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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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Saturday Singles – 12 mile

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Aaron Mowrer Arazi (Half Arab) 357
2 Tony Troyer Heart of the City (Arab/Saddlebred) 338
3 Jack Shea Kim (Canadian) 319

Sunday Singles – 12 mile

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Aaron Mowrer Arazi (Half Arab) 361
2 Tony Troyer Heart of the City (Arab/Saddlebred) 342
3 Jack Shea Kim (Canadian) 338

Two Day Singles – 24 mile

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Jac Deweese Scooter (Morgan) 361.5


By Jack Shea

The ENDURE FOR THE CURE drive was held on July 14 & 15, which turned out to be a beautiful weekend, at Farmdale Park near East Peoria, Illinois.  The event this year offered a 12 mile drive on Saturday, a 12 mile drive on Sunday or a 24 mile drive over both days.

I completed this drive last year and was looking forward to the great natural water crossings and large prairies.  I was not disappointed!  The other drivers were Jac Deweese, Aaron Mowrer and Tony Troyer.

This was a well attended event with 128 horses in camp.  The vet staff included Wes Elford, Jonathon Quinton and Cindy Schlund.  They did an excellent job and showed real concern for our horses.

A short drivers meeting was held just before our 2:00 PM start on Saturday.  We would be completing a 6 mile loop twice which would include crossing water 8 times.  My daughter Sara came along to help me out, which I greatly appreciated.  Sara rode with me for the first 6 mile loop.  The trail was generally in very good shape but in some sections there was a single deep rut.  The trick was to decide what goes in the rut, left wheel, right wheel, the horse, or avoid the rut.  I tried all of the above options by the time we finished.

The first water crossing was about a ½ mile out of camp.  The stream was about 25 feet wide and 6 inches deep.  My horse Kim was a little hesitant to go in but after a little urging he went right in.  I stopped mid stream just to see if he would take a drink but he was not interested. The next water crossing was just another half mile or so.  Kim was a little slow but went right across.

We were then on to the first prairie.  The trails are laid out to go around the outside edge of the prairie.  You always have prairie on one side and woods on the other side.  Kim was doing OK but it was a little hot, maybe 83, and he was not used to the extra weight of a passenger.  I decided to take it easy and not worry about my time too much.  We completed the first prairie and headed for the second.  We came upon a little ditch which had water in it that went across the trail.  I didn’t think to much of it since it was only 8 inches wide and we had already crossed much wider creeks without much of a fuss.  Well Kim had a different idea and jumped over it with us in tow!  That sure woke me up!  Nothing broke so we kept right on going.  First we met Aaron on the trail, he already had  completed the second prairie.  Then I could see Tony coming down the trail toward us.  Tony has a very unusual cart that resembles some kind of war machine, It looked quite menacing coming down the trail.  I suggested to Tony that he consider hanging a spear and shield on it.

The second prairie was larger than the first, and it’s shape was very irregular so it was difficult to know where you were.  I checked my watch and concluded I was running later than I had planned.  As we came out of the second prairie we saw Jac across the meadow, he had already completed the first prairie for the second time. We had one more water crossing before the turnaround point.  This time Kim was more than happy to drink.  I let him drink as much as he wanted and then headed for the turnaround point.  Sara hopped out and Kim and I started the second loop.  The second time around seemed easier for me since I knew the route.  There is a pretty good hill on the way up to the second prairie and although Kim made it I knew that he was hot and tired. We finished the second prairie and it was down hill from there.  One more water crossing provided Kim with just what he needed, a long drink!  Even though we got back to camp 35 minutes late I had a sense of satisfaction, we went 12 miles and made 8 water crossings.  “To finish is to win!”  We completed our vet check, took care of Kim and headed over for dinner and awards.  Since the food line was very long we decided to wait for a while and visit with Jac to compare notes on the trail.  We then had some dinner, bought a few raffle tickets and listened to all the awards.  The event this year raised over $21,000 and since 2001 has raised over $147,000 for the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Sunday morning all four drivers were ready to do another 12 miles. Our start time was 9:30AM and the weather was beautiful.  Jac had a special guest riding with him, Todd Ernenputsch the park ranger for Farmdale Park.  Kim did well and crossing the water was no big deal.  The trail was great and looked very different in the morning light.  We got within 25 feet of a young deer on the first prairie.  The second prairie came fast and was uneventful (not a bad thing if you know what I mean).  We got to the turnaround point about 10 min later then my plan but I still took time to let Kim take a good drink from the creek.  We finished the second loop behind my plan by an additional 10 minutes which made us 20 minutes late.  The vet check went well and Kim’s trot out was better than Saturday.  All drivers finished the 12 miles safe and sound.  Aaron did have some problems with his antique vehicle, but was able to complete the course.  Sara had all our stuff packed up so it didn’t take us long to prepare for our trip home.  After the awards and some good byes we were on our way home.

Endure For The Cure is a very unique event; challenging water crossings, beautiful big prairies, and a great cause!

2007 Endure

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Aaron Mower driving Arazi
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Aaron reviews his score sheet
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April Hammer reporting on contributions
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Everyone gathers for the awards ceremony
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Jac prepares to leave with Ranger Todd
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Jack Shea and Kim
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Jack Shea picks up his award
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Photo of the lower prairie
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Scooter sulks in camp
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Scooter's view of the trail
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Tony Troyer at awards
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Tony Troyer drives Heart of the City
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Tony and Heart of the City wait for start

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