Elmer Bandit, 37, Completes Another Ride, On Track for Record

Elmer Bandit, the 37-year-old Half-Arabian gelding nearing a lifetime competitive mileage record, boosted his mileage to 20,480 over Labor Day weekend after completing the Nebraska National Forest event.

"Elmer loved trotting over the rock-free trails," reported his owner and rider, Mary Anna Wood of Independence, Mo. Elmer placed fourth in the open lightweight division and Wood garnered first place horsemanship honors.

Among other parameters, Horsemanship Judge Pricilla Lindsey of Saline, Kan., evaluated the care Wood took of Elmer at the mandatory pulse and respiration checks. Elmer's pulse was 36 beats per minute and his respiration was 28 at the final check Sunday. He lost no pulse and respiration points during the event.

The western Nebraska wind kicked up Sunday to make the second day of competition hard. "It was blowing into the riders and often hitting us sideways," Wood said.

"The wind was a gale that felt as if it would blow you off your horse," reported fellow competitor Lucy Hirsch, DVM, of Smithville, Mo. "Sand was flying. It was an exfoliating experience."

An additional challenge to bucking the wind and working in sand, Elmer traveled nearly 500 miles to the ride location.

"People kept asking me about Elmer's mileage at the ride. I don't know his mileage," Wood said. "It's not my focus."

Just 230 miles short of the current competitive trail mileage record of 20,710 (held by Saddlebred Wing Tempo), Wood plans to next ride Elmer in the Dave Smith Fall Fiesta at the Brushy Creek State Recreation Area near Lehigh, Iowa. This ride will be held Sept 13 and 14.

Read more about Elmer Bandit.

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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