Donations to NATRC Trail Fund Honor Elmer Bandit

Long before Elmer Bandit set the record for competitive trail miles, he and his lifelong owner Mary Anna Wood of Independence, Mo., worked together to raise money for the North American Trail Ride Conference's Trail Fund. The approved tax-deductable fund supports the expansion, improvement, and maintenance of America's equine trail systems.

Back in the 1980s Elmer impressed competitors and spectators at trail events with his ability to nimbly hop in and out of the bed of a pickup truck, his usual conveyance. (Today, with entire clinics devoted to the art of teaching a horse to step into a trailer, Elmer can be considered a horse ahead of his time.)

Elmer as a 5-year-old

Elmer as a 5-year-old, May of 1976.

When asked to demonstrate Elmer's loading prowess, Wood would reply, "If you like the show, donate a quarter to the NATRC Trail Fund." She recalls, "Sometimes I only collected a couple of bucks at a ride, but I always took those quarters home and then wrote a check to the fund."

Trail Fund monies have helped bring water to equine campsites, purchase markers for trails, and to build corrals, as well as many other projects to keep existing trails open and encourage the expansion of equine trail opportunities.

To honor Elmer's memory and support this work, donations should be sent to NATRC Trail Fund, PO Box 224; Sedalia, CO; 80135. Specify Elmer Bandit as the honoree. NATRC Executive Director Laurie DeNatale also encouraged everyone to visit the NATRC Web site, which is under development is accept donations electronically.

Read more: Elmer Bandit Tribute Planned, Condolences Shared

About the Author

Marsha Hayes

Marsha Hayes has been covering endurance, trail, and other equine topics since 2005. She believes every horse has a story.

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