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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

Louise Riedel

Saturday Singles – 6 mile

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Bonnie English Trophy (Morgan) 358

Saturday Singles – 12 mile

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Jac Deweese Scooter (Morgan) 394
2 Mary Clapper Benjamin (Rocky Mountain) 350

Saturday Pairs – 12 mile

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Wes Licht Ranger (Morab) & Lily (Morgan) 361

Sunday Pairs – 7 mile

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Wes Licht Ranger (Morab) & Lily (Morgan) 375

Sunday Singles – 14 mile

Place Driver Horse Points
1 Jac Deweese Scooter (Morgan) 381

Louise Riedel Memorial – 2007

By Jac Deweese

This ride was memorable for a number of reasons.

  1. The new trails opened by Mary Clapper and Bonnie English proved quite challenging.
  2. Bonnie English and Trophy drove in competition for the first time.
  3. The big wind storm Saturday night that destroyed much of Elinore and Monna’s gear.  This same storm created the need to revise and shorten the trails for Sunday and added new challenges.
  4. The tip over of Mary’s cart (on her trail).
  5. The loss and miraculous return of my GPS unit.

Our driving participation has been low for several drives and continued for this event.  Mary Clapper, Wes Licht, Jac Deweese and Bonnie English were the participants on Saturday and Mary, Wes and Jac were the only participants on Sunday.

This was Bonnie’s first experience in competitive driving and there was a special 6 mile route set up to introduce her and her 21 year old horse, Trophy, to the sport.  Trophy was not impressed with the required trot out and Bonnie’s daughter Holly passed the lead to Bonnie who had little more success.  Finally Mary demonstrated how to get a reasonable trot out of Trophy.  After passing the pre ride vet check the 3 ladies proceeded to harness and hitch with Jac observing and offering encouragement.  Since Bonnie was the only driver for the 6 miles, she departed at 1 pm.

Both Mary and I met Bonnie on the trail and from her expression it appeared that she was enjoying the experience.  Trophy finished the event with a respectable score of 358.  We all hope to see more of Bonnie and Trophy in the future.

Since Mary was most familiar with the trails she was selected to go first with Jac following and then Wes and Jane would follow with their pair.

The first part of the trail was the same as last year and Monna had even put a sign up just for me.

She marked the point of my upset last year with a blue driving arrow and a note “Jac Look Out”.  This caused some grins by the other drivers and all of the riders who passed that point.  It served to remind me to pay attention to the trail!

By the time we reached the water tank I had Mary in sight and decided to keep her there since I wasn’t sure about the trail ahead.  I knew that Ben could become excited by a horse too close behind and held back whenever I seemed to get too close.  I was delighted to find that Scooter has become accustomed to horses passing and/or leading and seemed perfectly willing to accept whatever pace I asked for.  In the past his determination to catch or pass other horses has been a contributing factor to our accidents.

When we entered the new trails, I was somewhat surprised at the number of stumps, sharp turns and tight quarters.  It required my full attention to successfully navigate the new trail, but all three drivers were successful on Saturday.  Wes did come in with some evidence of the tight trail.  He had leaves caught in the harness and a broken hip strap where it had evidently caught on a tree or branch.  (Wes was able to replace the strap with a shoestring and electrical tape from his spares kit.) Driving a pair was undoubtedly more of a challenge than driving a single through this area.  To make matters worse for Wes and Jane, they were caught in a downpour on the final leg of their drive.  Between the rain and water coming off the leaves of trees and brush their vision had to be impaired.  Mary and I had beaten the rain into the vet check, but it hit before we could actually be checked out.  After a delay all horses passed their check.  Because of the heat and humidity the scores ranged from 394 to 350.

Saturday night was exciting when the storm hit at about 11:30.  I was near the top of a hill and the wind seemed to have little impact at my site.  I did wake up when it hit, but after checking that Scooter was calm, I went back to sleep.  I was awakened about 1:30 when a neighboring camper apparently got the manager of the facility to come out to see something at her site.  Although they woke me up I could not tell what they were discussing and again after checking Scooter, I went back to sleep.  When I awoke at 5:30 there was little evidence of a problem as I fed Scooter before walking down to the registration area.  When I arrived there it looked like a disaster area.  They had several canopies which had been destroyed by the wind.  The plastic boxes holding records and bookkeeping supplies had been ripped open.  The picnic tables were wiped clean and one was dumped on Monna sleeping in her tent.  Fortunately she came out of the experience with no permanent damage.

As a result of the storm they decided to delay the start until they had a chance to check out the trails.  An initial check found several trees across the main road and Elinore was ready to have the drivers simply stay on the road which is about 3 miles long.  After a little more checking it was learned that two of the loops through the woods were OK.  The drive turned out to be about 7 miles long.

Unfortunately, neither Mary nor I understood the new trail.  I understood that Monna had actually remarked the trail so I blindly followed Mary into a section that was blocked.  This was one of the trails that Mary had helped open for the drivers.  I was only 200 to 300 feet behind Mary in a very twisting part of the trail when I heard Mary yell “Whoa”.  I was instantly alerted to a potential problem, but didn’t hear anything after that.  I cautiously negotiated a sharp turn and could see Mary pushing her cart.  No sign of Ben.  As I approached I asked Mary what had happened and apparently she caught one of those stumps and tipped the cart.  She insisted she was OK and I took her up in my cart.  We proceeded cautiously down the trail and were within sight of the road, but the exit was blocked by two large trees.  We knew we couldn’t move them and Mary dismounted to see if she could find a way around them.  It soon became apparent that there was no good way around and I told her that I thought we could turn Scooter.  The trail was very tight but by turning and backing we were successful.  Scooter was getting a little upset by the need to push into the brush in order to clear stumps and trees and we proceeded rather slowly to return to the entrance.  We hadn’t gone too far when we met Monna on her ATV and Mary elected to ride with her.  I proceeded out to the road where Scooter let out his frustration by really moving out.  After getting Scooter calmed down we proceeded back to camp.

We were happy to learn that Mary really had no serious injury and Ben seemed to have only superficial abrasions from his encounter with trees and branches on his rush back to camp.

I later learned that the cart had sustained some damage, primarily to the metal supports on the shafts and the seat that will require repair.  Again it didn’t seem to be anything major.

As I returned to camp I realized that my GPS mount had come apart and I assumed the GPS was on the trail where Mary had her problem.  Knowing no one was riding that trail I assumed it was lost for good.  I knew my chances of finding it were very slim.

Wes had elected to drive 12 miles, which actually turned out to be 7 on the abbreviated trail.  He had avoided the trail that Mary and I had attempted and was done for the day.  Ranger ended with a score of 384 and Lily had a score of 374.

After our vet and hold we returned to drive the trail as intended.  We managed to finish and I was happy to find that Scooter had come through the experience with flying colors.  His final score for the day was 381.

As I was unhitching a rider came up and asked if I had lost a GPS!  Low and behold she had found it.  When asked where she had found it, she said it was on the main road.  I can’t imagine why it came apart on the easiest part of the drive, but I’m fortunate it was found.

This makes the second drive in a row where I lost something of value and had it found and returned by a rider.  At Endless Valley I lost my camera on the trail and had it returned to Mary who presented it to me on Saturday.  I was further amazed to find that it still functioned and the pictures from Endless Valley were still there and recoverable.

I think I now have one up on Jack Shea and am ‘Doubly Blessed’.

2007 LR

[img src=]100
Ben is getting ready for a good roll
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Oh Boy! That feels good!
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Bonnie with Trooper
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Bonnie English and Trooper on their 1st distance drive
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Bonnie English, Benjamin Blue and Mary Clapper
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Bonnie trots Trooper
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Campground sign
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Dr. Beecher, Barb Gardner, Mary Clapper and Trooper
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Dr. Howard Ketover check gut sounds
[img src=]40
Dr. Ketover, Monna Radtke, Steve Smith, Dr. Beecher and Mary Clapper visit
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Elinor Tonsor checks PR for Scooter
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Holly with Trooper and Mary with Benjamin Blue
[img src=]40
Holly, Mary and Bonnie work on Trooper
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Holly trots Trooper
[img src=]20
Jac hitching Scooter
[img src=]40
Jac helps push the Licht carriage
[img src=]50
Jane and Wes unhitch
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The narrow trail has left leaves in Lilly's harness
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The Clapper camp
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Max, Linda and Joslyn head out
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Monna and Dr. Ketover clean up wind damage
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Ranger and Lily enjoy their pen
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Riders in the distance
[img src=]10
Scooter returns to camp
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Scooter on the way out
[img src=]10
Scooter gets a bite at the vet check
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Scooter in camp
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Scooter trots out
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Scooter view of the trail through the woods
[img src=]30
Tree down on the trail
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Wes and Jane with Ranger and Lily
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Wes heads Scooter as Jac puts on the harness
[img src=]20
Wes heads Scooter as Jac mounts the cart
[img src=]20
Wind damage

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