gold-rush town of Auburn, California. By utilizing the most scenic and challenging sections of the iconic Western States Trail, home of the world’s oldest 100-mile ultramarathon, his races boost the number of eco-tourism visitors to the area.
• He is the former Western States Trail Steward from Dusty Corners to Foresthill, looking after his favorite section of the trail that includes the three famous canyons – North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River Canyon, El Dorado Canyon and Volcano Canyon.
• Lyon’s Ridge Aid Station Co-Captain, along with Abigail Drake, for the Western States Endurance Run.
• His strengths lie in actualizing an idea into a fully realized concept by planning and organizing a capable team of people. His vibrant connections to the ultrarunning communities reach deep into both the local and international scenes.
Phil Sexton is a senior cultural and historic interpreter for California State Parks in Sacramento, and from 2009-2017, he was the Deputy Director of the California State Railroad Museum.
• Phil has worked for USDA Forest Service on the Tahoe, Inyo and Sequoia National Forests and for the National Park Service at Redwood National Park.
• He is a life member of the National Association for Interpretation and is a certified NAI interpretive trainer and guide. He is a member of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) and the National Council on Public History (NCPH.)
• He has a B.Sc. from Humboldt State University in California.
• He’s a contributor to Stanford University’s Chinese Railroad Workers in America project, and is the only non-PhD. Faculty member for the UC Davis History Project, Teaching the Transcontinental Railroad, which provides continuing education for teachers from around the country.
• As an historian/cultural interpreter, he has spoken to groups interested in railroad and 19th century history of western expansion in many locations, including the Smithsonian Museum of American History, National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and the Oakland California Museum.
• He has a continuing relationship with the 1882 Foundation and other groups promoting Chinese-American history.
He has also presented on various aspects of cultural interpretation and communication at NAI Conferences and workshops across the nation.
•In 2002, he received the Gifford Pinchot award for excellence in interpretation from USDA Forest Service, and in 2017 was named a Master Interpretive Manager by the National Association for Interpretation.
• Phil works with film and documentary producers and authors to do research, validate facts, provide context and review scripts. He has worked with film and video producers in the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan and China, and been an interview subject in episodes of Tough Trains, Great American Railway Journeys, Ten Things that Changed America and Journey to Promontory on PBS.
• From 2012-2015, Phil consulted with the producers and writing staff of Hell on Wheels, which aired on the AMC network and currently streams on Netflix.
• He also consults with and provides training for museums and natural history centers who are interested in providing quality services to their visitors.
Phil lives in Auburn CA on a one-acre farm called “Wise Acres.”
Christina Richter began her career in the corporate world, working for both Hewlett-Packard Company and Nestle Food Company over a 15-year span. Once she and her husband moved their family from Southern to Northern California in 1997, her interests shifted to the Arts and non-profit pursuits.
She first wrote for, then became editor of, the Arts Council of Placer County’s “Perspectives” arts magazine. She also served as Executive Director of the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, and Community Relations Manager for Barnes & Noble booksellers. In 2013 she authored the biography of the Roseville Fiddyment family titled “Walk With Me, I Want To Tell You Something.” She served three terms as President of the Roseville Historical Society (2013-2019) and was also Vice President of the Sacramento Historical Society (SHS). SHS awarded Christina the “History Enlightenment Award” for her efforts to save the historic Fiddyment pioneer ranch house in West Roseville.
She presently works for Placer County Museums in a part-time position, working primarily to support the Curator of Collections. Christina serves on the Placer County Historical Advisory Board, is Regional Vice President for the Conference of California Historical Societies and writes a monthly history article for Gold Country Media. Her book “Past and Present Placer County” will be released by Arcadia Publishing May 1, 2023.
Christina and her husband currently reside on their beloved property in old Granite Bay and enjoy frequent visits from their daughters Audrey and Anna.
Bruce has been a runner and American history buff for most of his life. He has worked in Software Development Engineering for Hewlett Packard Co. for 43 years, first writing software and then project managing the development of computer networking products. He has extensive experience in bringing engineering projects from concept to commercial release.
Growing up outside of Boston, he was immersed in Revolutionary War history, which lead to a lifelong interest in American history, as well as a fascination with the stories and accomplishments of the people that built this nation.
After college, moving to Roseville CA in 1980, he started exploring Placer County Gold Rush history. One day in the early 80s, while searching for the Star Town townsite and the Star Town mine location, he stumbled across the Western States Trail, near what we now call Pucker Point. Since that day, he has developed a deep love for the trail that is exemplified by the saying ‘The dust of the Trail gets in your blood’.
He has spent the last 40+ years exploring and rediscovering lost mining towns and abandoned gold mines in the wildly inaccessible North Fork and Middle Fork of the American River canyons. The Western States Trail was truly a conduit through and around those canyons and places, and the mining history along the Trail is rapidly being overgrown and forgotten by time and nature. He believes it is imperative that we preserve the memory and accomplishments of those who lived, used, and depended on that Trail.
Bruce is also an accomplished runner, whitewater kayaker, and backcountry skier.
- 100+ marathons and trail Ultra-Marathons completed.
- Western States 100-mile Endurance Run finisher.
- Boston Marathon finisher. (9x)
- California International Marathon finisher (18x)
- Co-Captain at the Devil’s Thumb aid station for the WSER.
- Served multiple years on the Board of Directors for the Buffalo Chips Running Club.
- Member of the Board of Directors of the Western States Endurance Run ham radio club. Club provides runner support and safety for the WSER, call sign WS8ER.
Currently, Bruce resides in Roseville, with his wife of 34 years, Diane. They have 2 adult daughters. Diane also is an accomplished runner, kayaker, and skier. They spend as much time as possible in the mountains enjoying its challenges and beauty.
- Governor Emeritus after 25 years on Western States Trail Foundation Board of Governors
- Recipient of Western States Trail Foundation’s Dru Barner Award in 2022
- Tevis Cup Ride dedicated to Kate in 2014
- Award winning journalist and photographer
- Marketing specialist
- Promoted personalities to top of their fields
- Award winning television director and producer
- Executive producer of “They Crossed the Mountains” documentary about the Western States Trail
- Editor, Sierra Heritage Magazine
- Editor of three major equine magazines
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