37-Year-Old Horse Elmer Bandit Finishes Second at Competitive Trail Ride

Elmer Bandit, 37-year-old half-Arabian gelding, completed the Spotted Rump Ride Competitive Trail Event at Greensfelder Equestrian Park near St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 16 to boost his lifetime mileage to 20,420. Saddlebred Wing Tempo holds the current mileage record with 20,710 miles.

Elmer and owner Mary Anna Wood

Elmer and owner Mary Anna Wood at a ride earlier this year.

Elmer finished second in the Open Lightweight Division. Weight divisions are based on the weight the horse carries over the 60-mile, two-day event. Owner Mary Anna Wood of Independence, Mo., consistently weighs in (with tack) at around 150 lbs, well below the 189 lb limit for the Lightweight Division.

A half-Arabian named Jac Natalie took first place in Elmer's division. She was born the year Elmer turned 28. Jac Natalie, with owner Jackie Hathorn aboard, traveled the 60 miles of trail with Elmer. During parts of the competition, the mare had to canter to keep pace with tough gray gelding.

"Elmer has a 'turbo trot,' " explained Wood. Tracked using GPS technology, Elmer's "turbo trot" averages 11.7 mph.

Part of the course sent competitors through trail jump course. Although not required, Elmer took one of the jumps just for fun. He ended the ride just as strong, out-walking several gaited horses on the hilly terrain during the last two miles Sunday.

Veterinary Judge Lucy Hirsch, DVM, of Smithville, Mo., pronounced Elmer sound Sunday afternoon at the event's final vetting procedure.

"This is one of the toughest rides of this region--very hilly and very rocky," noted Hirsch.

Elmer is scheduled to compete again Aug. 30 at the Nebraska National Forest CTR near Halsey, Neb.

Read more about 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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