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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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Future Events

IWWI Clinic

Singles – 6 mile

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Terri Birk Mystique (Haflinger) 374
2 Robin Sahner Sparkie (Haflinger/Arab) 364
3 Sheri McCormick Peggy Sue (Welsh Cob) 350
4 Lonnie Leavitt Erin (Morgan) 339
5 Steve Ivins Sr Sunshine (Grade) 331
6 Tim Shurtleff Gypsy (Arab/Connamera) 329
7 Deborah Ivins Moonbeam (Paint/Perdheron) 302
NC Jana Burbrink Dr. Marcus (STDB) N/A

Pairs – 6 mile

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Linda Sadler Barnum & Bailey (Morgan) 363.5

Indiana Whips and Wheels Distance Driving Clinic

By Jac Deweese

On June 17, 2007 about a dozen driving enthusiasts gathered at the Middle Fork State Wildlife area, near Oakwood, Illinois to learn about competitive distance driving.  Robin Sahner, a member of IWWI and an experienced orienteering competitor, took it upon herself to organize and promote the clinic.

We were impressed by the enthusiastic assistance of John Hott, superintendent at Middle Fork, in maintaining the trail system and assisting in marking the driving trail.  John is obviously dedicated to his job and welcomes people who want to use the facility.

Mary Clapper and I were honored to represent MDDA (Midwest Distance Driving Association) and present information on our rules, equipment, feeding, conditioning and scoring.  We were very appreciative of the enthusiasm and appropriate questions raised by the participants.

After discussing the rules, appropriate equipment, feeding and conditioning, we had the participants fill out their own score card and then went through the vetting/scoring process.

When all the questions had been answered we stepped outside where Robin had posted a large map of the Middle Fork area and a smaller map of the area encompassing the trails to be used for this event.  She had made maps for each participant and with the aid of the map she explained the trail.  The two water crossings were almost non-existent due to the dry weather.  There was one plastic culvert that was highlighted because it was extremely muddy if you went to the right and the participants were warned to keep to the left.  Later on the trail was a culvert that was moderately narrow with a significant drop off on each side.  This culvert was identified with a warning sign and surveyor flags to guide the drivers safely across.  Finally a U-turn near the end of the trail was explained.  The order of go was established.  Any questions were answered and the participants headed back to prepare their horses for the pre-drive vet check.

Dr. Rebecca Ruemmler, from the University, arrived at about 11:30 and proceeded to vet the horses.  Vetting went smoothly and most were done before the 1st driver started at 1PM.  Each turn out was presented for a safety check about 10 minutes before their scheduled start time.

The first horse out was Jana Burbrink’s Dr. Marcus, an OTT Standerbred.  She was followed by Lonnie Leavitt with her Morgan, Erin.  Teri Birk and her Haflinger, Mystique, were the 3rd to go.  Steve Ivins with Sunshine, a grade, and his wife Deborah with her horse Moonbeam, a Paint/Percheron, went out together which meant that Steve was 5 minutes late in starting.  Sheri McCormick with her Welsh Cob, Peggy Sue, were 6th followed by Tim Shurtleff with his Arab/Connamera mare, Gypsy.  Linda and David Sadler came next with their pair of Morgans, Barnum and Bailey.  The final turn out was Robin Sahner with her Halflinger/Arab, Sparkie.  She was taking John Hott’s wife with her for the experience and with her manager duties was about 5 minutes late getting started.

The weather was hot, probably just over 90 degrees, but with the relatively level trail we had set the time to 1 hour for the 6 miles.  We had also disallowed sloshing before the vet check.

With the hot weather and bright sunlight the 1st horse in, Dr. Marcus, was definitely stressed.  In consultation with the veterinary we decided that we would allow sloshing immediately after taking the p/r and before the trot out.  This kept everyone on equal footing and provided early relief for any horse that was overly stressed. Even with this several of the horses had difficulty getting their p/r down to an acceptable level.  Four of the 10 horses required a mandatory re-check.  All but one passed on the re-check.

This day certainly showed the value of knowing your horse and driving to the horse’s ability.  The driver of the 1st place horse took a 4 point time penalty which was easily overcome with excellent pulse and respiration, even though the horse was a relatively heavy muscled Halflinger.  The second and third place drivers also accepted time penalties and achieved good pulse and respiration scores.

At the awards ceremony all of the drivers seemed happy with their experience and we were able to further clarify the scoring.  Robin had obtained some neat photo holders and with the aid of a Polaroid camera was able to present each driver with a picture of their turn out.  A few of the drivers were interested in attending other events and we look forward to seeing them in the future.

2007 IWWI

[img src=]180
The trail
[img src=]100
Jana Burbrink with Dr. Marcus
[img src=]110
Ranger John Holt has just visited campers
[img src=]70
John talks to Linda Sadler driving Barnum & Bailery
[img src=]80
The trail leaving camp
[img src=]60
Lonnie Leavitt with Erin
[img src=]90
Mary Clapper, John Holt and Robin Sahner clear trail
[img src=]50
Another view of the trail
[img src=]80
Robin and John are ready to check the trail
[img src=]60
Robin and Mrs. Holt with Sparkie
[img src=]90
Robin trots out Sparkie
[img src=]60
Sheri McCormick with Peggy Sue
[img src=]70
Terri Birk with Mystique
[img src=]60
Tim Shurleff with Gypsy

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