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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.

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Fun Day

MDDA Fun Day 2004
By Jane Licht

The Midwest Distance Driving Association’s Fun Day of Competitive Driving was held once again at the Loeb Farm near Lodi, Wisconsin, and once again, it was packed with loads of fun.

Those of us who helped plan and organize the event became concerned when we kept getting calls from horse drivers who said, “Sorry but we must bale hay,”  or “we have a wedding to attend,” or “our transmission died,” and other valid reasons to keep them from participating in Fun Day.

Though our group was smaller this year, we enjoyed perfect weather, excellent driving conditions, helpful volunteers, and cooperative and well-conditioned horses.  All the drivers were enthusiastic and thoroughly enjoyed the various events.

The MDDA Fun Day is basically a distance drive containing two marathon hazards, followed by a cones course and gambler’s choice obstacle course.  I judged the first hazard while Tony Konkler did the timing.  It is always interesting to see how intent the drivers are as they move through the hazards.  Only one driver had an error by accidentally going through gate C before B.  Roger Houk had arrived late and was unable to view the hazards ahead of the drive.  But after studying a map,  he did an amazing job of finding and getting through the gates in the proper order with his Morab mare, Jazz.

After all the drivers returned, had their pulse and respiration checks and their horses vetted, we had a wonderful potluck lunch organized by Marguerite Deweese and Dana Houk.  MDDA President Wes Licht was presented with a birthday cake for his 60th birthday.  On the cake was a photo of Wes driving Windmere Royal Topaz, his pretty palomino Morab, during a distance drive.

After lunch we launched into the scurry event.  Instead of running this cones course simultaneously with the gamblers’ choice, we decide to do them separately so that everyone could watch all of the drivers together.

In the scurry (pick your route), the driver must get through all the cones quickly in any order and thus, they can decide on their own pattern.   While the volunteers got set for timing, scoring and establishing an order of go, the drivers walked and studied the course to determine their preferred route of attack.  Most drivers completed driving their cones pattern without a knockdown but perhaps wishing they would have gone a bit faster.   The drivers all enjoyed the scurry so much that they decided to do it a second time (just for fun), with many improving their scores.

After the scurry was completed, all the observers, volunteers and drivers moved chairs and horses over to the gambler’s choice obstacle course.  Once again, the driver’s pursued their predetermined plan to score points by successfully negotiating each obstacle during the course of two minutes.  Each racked up lots of points as horses willingly walked and trotted across the “railroad tracks,” through the pond (blue tarp), over the “bridge,” around the barrels and flags and other obstacles.        The obstacles course was a delight to watch with both the audience and drivers alternating between a countenance of big smiles and looks of determination.  Yells of encouragement and applause were frequent and sincerely felt.  Again, after the competitors were all done, the fun did not stop. Many drivers went back on course to practice the back up or cross the pond.   Loren Gettelman, whose horse had come up lame, drove wife Marge’s horse to satisfy his competitive nature and course manager Jerry Millard used Jac Deweese’s pony to test his skills.

At the awards ceremony, all drivers received completion awards as is the tradition in the sport of distance driving.  The top distance driving winner was Wes Licht with an amazing 397 points.  Jac Deweese was first in hazards, first in the scurry cones course and first in the gambler’s choice obstacle course, and the over-all Champion of MDDA Fun Day.  Fay Van Camp was close behind him in the scurry and obstacles and received the Reserve Champion award.

Special recognition was given to the volunteers:  Romona Radtke, Linda Jacobson, Tony Konkler, Jerry Millard, Richard Loeb, Jane Licht, Marguerite Deweese, Michelle Deweese and Dana Houk for making Fun Day possible.  For those drivers who were unable to attend, you missed a great event.  However, there are still a number of distance drives left.

2004 Fun Day

[img src=]80
Loading up to view the hazards
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Monna gives time card to Fay at finish
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Derrick unhitches while carlee heads Rhia
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Lena gets final vet check
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Roger and Jazz at the finish
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Roger and Jazz trot circles
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Marge and Trojan at finish
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Happy birthday to Wes Licht
[img src=]40
Jac and Ashes in Scurry
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Derrick and Rhia in gamblers choice
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Fay and Missy in gamblers choice
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Gerald Millard drives Ashes in gamblers choice
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The volunteers had fun too
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Trojan says it was really fun

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