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2009 Bandit Springs
Images by Merri Melde

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Stories: Bandit Springs Cultural Endurance || Bandit Springs Day 1 || Bandit Springs Day 2

2009 Bandit Springs

Photos by Merri Melde


Day 1 - Gallery I

Day 1 - Gallery II

Day 1 - Gallery III

Day 1 - Gallery IV

Day 2 - Gallery I

Day 2 - Gallery II

Complete Results

Saturday 30 miles * Saturday 50 miles * Saturday 80 miles * Saturday 100 miles
Sunday 30 miles * Sunday 50 miles * 2-day 100 miles


7 of 7 finished the 100
1. Gabrielle Mann and CM Big Easy
2. Joyce Sousa and LV Integrity
3. Jennifer Neihaus and MC Gallantly
4. Michelle Rousch and PR Tallymark - BC
12 of 12 finished the 80
1. Ron Sproat and Ladys Dividend
2. Carol Giles and SAR Tiki Stranger
3. Fred Emigh and Gil
4. Lee Pearce and Fire Mt Malabar - BC
52 of 57 finished the 50
1. Pat Richardson and MCM Last Dance
2. Brad Green and Pawnee - BC
3. Susan Powell and ACF Phenomenon
55 of 56 finished the 30
1. Penny Tanner and Hector
2. Ira Hickman and Majestic Lady
3. David Shefrin and GE Druz Shaatgun RS - BC

3 Ride and Tie teams did the 30... I believe one finished, sorry, did not get the names...
2 Ride and Tie teams did 10 miles

On Sunday:

3 of 5 finished the 2-day 100:
1. Christopher Wood and FV Pure Gold
2. Ann Pfeffer and Walking Winds Mariah
3. Chuck Cowan and MMR Tuff Ballatorie
25 of 28 finished the 50:
1. Troy Tribby and OMR Pristine
2. Kelly Nutter and The Sun King
3. Carol Giles and SAR Tiki Taxes
4. Ron Sproat and SAR Tiki FS Warrior - BC
23 of 23 finished the 30:
1. Melissa Queen and Pip
2. Lisa Schuler and Cinder
3. Lisa Preston and Rainy - BC

Sunday July 12 2009 - Bandit Springs Day 2

I was up to watch the 50-milers take off down the trail at 6 AM, and the 30 milers at 7 AM, followed by the BC judging for the 100-miler. Gabrielle Mann and Big Easy, Jennifer Neihaus and MC Gallantly, and Michelle Roush's horse PR Tallymark showed for BC. Michelle was riding another horse in today's 50, so her friend showed Tallymark.

Afterwards, I was visiting fellow Idahoasters Nance and Bruce Worman in their horse trailer out in the suburbs of packed ridecamp - their trailer and my tent were on the far end of the meadow. Nance and her horse Big Sky Quinn finished the 80 miler last night.

While sipping our Starbucks coffee, a woman came up to the trailer out of breath saying something about, "There's a horse in a manger, Bruce can you come? Bring all your tools!" ? We weren't quite sure what she meant, and didn't think much of it, but Bruce said, "OK, sure," and off they went.

After another leisurely cup of coffee, Nance and I walked to downtown ridecamp where the awards meeting was going to be held. There seemed to be a lot of horse trailers in the single lane road through camp, and I started to notice that they were all parked, motors turned off, and the line started behind a 2-horse trailer where a lot of people were crowded around. At the same time the question of whatever could that lady have meant by, a "horse stuck in a manger" popped in my head, and it dawned on me that everything was related. I looked closer at the first trailer and couldn't believe what I thought I saw - the hind end of a horse - looking very shortened in the 2-horse trailer. A yet closer look revealed the front end of the horse was indeed in the manger and wrapped around the dividing pole. When somebody says "A horse is in a manger," that's what they mean!


Saturday July 11 2009 - Bandit Springs Day 1

At the crack of dawn, 5 AM, the 80's and 100-milers started things off, followed an hour later by the 50's. The first of the 80's and 100's were coming in for their first vet check in camp after their first 20-mile loop when the 30's started at 7 AM. The Ride & Tie'rs started at 7:30 AM and the Trail riders after 7:45 - nearly 150 horses on the trails today, coming and going.

There were a couple of thrills on the first day... a 2-day 100 mile rider was spooked off her horse and broke her collarbone (but she stayed all weekend so her husband could finish - and win - the 2-day 100); a Horse Gone - a Ride N Tie-er's horse got loose when the runner was about to get on him, and he went on down the trail without his rider and runner; and a first time rider on the Trail Ride got dumped off his horse a half-mile from camp... and the horse was gone for 24 hours. The Ride N Tie horse was later retrieved at the Ranger Station, and the missing horse was found by another rider Sunday afternoon, his tack still on, no worse for wear, other than quite thirsty.

The winner of the 30 had her own excitement: on the second loop, Canadian Penny Tanner's Standardbred horse spooked and she lost her balance, and before she could recover her seat, she got whacked by a tree branch. It jerked her neck back and flipped her backwards off her horse. Ira Hickman was one who stopped to help her, and rode in with her. They crossed the finish line together, and it was Penny's horse that pulsed down first for the win. Of the 56 starters in the 30, there was only 1 pull.


Friday July 10 2009 - Bandit Springs Cultural Endurance

If you want to experience the true flavor of multi-ethnic endurance riding, Bandit Springs in central Oregon is where you go.

You've got your Equi-Ethnic Majority: the Arabians. Then you've got your Equi-Ethnic Minorities, a large percentage of which are 'Gaiters' - your Tennessee Walkers, Paso Finos, Peruvian Pasos, Missouri Foxtrotters; there are also minority Mustangs, Quarter horses, Morgans, Thoroughbreds, Irish Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, Rocky Mountain horses, and the colored Appaloosas and Paints and Palominos; and there's the half-breds and unknown-breds that are a mix of all kinds of breeds. And they pretty much all get along. (The one thing I didn't see was a mule, but I bet they'll come out of the closet soon!) I enjoyed trying to guess breeds, then asking the rider if I was correct.

Then you have your wide range of people: Exclusively Gaiter riders and non-Gaiters (a friendly rivalry there); first time riders and veterans with 20,000 miles under their fanny packs; 10-year-olds to 72-year-olds; international competitors to weekend fun riders. You'll see huge motorhomes pulling 3-horse trailers, 5-horse trailers with living quarters, and the basic old-truck-and-2-horse-trailer-and-tent.