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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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Wildcat 2004
12.5 Mile Drivers-Singles
1st – Wes Licht with Lena, Morab, 398 points
2nd – Connie Gray with ToGo, Arab, 378 points
3rd – Pat Jarocki with Rocky, Mini, 371 points
4th Tie – Jac Deweese with Ashes, pony, 363 points
4th Tie – Raven Fisher with Domminic, American Warmblood, 363 points
12.5 Mile Drivers-Pairs
1st – Julie Dahlberg with Bess + Rowdy, Morgan,cross ponies, 378 points
2 Day 60-Mile
1st – Randy Rudstrom with Buddy, Standardbred, 713 points
25-Mile Singles
1st – Wes Licht with Lena,  Morab, 385 points
2nd – Connie Gray with ToGo , Arab, 370 points
3rd – Gary Jackson with Horus, Morgan, 354 points

Wildcat Drives 2004
By Wes Licht

On July 25th Randy Rudstrom made Midwest Distance Driving history by completing and winning the first 2-day drive with his Standardbred Buddy.  Randy and Buddy received a score of 713 points out of a possible 800 points. .   The place was Wildrock County Park near Neillsville, WI, and the weather was perfect.  It was sunny, breezy and relatively cool for the last weekend in July with low humidity.

In a letter published in the Midwest Distance Driving Association newsletter, Elinore Tonsor and Monna Radtke, Ride Managers for the Wildcat Rides had revealed their new event and different options for distance drivers.  MDDA drivers took advantage of the weather and this new format.

The first option was the 2-Day 60-Mile Competitive Drive which started very early on Saturday morning.  Two drivers were excited to begin this most challenging test hoping to complete 35 miles on Saturday and 25 miles on Sunday.  Randy was first out on the trail with Buddy at 6 AM sharp as the sun was peaking through the pines over the horizon.   Sharon Brunzlick was his formidable competitor driving Junior, another Standardbred gelding, who set out trotting exactly 5 minutes later.  The drive route between vet checks was mostly over groomed, two track horse and ATV trails through terrain that was pretty flat with some rolling hills.

Both drivers completed their first loop and vet check successfully and headed out again over a different route marked with arrows and ribbons to guide them back to the Wildcat Inn..  This was the away-from-camp vetting site where vets and volunteers and crew teams had gathered to assist the drivers and the many other endurance and competitive riders and their horses. Having passed Randy along the way, Sharon and Junior were first to come in for their second vet check with Randy and Buddy not too far behind.  After unhitching and unharnessing, both horses were given water and food (especially fresh grass), and also electrolytes during this 40 minute hold period.  Unfortunately, Sharon’s horse Junior exhibited signs of being off during the trot out for the vet and was pulled from the competition.   He had completed about 25 miles but now had to be trailered back to camp.  Randy and Buddy successfully completed their vet check and went out on their last loop heading back to camp.  Buddy had a final vet check and then rest and recuperation for both driver and horse until the next day.

Option 2 for the drivers was a 12.5 mile loop in the afternoon.    Julie Dahlberg with husband  Mark and son Luke drove their pair of Morgan X ponies while the other drivers were all with singles.  Two small equine participated along with the horses, proving they could keep up the pace.  Following a Driver’s Meeting with Elinore Tonsor, they followed the trail marked with yellow ribbons.  No one encountering ATV’s along the way seemed to have any difficulty with the machines and all drivers completed the event in good time.  After their 10 minute recovery period, pulse and respiration were taken, followed by a trot out and a thorough vet examination.  When scoring was completed, Elinore and Monna called all the drivers together for completion awards (To finish is to win) and their final placing.  Jac Deweese with his pony Ashes tied Raven Fisher driving her Warmblood Domminic for fourth place.  Rocky, a Mini, driven by Pat Jarocki was third and Connie Gray was second with To Go, her Arabian.  Winning the event was Wes Licht driving his Morab mare Lena and scoring 398 points.

Early Sunday morning the third option took place as drivers got their horses ready for the 25-mile competition and again enjoyed great conditions.  Besides the wonderful weather, the horse competitors had the trails to themselves, as the ATV’ers must have slept in.  Randy Rudstrom and Buddy resumed their two day drive and finished the last 25 of the 60 miles in good form.  Completing the one day 25-mile drive and winning was Wes Licht with Lena , followed by Connie Gray and To Go and Gary Jackson with his Morgan stallion Horus.

It was a very successful weekend with new drivers able to try the shorter distances and veteran drivers able to test their horse’s conditioning over longer routes.

2004 Wildcat

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Sandy head ToGo as Connie prepares to start
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Jac and Ashes head out with fly net in place
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Raven Fisher and Domminic
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Julie Dahlberg and pair
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Connie Gray and ToGo
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Julie with her pair on the road
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Pat Jarocki and Rocky
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Connie with ToGo
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ToGo moving out
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Julie Dahlberg at vet check
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Julies pair, Bess and Rowdy
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Julie and Pair
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Pat and Rocky
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Raven and Domminic
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Wes Licht with Lena

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