We’re glad you stopped by to visit our website on distance driving. Perhaps you’ve just discovered MDDA and want to learn more about just what we do. Perhaps you’ve come to check the schedule to see when and where competitive drives are being held or check the results of past drives. Or perhaps you are just interested in looking at some photographs of our horses and drivers at the various competitions. Whatever the reason, thanks for browsing and drop us a line if we can answer any questions or be of service to you.

Iron Oak

Results  Iron Oaks  2003

12 Mile Drivers
1st – Mary Ruth Marks and Memphis  (Arab-Holsteiner) (354)
2nd – Sharon Brunzlick and Junior ( Standardbred )(307)
3rd – Kate Grayless and Red Jo Jo ( Shetland) (303)
4th – Bob Medenwald Pearl ( crossbred ) (299)
5th – Derrick Dupler and RHIA ( Morgan) (292)
6 Mile Drivers
1st  – Jac Deweese and Nora ( Morgan ) (374)
2nd – Glenn Garbisch and AKHEA ( Half Arab) (352)
3rd – Tom Krueger and Monti Montana ( Haflinger ) (333),
4th – Becki Deweese and Ashes ( Welsh Cross)  (332)
4th -Paul Schaumburg and  AMEGA ( Quarter Horse ) (332)
6th – Fay Van Camp and Missy ( grade) (327)
6 Mile Drive-Multiples
Wes Licht and Jesse Jane and Lady Omega both Morabs score of 380
10 Mile Ride
1st  – Annette Larson and Pete (Arab) with 375 points
2nd – Shirley May and IKEA (Paso)(371)
3rd – Joslyn Seefelt and Bert ( Paso ) (370)
3rd – Beth Mislivecek and Tsulta Artina ( Arab ) (370)
5th – Joyce Brown and Comit (Arab) (365)
6th – Dee Brauer and Zem ( Arab) (358)
Junior Riders
1st – Alex Seefeldt and Ara Tina ( Arab ) (357)
2nd – Caleb Heisz and AZA ( Arab ) (338)

By Jane Licht

The best word to describe this Midwest Distance Driving Association (MDDA) event held on April 26 is GREAT!  And that goes for the weather, the veterinarians, the clinicians, the volunteers, the participants, the host and the horses.  The majority of people who attended the clinic also participated in either the competitive distance drive or ride in the afternoon.  There were 13 novice riders and an all-time high of 21 drivers participating.  There were also several grooms who rode along with drivers, several veteran riders who lead the novices, two veterinarians, about a dozen volunteers and a very supportive host, Richard Loeb, whose farm near Lodi, Wisconsin, was used for the event.

Early in the morning, horses that would be participating in the ride or drives were examined by the veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Thompson, and vet technician, Chris Wetekind both from Lodi Vet Clinic.  The participants had friendly instruction from the vet staff about the trot out procedure.  MDDA volunteers Roger and Dana Houk were scribes for the vets and placed the vital information on the score sheets.  Most of the horses were vetted between 7 and 9 AM before the clinic started.

Midwest Distance Driving Association president, Theresa Burns, welcomed everyone to the clinic and she explained the rules and scoring for competitive driving and riding.  Wes Licht talked about conditioning your horse to prepare for long distance driving and riding.  Jac Deweese talked about his experiences last year as a newcomer to distance driving.  He felt this sport was extremely beneficial for his horse and that he was thrilled to win the “Rookie of the Year” award.  Romona Radtke gave an informative talk on feeding and use of electrolytes.  She stressed that the distance sports will teach you more about your horse that any other equine discipline.   MDDA members Elinore Tonsor and Pauline Stollenwerk also added comments about their own experiences.

Several MDDA members and others were asked to bring their horses to the barn area to use for checking pulse and respiration.  Everyone was invited to gather around a horse, use the stethoscope for checking heartbeat and gut sounds.  They were also instructed to watch the movement of the horse’s rib cage to detect respiration.  Pulse and respiration are counted for 15 seconds.  Most people do two respiration checks and take the average.

Next were the rider/driver meetings. Theresa announced the driving schedule.  Wes Licht talked with the drivers and explained what to expect regarding the trail.  He advised them to watch for the pink and red ribbons along the trail designated for drivers.  They could expect some sand but most of the footing was quite good.  The trail was 6 miles long and drivers who signed up for the 12 mile drive would drive it twice with a pulse and respiration check and 20 minute hold before starting the second half of the drive.

Linda Jacobson lead the novice rider’s meeting.  She said they should watch for the green and blue ribbons.  Their ride would be 10 miles total, doing a 5 mile loop twice. In between loops there would be a pulse and respiration check with a 20 minute hold. They would leave in small groups with an experienced rider leading the way.

After a buffet lunch supervised by Marguerite Deweese, Linda Millard and Elinore Tonsor, the participants socialized a bit and enjoyed the sun and pleasant spring temperatures.  But soon the competitive riding and driving began.

Linda Jacobson started out on her horse with novice riders Shirley May, Joslyn Seefeldt, Alex Seefeldt, Elizabeth Hoadley, and Beth Misliveck.  They were followed by Pat Bishop and her group of Caleb Heisz, Joyce Brown, Ward Wolff, Dee Brauer, Annette Larson, and Tracy Porter.  MDDA President Theresa Burns thanked Linda and Pat as well as Allison Goetz and Sara Bancroft-Short.  These experienced distance riders rode with the novice riders to share their knowledge and help them pace the ride.

Then the drivers harnessed and waited for their safety checks.  Wes Licht, Theresa Burns and Richard Loeb helped with the safety checks.  Breeching that was too low and traces that were too loose were corrected.  All drivers had a well-equipped spares kit, wore a safety helmet, and carried a whip.

Charles Kranz was the first 12-mile driver.  Next were Pam Catlin, Duane Rose, Bob Medenwald, Kate Grayless, Derrick Dupler, Mary Ruth Marks, and Sharon Brunzlick.  Charles Kranz and Duane Rose decided that 6 miles was enough for their horses and they elected not to continue, but both men enjoyed themselves and indicated a willingness to try the sport again.

MDDA members Don and Judy Hayes stationed themselves at one of the road crossings to protect the drivers from traffic, and this writer was a crossing guard at the other road crossing.  I also watched for drivers coming down the long, straight trail next to the woods and took photographs.

Cathy Thomas was the first 6-mile driver, followed by Tammy Molander, Becki Deweese, Jack Deweese, Tom Krueger, Fay Van Kamp, Mary Miller, Lorraine Lawler, Emily Berendt, Charlette Ehlert, Paul Schaumburg, Glenn Garbisch and Wes Licht.  The new drivers discovered that there is a knack for knowing when and where to expect another ribbon that marked the trail.  They also learned that this sport is not about racing; it is about pacing yourself.  “Trot when you can and walk when you must,” is an often quoted strategy.

Final P& R’s were taken and vet checks completed. Each horse starts with 400 points and deductions are made for higher pulse and respiration readings that are above resting rates of 9 and 2. If the horse is unwilling to trot out briskly for the vet, or has filling in his legs, sore tendons or fresh injuries and so on, points are also deducted.  One point per minute is deducted for the driver/rider missing his/her assigned window of finish time.  When the scores were tallied, everyone gathered for the awards ceremony.

Results of the 10 mile ride:  1st place – Annette Larson and Pete (Arab) with 375 points,
2nd – Shirley May and IKEA (Paso) (371), tied for 3rd – Joslyn Seefelt and Bert (Paso) and Beth Mislivecek and Tsulta Artina (Arab) (370), 5th – Joyce Brown and Comit (Arab) (365), and 6th – Dee Brauer and Zem (Arab) (358).

Top junior riders were Alex Seefeldt and Ara Tina (Arab) (357), and Caleb Heisz and AZA (Arab) (338).

Results of the 12-mile drive:  1st place – Mary Ruth Marks and Memphis (Arab-Holsteiner) (354), 2nd – Sharon Brunzlick and Junior (Standardbred ) (307), 3rd – Kate Grayless and Red Jo Jo (Shetland) (303),  4th – Bob Medenwald Pearl (crossbred ) (299), and 5th – Derrick Dupler and RHIA (Morgan) (292).

Results of the 6-mile drive:  1st place – Jac Deweese and Nora (Morgan) (374),
2nd – Glenn Garbisch and AKHEA (Half Arab) (352), 3rd – Tom Krueger and Monti Montana (Haflinger) (333), tied for 4th – Becki Deweese and Ashes (Welsh Cross) and Paul Schaumburg and AMEGA (Quarter Horse ) (332), and 6th was Fay Van Camp and Missy (grade) (327).

Results of 6 mile drive-multiples:  1st – Wes Licht and Jesse Jane and Lady Omega, both Morabs  (380).  In the case of multiples, the score of each horse is averaged for the final score.

In addition to earning ribbons, the top three placers in each division received a bucket of ABC products.  Everyone who finished got to pick out a participation award because in this sport, “to finish is to win.”

MDDA President Theresa Burns is hoping to see these new drivers and riders  along with many others attend the Glacier Trails event on May 10 and 11th at Kettle Moraine State Park – Horsemen’s Park near Palmyra, and also at the MDDA “Competitive Fun Day of Driving” on July 6, back at Richard Loeb’s farm.  The Fun Day features a 6-mile drive that includes 2 timed hazards, and a cones course, and gambler’s choice.