Older Horses: Elmer Bandit Rides Again

Elmer Bandit, the 38-year-old Half-Arabian who broke the record for lifetime competitive mileage last October, added another 20 miles to his record July 18 when he completed one day of the Cedar Creek competitive trail ride near Columbia, Mo.

Elmer's owner and rider Mary Anna Wood entered him in a shorter, slower class that still required a 4 mph pace over the rocky hills of the Mark Twain National Forest.

Wood's riding companion at the event, Lucy Hirsch, DVM, reported that Elmer pranced, danced, and jigged the final two miles.

"Elmer wondered why we were going so slow," Wood was heard to comment.

Elmer received three "excellent" scores on the four required trail obstacles. On the judged hill climb, he was penalized slightly for "rushing" the hill.

By choosing to compete in a "distance only" category, Elmer was not eligible for point placings, but with many National Championships on his record, the current agenda is not about winning. Wood wants to enjoy they time they have together.

"He's too much fun to leave at home," said Wood.

Elmer surprised some competitors Sunday when he stretched out for a four-hour afternoon nap while Wood volunteered with the pulse and respiration crew.

"It kind of played with people's minds," said Wood.

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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