Volunteers to continue search for missing cowboy in Merritt over the weekend

Ben Tyner said that other ranchers believe Tyner rode to an area known as Swakum Ridge

A search will continue through the weekend for the cowboy whose horse was found wandering alone in full tack near Merritt, B.C.

RCMP say no new evidence has been found and volunteers will spread out to cover as much terrain as possible as the weather continues to co-operate.

Police say 32-year-old Ben Tyner was hired as the manager at Nicola Ranch last November and is new to the Merritt area.

They say he has been ranching and riding horses for many years and is believed to be in good shape and quite competent in the bush.

Kim Robinson, who is a tracker from the area, says he found Tyner’s horse at around 5:30 Monday morning.

READ MORE: Hunt continues for missing Merritt cowboy, as mercury drops

Robinson says the gelding was “a little bit jumpy” and one of its reins was broken.

“The horse was dressed up nice. It had a good saddle and stuff on it. It was somebody who was riding it who knew about horses and knew about riding.”

Tyner was last seen Saturday afternoon and police say it’s unclear when he set out on his horse because he was on his days off.

RCMP said earlier this week that other ranchers believe Tyner rode to an area known as Swakum Ridge, northwest of Merritt, and may have been searching for stray cattle belonging to the ranch.

“Search Dogs, tracking teams, helicopters, UTVs and snowmobiles as well as teams from across the central Interior, the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island have attended to assist in the search over the past 5 days,” Const. Tracy Dunsmore says in a news release.

Tyner is described as six-foot-three, 240 pounds, with dark hair and a beard.

The Canadian Press

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