Elmer Bandit Adds Another 60 Miles, Course Takes Toll on Competitors

Elmer Bandit, the 37-year-old Half-Arabian approaching the record for lifetime competitive miles, competed Oct. 4 and 5 in the Kansas Flint Hills Competitive Trail Ride north of Manhattan, Kan.

Rocky conditions, steep climbs, and temperatures in the 80s combined to make it a tough weekend for many competitors--including Elmer. His completion time exceeded optimum parameters and he was awarded only mileage and completion points.

"Elmer didn't fuss over the rocks, he just went slow and he didn't have enough terrain to turbo-trot and catch up," reported Elmer's owner and rider Mary Anna Wood of Independence, Mo. "We still had a wonderful weekend on the trail."

Veterinary Judge Rhonda Gregory, DVM, who has a practice in Cherryvale, Kan., vetted the nearly 40 competitors from several states.

Gregory said that many horses lost pulse and respiration points, as well as movement and willingness points.

Ride managers slowed the required speed to 4.5 mph for the Sunday course due to the trail difficulty and heat.

Elmer's unofficial mileage now stands at 20,600, which is 110 miles short of Saddlebred Wing Tempo's 20,710 miles. The North American Trail Ride Conference declares mileage official after executive review and publication in Hoof Prints, the organization's magazine.

Wood plans to compete with Elmer Oct. 11, at the Indian Cave Competitive Trail Ride at Indian Cave State Park near Shubert, 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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