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.

UMECRA Meeting

2008 UMECRA Awards Ceremony

January 24, 2009

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

By Mary Clapper

I asked Bonnie English to attend the 2009 UMECRA Awards Ceremony with me as my hubby had other things to do that day. So I picked her up at 7:30 a.m. and off we went down the road chattering like magpies. It seems like the trip down to the Dells always takes so long but when your chatting time flies.

We arrived at the hotel, parked and made a mad dash for the door as it was bitterly cold. After checking in at registration, we dashed down the hall to the Montego Room where Dr. Alice Stack was speaking on “General Colic and Syndromes of the Exhausted Horse”. We were a few minutes late for the start of her lecture so we sat in the back of the room as not to disturb anyone more than necessary Wes Licht joined us shortly thereafter. Dr. Alice has a very lilting Irish brogue and speaks very fast compared to our mid western twang. She also spoke of her experiences as head vet at the Arabian Endurance Center in Dubai. Her slide presentation was very informative and had a number of great points.

After her lecture we took the opportunity to get to know her better with a photo opportunity. A gentle man brought a picture of his horse that she had treated for colic while in Michigan. Bonnie asked a couple of specific questions she had concerns with and was given clear and concise answers.  Then we were off to lunch. Dr, Alice has my vote for recommendation of a clinician I would like to hear again.

Lunch consisted of a sandwich bar with ham, turkey or roast beast (beef), assorted cheeses, lettuce tomato onion (on a sesame seed bun), salad and beverage. Jac Deweese joined us at lunch time; so conversation was lively and many stories were told and new/old friendships were formed and renewed.

After lunch, the Annual Meeting was held in the Meridian Room. This was my first and it was interesting as to how much was accomplished in a few hours.

The Cocktail hour was scheduled for 5 p.m. but didn’t begin until around 5:30. Dinner was scheduled for 6:30 but that didn’t begin until closer to 7. The hall was not getting any warmer and some were still wearing jackets. Our food finally arrived it looked good but the only thing on my plate that was hot was my potato. I almost used it as a hand warmer but I was hungry so I ate it.

The awards banquet followed shortly thereafter. Awards were presented in the following categories: Endurance, Competitive, Driving, Endurance Restricted Mileage, Endurance Rookies, Competitive Restricted Mileage, Competitive Rookie, High Point Junior, and Top Five Competitive Novice.

Special awards were presented including the Vi Bredl Memorial High Point Senior Rider, Jan Scott Memorial Family Award, High Point Junior Rider, Charles Phillips Memorial Versatility Award, and the Louise Riedel Memorial Top Ten Mileage Horses.

Also awards for the High Point Senior Equine, First Time Chevron Recipients, Scholarship Awards, Hall of Fame and Rider’s Choice Award which was voted on by those in attendance.

The singles driving recipients were Champion: Jack Shea, driving Kim with 31.2 points and 77 miles; Reserve Champion: Wes Licht driving RL Royal Ranger, 28.7 points and 68 miles, Third Place: Mary Clapper driving Benjamin Blue 24.8 points and 62 miles; and Fourth Place: Katz Jackson driving Talon with  24.8 points and 58 miles. Tony Troyer driving Heart of the City and Junior with 30.8 points and 70 miles were Champion Pairs.

All winners were awarded very nice denim jackets with the appropriate award info embroidered on them. Many other types of awards were presented from halters to trophies.  A special award was presented to the Top Five Competitive Novices by Purina Feeds, the maker of horse feed. They received very nice nylon jackets.

After all the awards were presented it was time to have fun and dance! Of course some people were ready to go home or return to their rooms.

Congratulations to all award recipients! And remember “To finish is to win”

Hope to see you all on the trails in 2009.

UMECRA  2008

By Wes Licht

On January 24, several members of Midwest Distance Driving Association were in attendance at the UMECRA 2008 Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet, held at the Quality Inn Antiqua Bay Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.   This convention wraps up the 2008 riding and driving season for the competitors from Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin that are a part of the Upper Midwest Endurance and Competitive Riders Association (UMECRA).

Speakers for the event were Robert A. Beecher, DVM, from Iowa presenting “Distance Riding – Then and Now“, on Friday evening.   Alice Stack, DVM, originally from Ireland, presented her topics on Saturday morning.   Dr. Stack shared her experiences of working in the Dubai Equine Hospital, dealing with patients who were mainly endurance race horses and her advanced studies in Equine Internal Medicine at Michigan State University.

The focus on Saturday afternoon was the general business meeting where various changes to the UMECRA rules were presented by the board of directors for discussion and voting. Many changes were made to strengthen the new competitive riding novice division.  It was announced that Purina Feed Company was a generous sponsor for this year’s recipients, supplying stylish jackets for the Top Ten Novice winners.

MDDA pairs driver Tony Troyer presented a recommended change in the driving rules for UMECRA scoring.  It was passed that single horse and multiple horses share one division for scoring and year end awards for all UMECRA events.  However, single horse and multiple horses will remain separate divisions for MDDA year end awards.

Officers nominated and elected were Rick Nelson for UMECRA president, Theresa Meyer for vice-president and Jill Feller for secretary/treasurer.

The 2009 Ride Schedule as prepared by Elinore Tonsor was presented with a few minor changes.  The two events with MDDA involvement are Iron Oak to be held this year on April 25 with Glacier Trails happening on May 9 and 10.   Those events with driving opportunities were earmarked by MDDA president and webmaster Jac Deweese and are currently listed on the website.

The evening events centered on the presentation of the many year end awards to all endurance riders and competitive riders and drivers.  Denim jackets embroidered with the UMECRA logo and driver/horse names went to Jack Shea, Wes Licht,  Katz Jackson and Mary Clapper for Single Horse and Tony Troyer for Pair Horse.  A DJ wrapped up the evening by playing many requested songs by those who stayed around to socialize or boogie.