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WELCOME to MDDA

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 – Saturday 2005
10 Mile Drivers-Single
1st – Wes Licht driving Anniversary Annie, a Morab, 393 points
2nd – Jac Deweese driving Scooter, a Morgan, 388 points
3rd – Fay Van Camp driving Missy, a Grade, 380 points
4th – Karen Osterby driving Grand Serr, an Arabian, 376 points
10 Mile Drivers-Pair
1st – Julie Dahlberg driving Bess and Rowdy, Morgan crosses, 391 points average
Show Me The Money – Sunday 2005
10 Mile Drivers-Single
1st – Fay Van Camp driving Missy, a Grade, 388 points
10 Mile Drivers-Pair
1st – Julie Dahlberg driving Bess and Rowdy, Morgan crosses, 394 points average
20 Mile Drivers-Single
1st – Wes Licht driving Lena Su Ladyhawk, a Morab, 394 points
2nd – Derrick Dupler driving Rhia, a Morgan, 387 points
3rd – Jac Deweese driving Scooter, a Morgan, 380 points
Show Me The Money 2005 – Day One

All of the drivers at Show Me The Money had a wonderful time. The weather was great, the food was delicious, the trails were good and the driving went well. Only mosquitoes in the some parts of the woods seemed to annoy both drivers and horses for a time.

On Saturday 5 drivers went out mid-afternoon in 5 minute intervals. Ride Manager Romona Radtke had called a driver’s meeting, gave trail directions and allotted us 90 minutes as ideal time for completing the ten mile course –approximately 7 miles per hour. She cautioned us about the berm when leaving the road and promised assistance just in case. She told us her co-Ride Manager Elinore Tonsor was out putting up the two mile marker. Lastly she established an order of go, being heavily influenced by the punctual competitors who thought that the last one to arrive at camp should be the first one to start. That was me. Mark Dahlberg was assigned to do safety checks on each turnout just before their departure.

Wasting no time, I prepared the cart with my spares kit, sheet and personal water bottle. After liberally applying fly spray to Annie, I harnessed and hitched, donned helmet and gloves and drove over to find Mark for his inspection. At exactly 2 PM I headed out the lane from the Ukarydee Campground and down the sandy road. After all the hassles of finishing home chores, packing both personal and horse gear, traveling the interstate and quickly setting up camp, this was worth it. I took a deep breath, relaxed my shoulder muscles and let Annie settle in to a steady trot. Watching for green signs labeled “Drivers,” I followed the arrows and made my way down the sandy road to the river.

The return trail was on the same road and I met competitor Fay Van Camp and later Karen Osterby as they both were heading to the river. The last two drivers Jac Deweese and Julie Dahlberg had not yet come that far. A truck was parked near the turn off to the berm and two ride helpers were standing there swatting mosquitoes as they watched me slowly go up and over with no problem. Annie was very willing to move at a steady trot along this well used trail, as she was fresh and she wanted to leave those mosquitoes behind. Winding through the woods was enjoyable but the little twists and turns and ups and downs on this loop forced me to be very attentive to my driving. Then we were back on another section of sandy road and I totally relaxed. A large water tank was stationed near the turn off for competitors but Annie chose not to drink. I followed the arrows through the prairie and scrub oak woods, back on the road again and once more in the woods. There I found the two mile marker and checked my time. Knowing that I’d have to slow down for the large mud hole and stumpy section yet ahead, I pushed Annie a bit through the soft wide trails of the pine plantation. Soon we encountered the mud hole and I asked for a walk. Annie cautiously kept moving forward and we bumped a submerged rock but except for a small jolt there was no problem. The narrow windy stump area soon followed and I appreciated the orange spray paint that Romona had used to make us aware of the stumps partially hidden by the vegetation. Back on the road again we trotted a little and then I slowed Annie down to help with her recovery. With one minute to spare I made my window of time, quickly unhitched, unharnessed, gave Annie a chance to drink and reported to the area for the pulse and respiration check. As I finished my P&R and vet check, all the other drivers came in, in intervals about like they had gone out. Going first has its advantages, especially in seeing the other drivers and the flurry of activity that follows. I wished I’d had my camera handy.

After providing for Annie with soaked beet pulp and electrolytes, I put her in the round pen with Lena, tossed them some hay and headed back to the vetting area. Because of a special request, Jac Deweese had volunteered to use Scooter and his Meadowbrook cart for giving Louise Riedel a short ride. Now in her 80’s, she was here visiting with all the riders whom she had competed with for many years. Beyond that, she had a yearning to take a cart ride and I helped her step up and sit down beside Jac as he thrilled her with a driving tour of the campgrounds. She was proud to show off to her friends and her smile was worth every bit of the extra effort and time needed for this special lady.

The call for dinner and awards brought everyone together for a wonderful potluck meal.

While folks were finishing dessert, Elinore and Romona began the informal program with stories about the honored guest Louise. Other veteran riders added astonishing and funny tales about this very competitive rider, who also shouldered the responsibilities of being the energetic Secretary/Treasurer for UMECRA before retiring just a few short years ago. Then all the awards were given to every rider and driver that completed their specific event.

It was a lovely cool evening for relaxing and I went back to allow both my horses to do some grazing on the end of a lead rope outside of their pen. Nearby Jac was doing the same thing with Scooter and then Fay came, riding bareback with her horse. Mark and Julie Dahlberg with their kids were out for a stroll and stopped to chat as well. Suddenly I made a discovery. In the fire pit next to Jac’s trailer was a large stash of wood just waiting for someone to use for a campfire. Immediately everyone disappeared to make preparations. I found my hatchet for splitting the wood and old newspapers for making fire-starting twisties. Jac brought over some matches and soon flames, smoke and crackling sounds added a campy atmosphere to the beautiful evening. Julie had found some long twigs and her kids, Luke and Beth along with young friend Christina Garay, began roasting and burning marshmallows for anyone who wanted a treat. Adding a modern touch, Mark had returned with his laptop computer and shared lots of his driving photos from events of the past year. Fay also came back with son Clifton and both enjoyed the casual festivities and campfire company. Then as eyelids became heavy, we went our separate ways to rest up for Sunday’s early drive. Our distance driving fire king Randy Rudstrom would have been proud of us.

Show Me The Money 2005 – Day Two

The sky was clear, the morning was cool and pleasant and it was a great day for riding and driving. After feeding Annie and Lena, I biked up to the Ride Management area to check on the starting time for the drivers. Derrick Dupler had arrived with Rhia and he was getting her ready to vet in. All the other drivers who were using the same horse(s) as they had on Saturday had already passed inspection. Lena, who was doing the 20 miles with me today was good to go, having vetted in on Saturday. Jac and I conferred with Derrick about the trail and drive time since there was not going to be a drivers’ meeting.

By the time I drove Lena to the Start area, most of the riding competitors were gone, having headed out earlier on schedule. I was to be the first driver out again, with Derrick to follow and then Jac, all doing 20 miles in two 10 mile loops. Doing a single loop of 10 miles was Fay, followed by Julie with her pair.

Lena was very energetic and happy to be out trotting along the sandy wooded road. She became aware of the water moving through the culverts in a couple places, but generally was quite steady in her gait, and I could enjoy the lovely scenery. The sun’s rays were coming through the tree tops in places, making lovely patterns on the shady trail. The vegetation varied from scrub oak woods, to planted pines to large stands of aspen trees. An occasional clump of river birch with its rich warm colors of platy bark brought back boyhood memories and we trotted on. A short time after we had left the windy, narrow wooded trail, I realized Derrick was right behind me and I moved over on the road allowing him to pass. I was driving according to my plan and I didn’t know why he was in such a hurry. We walked a while and soon Derrick turned off the road and was out of sight. I stopped at the tank to allow Lena a drink but she was just not interested and we moved on. For a couple of miles, the off road trail went through large sections of dry prairie and scrub oak and I could feel the sun warming the land. Then we were back to trotting in the pines and suddenly Lena took notice of sounds up ahead. We came across Derrick walking with Rhia. We chatted a moment and then I passed him, made my way through the water hole, passed the cut over stumpy area and headed back to camp.

Shortly after my P/R check, Jac returned and then Derrick. Because they had completed the first loop in reverse order, I wondered if Derek had encountered some problem at the water hole with Rhia. I allowed Lena to eat a little grass, then reharnessed her, rehitched and headed back out when my 40 minute holdover time had expired. Just before the water tank on the second loop with about 5 miles to go, I looked back to see two horses and carts trotting side by side on the flat road. Evidently Derrick was making a move to get back to his targeted window of time. They all looked like they were enjoying themselves as I was. Then came the 2 mile marker and I started to watch my clock with more consistency. We finished with some quiet walking just inside our 10 minute window of time. As before, I dropped the cart and harness not far from the vetting area, gave Lena a drink and asked her to stand quietly as we waited for the vet check. Soon to arrive were Derrick and Rhia and then Jac and Scooter – all in order in their correct time slots.

Lena stood quietly for me and we had a good P&R score. We moved to the area for the trot out and final vet exam. Dr.Beecher watched Lena trot in circles in both directions and then inquired as to how my drive had gone. “Just about according to my plan,” I replied. “It was truly enjoyable.” It had been that kind of beautiful morning.

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