37-Year-Old Horse Completes First Competitive Ride of the 2008 Season

Nineteen days after turning 37 years old, Half-Arabian Elmer Bandit and owner/breeder Mary Anna Wood crossed the timing line on Sunday to complete his first Open Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) of 2008. Less than two hours later he vetted out sound and brought his CTR mileage total to 20,300. Elmer's lifetime mileage record is 410 miles short of the record for lifetime competitive miles.

Elmer Bandit, 37-year-old horse, completes competitive trail ride

Elmer Bandit and lifetime owner Mary Anna Wood

For more on Elmer see 37-Year-Old Horse Closing in on Trail Mileage Record.

Event equine judge Pat Regier, DVM, of Whitewater, Kan., said Elmer looked "better than he did a couple of years ago." Reiger has practiced with Countryaid Vet Service in Whitewater, Kan., for 26 years, and he has been a certified competitive trail judge for eight years.

Elmer traveled 33 miles in the event at 5 mph over hilly and muddy terrain to be allowed to continue the course on Sunday. A soft, but steady rain Saturday night made trails even more challenging on Sunday when Elmer finished another 21.6 miles at the same pace. Mud was ankle- to hock-deep in many places.

Elmer made his time and walked to the finish point with ears pricked forward. After timing in, he took a nap before the final vetting out procedure.

"He needed to catch up on some REM sleep," explained Wood.

Sweet dreams, Elmer.

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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