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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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Scooter Jigsaw Puzzle Katz and Talon Jigsaw Puzzle Jane and Wes Jigsaw Puzzle Glenn & Junior Jigsaw Puzzle
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Future Events

ApDRA

Saturday Singles – 12 mile

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Katz Jackson Talon (Morgan)
2 Gary Jackson Horus (Morgan)
2 Mary Clapper Benjamin (Rocky Mountain)
4 Glenn Garbisch Akea (Pinto/Arabian)

Saturday Pairs – 12 mile

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Wes Licht Ranger (Morab) & Lily (Morgan)

Sunday Singles – 12 mile

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Wes Licht Annie (Morab)
2 Katz Jackson Talon (Morgan)
3 Gary Jackson Horus (Morgan)
4 Jack Shea Kim (Canadian)

ApDRA Experience

By Katz Jackson & Talon

The ApDRA Drive on June 2 & 3 featured 12 miles of beautiful trails each day in one of my favorite riding and driving spots, Southern Kettle Moraine, beginning at Horseman’s Park, just outside Palmyra.  Both days turned out to be loads of fun with warm temperatures and fine clear weather.  My equine driving partner, “Feather Ridge Talon”, 7 year old Morgan mare, felt in fine form especially that first day, which was Saturday.  The starting time of 1:30 PM gave us plenty of time to get things ready partly the night before, but partly in the morning, too.  Procrastination isn’t exactly a virtue!  At any rate, our proposed departure time of no later than 10:30 AM should have given us plenty of time to get the horses relaxed, vetted in, and harnessed up.

Travel to the drives is always interesting these days, since my husband, Gary, & I are driving one horse each, and there’s not enough room for two horses and two carts in our regular horse trailer.  So we now take two trucks, one significantly more “mature” than the other, and two trailers, one for horses and one for the carts.  I usually get to drive the newer combination, which I do not object to at all, and Gary takes the older rig.  On Saturday, June 2, our departure seemed normal enough until Gary pulled over on the on-ramp, indicating that I should pass him, so I did, and continued on my merry way, looking for him to come up more or less right behind me quite a bit before we took our new exit for Palmyra.  Due to construction the usual route was out of the question and we hadn’t really settled on a definite route prior to leaving home.  Interstate 94 of course had its usual amount of weekend traffic, so I had to keep moving along, plus I really didn’t want to be delayed in our arrival since that makes me somewhat nervous and probably spills over onto my Talon’s mood for the day as well.  When Gary didn’t appear in my rearview mirror the whole way to Palmyra, I tried not to worry, since there were, after all, several possible ways to get to the park, all about the same distance.

Well, to make a long story short, let’s just say I got there first in plenty of time, only to find that Gary hadn’t arrive, and didn’t arrive, for about 45 minutes, at which time I really was beginning to wonder if I should be registering us at all, since I had two willing horses, two full harnesses, but no Gary, and therefore, no carts.  Eventually I heard the old Ford diesel rumble in and there was Gary, a little harried, but overall pretty nonchalant about everything.  He had a little trouble with the trailer along the highway and had to get everything back on track, so to speak, with only limited damage to the hitch and almost nothing to the carts.  It was time to hitch up!

Going up and down the rolling trails was a great relief, where an excellent variety of terrain awaited us for the twelve mile route, from bumpy rocks to the smoothest sand under the beautiful pine forest.  Temperatures were very tolerable and somehow we managed to miss the threatening showers that had blasted some of the folks along the way.  We paced ourselves almost perfectly, and arrived back at camp just within our window of prescribed time.  The last two miles are usually a good time to slow down and have a nice steady walk prior to unhitching at the end of the drive, thus better ensuring a lower score in pulse and respiration (P & R).   When all the scores were tallied, Saturday’s drive turned out to be OUR SECOND WIN of the season.  What a fine feeling that was!  I was so proud of Talon.  I suppose it helped that I didn’t get lost, which I’ve been known to do, didn’t miss any turns, recognized the turnaround spot without a hitch, and made it back in good form.  No water tank dumps or anything!  Gotta love those bright white marker plates!  But watch out for that snapping turtle that refused to move over!!

Sunday was much less eventful, a little hotter, I think, or at least Talon had her edge worn off a little earlier.  They say black horses absorb more heat and I’m a believer in that theory as well.  We kind of dragged our walk during the last two miles and ended up in second place, right after Wes and his Morab, “Annie”.  We still have to work on speeding up that last two mile walk when a bit tired, plus with a little shoulder soreness, and being the second day and all.  Talon’s P & R could have been better, but all the horses seemed to have higher readings that day, which does help to even out the scores.  It wasn’t a bad feeling for Talon to beat her handsome daddy, “Horus”, two days in a row either-that devious daughter-but she knows she’d better keep some humility since he has many more miles of experience and she just might get bumped down a notch or two next time.

As our drives finished, I couldn’t help but notice-not for the first time, I might add-how hard all the support staff continued to work to ensure the drives and rides were monitored as carefully as possible and in the proper timely manner.  Folks like Elinor Tonsor, Hugh Hartman and his lovely wife,  Linda, veterinarians, Dr. Phil Burns and Dr. Traci Busalacchi, Jane Licht ready with her camera, and all the others who assist, are sincerely thanked for their endless enthusiasm and dedication to this wonderful sport of competitive driving and riding.  Without their tireless efforts, it wouldn’t be possible for the rest of us drivers and riders to go out on the beautiful trails during these events, test both our horses’ and mules’ ability to face physical and mental challenges, while at the same time, stay sound in mind and body.  We sincerely thank all of them and we look forward to the next time we all get together again.

ApDRA Sunday June 3, 2007

By Jack Shea

The weather forecast for Sunday was questionable with possible rain but at 6:00 AM it looked OK.  We loaded Kim and headed for the Horseman’s Park at Palmyra.  This was going to be Kim’s fourth drive of the season and I was optimistic that he would be calmer than the previous three.  When we arrived there were no other drivers there yet so we unloaded Kim and my daughter Megan took him for a walk to check out the place.  He was doing much better and was not acting like a total nut case.

We were vetting in as Katz and Gary Jackson pulled in followed shortly by Wes Licht.

Kim did fine through the vet check and it looked like the rain was going to hold off.  I was the first driver out and happy to be on the trail.  The first two miles out of camp are pretty rough with some stretches of deep sand and lots of rocks. The trail was well marked and once we got to mile 3 the drive was a real pleasure. I planned to stop at the first water tank but Kim was not too hot on that idea.

There were a number or riders on the trail several of which had issues with Kim and our cart. Kim and I pulled off to the side and let them work through it.  A father and son had their hands full with the son’s horse but with a little patience they were on there way.  We came to the turn around point and things were going well.  It was pretty hot and I was a little concerned about our time but we were still on schedule.

A few miles after the turnaround we met two riders on beautiful black and white paints.  The first horse was quite alarmed by us!  We pulled over and stopped and talked to them for several minutes.  The first horse was still unsure and the rider asked if it was OK if her horse smelled Kim, I said sure as long as he wouldn’t bite him.  Well after a few more minutes of these horses getting to know one another we were on our way.  I met Katz, Gary and Wes on the trail and all were having uneventful and enjoyable drives.

I was watching our time and hoping the 2 mile marker was just around the next curve which it was.  We took our time on the last 2 miles (not like we had a choice) and made it back to camp right on time.

Kim was pretty hot by the time we finished.  We unhooked him, gave him some water and reported for our vet check.  His PR was very high, we asked for a recheck but it still was too high.  We had to wait 15 minutes and report back and have his PR checked again.  Megan took him in the shade and let him eat a little grass which did the trick.  His PR was OK and we completed the rest of the vet check without any complications.  I was a happy camper, as you know “to finish is to win”!

I walked over to Wes’s trailer and was talking with Wes and Gary when the 2 ladies on the black and white paints ride up to the trailer parked next to Wes’s.  They ask if we knew anybody by the name of Shea?  Uh-oh I thought to myself, what can this be all about?  I said that was me and they asked if I was missing anything.  I checked for my cell phone and it was there so I said not that I knew of.  They had found my wallet in the deep sand on the trail!  I could not believe it! What are the chances of finding a lost wallet on a 12 mile trail by 2 very nice ladies that I had stopped and talked with?  I have said that I am a Blessed man for many years but I sure felt like a Blessed man that morning.

2007 ApDRA

[img src=http://mdda.info/wp-content/flagallery/2007-apdra/thumbs/thumbs_dr-phil-burns-checks-rangers-leg.jpg]10
Dr. Philo Burns checks Ranger's leg
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Glenn Garbisch gives Junior his electrolytes
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Glenn hitching Junior
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Glenn's support group
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Wes works with Ranger and Lily
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Wes Licht gets his carriage ready to go
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Driver meeting
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Driver meeting
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Elinore Tonsor checks pulse on Horus
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Gary Jackson and Horus at safety check
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Glenn and Junior at safety check
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Gary Jackson and Horus on the trail
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The trail over Benjamin Blue
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Wes Licht with Ranger and Lily on the trail
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Glenn Garbisch and Junior on the trail
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Glenn and Junior on heading out
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Wes cleans his carriage before loading up
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Wes Licht prepares Annie for hitching
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Gary Jackson and Horus are ready to go
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Jack Shea and Kim are ready for PR check
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Jack and Kim prepare to head out
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Jane Licht looking for something
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Katz Jackson and Talon prepare to go
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Katz and Talon wait for PR
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Katz and Talon prepare for PR
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Mary Clapper prepares Ben
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Mary Clapper and Ben are ready to go
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Katz Jackson and Talon are ready to go
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Katz trots out Talon
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Mary Clapper and Benjamin Blue on the trail
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Mary Clapper meets Wes Licht on the trail
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Pepe and Scarlet were late
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Mary and Ben share the trail with a turtle
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Wes and Jane Licht drive Ranger and Lily down the trail
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Wes Licht and Annie head for the vet check
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Wes and Annie prepare to go
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Wes Licht preforms the safety check on Kim
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Dr. Traci Busalacchi with ride manager Jim Haas
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Dr. Traci checks for pain
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Elinore Tonsor helps ride management
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Hugo and Linda Hartman
[img src=http://mdda.info/wp-content/flagallery/2007-apdra/thumbs/thumbs_talons-view-of-trail.jpg]00
Talon's view of the trail

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