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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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Show me the Money

Show Me The Money at Arkdale
Saturday, August 7, 2004

10 Mile Drivers-Singles
1st place  –  Wes Licht driving Lena, a Morab – 397 points
2nd place –  Jac Deweese driving Ashes, a pony – 393 points
3rd place –  Fay  Van Camp driving Missy, a grade  – 392 points
4th place – Katz Jackson driving Horus, a Morgan – 381 points
5th place – Jim Clay driving Scarlet, a POA – 370 points
20 Mile Drivers-Singles
1st – Connie Gray with ToGo, Arab
2nd – Randy Rudstrom with Buddy, Standardbred
10 Mile Drivers-Pairs
1st place – Julie Dahlberg driving Bess and Rowdy, Morgan X Ponies -386 points ave.

Show Me The Money
By Wes Licht

The Show Me The Money event was a new drive and time at an old place.  The weather on this Saturday afternoon was great for the horses with cloudy skies and cooler temperatures than predicted.  The potential for rain had drivers wondering what to wear or pack for the competition.  Most of us opted to chance it and the skies held off for an enjoyable drive.

Ride managers Romona Radtke and Elinore Tonsor had a wonderful 10-mile loop trail that took us through a mixture of woods, marsh and prairie, along dirt roads and a river.  The prairie flowers in the open areas were prominently displaying gorgeous blooms and I worried at times that I would miss a trail marker while gazing at the scenery.   I was the first driver out and I certainly didn’t want to get off course and have other drivers who might follow my tracks do the same.  But the trail was well marked and there were even trivia challenges along the way.  Two such signs asked about the early history of distance driving.  “What year was the first distance drive held at this location when the event was called Wildcat?”  Another asked, “Who won the first distance drive held at Wildcat?”  I thought I knew the answers but then I had an advantage.*  Other questions involved endurance and competitive riding for the riders using the same trail.

A few riders that I encountered waved and briefly commented on the neat trails before moving along.  Finally, after passing the two mile marker, I met up with Jim Clay heading to the river and the turn around at the boat launch.  He was making good time with his POA mare, who was doing great for her first distance drive. Shortly after I spotted a parade of three drivers in good spirits seemingly having a merry time together.  Fay Van Camp was leading with Jac Deweese and Katz Jackson following short distances behind each other.  I wondered at what circumstances had brought them all together, knowing that all had gone out with 5-minute intervals and Jac ahead of Fay.

As I completed the last half mile or so, I was able to drive slowly, doing a slow trot and walk to the finish, realizing that I could make it in my 10-minute window of time.  I unhitched and unharnessed immediately and brought Lena over to the vetting area. While I waited for the P & R check and later let Lena doing some grazing, each driver in turn came into the finish, all at approximately in their window of time.

While we drivers took care of our horses and equipment, grabbed a drink and snack, and waited for the scoring to be completed, stories started unfolding.  The berm that protected the trail from car traffic seemed to be the focus of attention. Mark and Julie Dahlberg, who drove their pair, had forewarned all of us about it at the driver’s meeting preceding the start of the competition.  Jim had momentarily been stuck on the berm but got his cart free without a mishap.  Jack with his small pony and vehicle wasn’t so fortunate.  Fay caught up to Jac as his cart had overturned when he tried to negotiate around it. He’s not sure why it tipped but he had to unhitch Ashes, upright his vehicle and then rehitch again before moving on.  All other drivers had no problem with this unusual obstacle.

After Romona and Elinore presented completion and placing awards to all the successful drivers and all were successful, I presented Jac with a special award from last year.  It was the MDDA High Point Award that Jac had won competing with his Morgan mare Nora during the 2003 season.  The specially embroidered horse blanket had finally been completed for him.  This was a bittersweet moment for Jac and all of us since Nora passed on this spring after a battle with colic.

On Sunday, I had other obligations so I could not participate in the longer 20-mile drive held in early morning.  Only Randy Rudstrom and Connie Gray competed with each other doing the loop twice with a P&R check and a trot-out during the 40-minute hold in between loops.  This story comes from Elinore as she writes the UMECRA news. “Randy had an especially exciting drive, when two deer jumped out of the woods and dashed just past the nose of his horse!  During the excitement that followed , one of the shafts of Randy’s cart broke.  Well, being a ‘never say die’ type of guy, Randy got out the duct tape, cut down a small sapling and used it to brace the shaft, which he held together with duct tape.  Now, he did all this, and managed to finish the drive only two minutes late!”  I think Red Green ought to hear about this duct tape story.  Is duct tape a part of your spares kit?

Congratulations to Randy and all the successful Show Me The Money drivers.

*Wes Licht, driving his palomino stallion Topaz, won the 1st distance drive in 1997.

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