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.


Saturday Singles – 12.5 mile

  1. Susan Keating – Belle (Haflinger) – 337
  2. Jack Shea – Kim (Canadian) – 312
  3. Danielle Oster – Lucky (Arab) – 303
  4. Lori Schoofs – Laura Lee (Haflinger) –

Saturday Pairs – 12.5 mile

  1. Wes Licht – Annie & Ellie (Morab) – 339.5

Sunday Singles – 12.5 mile

  1. Mary Clapper – Benjamin Blue (Rocky Mountain) – 374
  2. Lori Schoofs – Laura Lee (Haflinger) – 363
  3. Jack Shea – Kim (Canadian) – 346
  4. Susan Keating – Belle (Haflinger) – 339


By Jane Licht

This is the time of year to promote fall colors and our last two distance ride-drives did so with their names of “Colorama” at Kettle Moraine State Forest Northern Unit and “DRAW-arama” at Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit.  And they did so by their locations in our wonderful, glaciated Wisconsin Forests near Kewaskum and Palmyra, respectively.  The Midwest Distance Driving Association (MDDA) works cooperatively with Upper Midwest Endurance and Competitive Rides Association (UMECRA) ride managers to offer a distance driving route along with the various competitive and endurance rides.

The nod for natural beauty in these parks is nearly a tie with the Northern Unit perhaps taking an edge with its many maple trees turning shades of red.  The horsemen’s park located there has undergone many improvements, including a new group camping site with individual horse stalls.  Wes and I stayed there overnight and were pleased that we did not need to set up our electric fencing for Ellie and Annie, our pair of buckskin Morab mares that Wes has used for the distance drives this year.

As usual, Wes did the safety checks for the drivers on Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20.  We were pleased that Glen and Sue Garbisch came on Saturday to visit and help the drivers harness.  It was also good to see new distance drivers Terri Delke and Dani Oster do the drive on Saturday.  The trails are quite rugged with many fairly steep and long inclines.  In this sport, it is generally better to go for a good pulse and respiration score than to meet your window of time so the drivers resisted pushing their horses too much and most did not finish within their ideal window of time.  However, Terri’s horse was apparently in very good condition, achieving the window while still maintaining a good P&R.

Dedicated distance drivers Mary Clapper and Jack Shea also drove on both Saturday and Sunday as well as Kathy Keating who this year has changed her focus from distance riding to distance driving.  MDDA Board member Lori Schoofs drove both days, explaining that her hometown of Kewascum was very close to the Northern Unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest.   Mary’s husband Larry served as our able timer who sent the drivers out in five minute intervals and recorded their times when they returned.

Thanks to ideal weather and the camaraderie of the management, riders and drivers, Colorama was very enjoyable.

Colorama 2009

by Susan Keating

I hadn’t planned to attend Colorama simply because life interfered with all my

planned drives for the 2009 season but when I got word there was a camping spot available the week of the event my husband said, “ You should go”.

He didn’t need to say it more then once, I snapped up the opportunity and found myself tooling along the road to New Prospect, Wisconsin with cart, pony and paraphernalia to attend the two day drive.

But what was I thinking?

I’d only done one competitive drive and that took place way back in early May.

I realized on the first day, as I was heading out to drive, that I should have been more prepared and just plain more focused.

I was so stinking happy to be able to attend I just thought everything else would fall into place. Well it did, sort of, but not without help from some new friends.

The help actually got it’s start last year, seriously.

Mary Clapper was the first to help me. She spent oodles of time at last year’s fall DRAW event  sharing her cart savvy.  She answered all my questions, thought of things I hadn’t considered, let me take photos of her cart from every angle and was a font of friendly encouragement.  I soaked up what I could and made the purchase of my first cart in April 2009. It’s the cart I used at Colorama. Thank you, Mary.

Then too, Jack Shea helped during the drive. Bless his heart, he gave pertinent suggestions and assumed the role of congenial mentor as we drove near each other on parts of the trail. If only I’d been a little quicker to catch onto the wisdom he was imparting. As it was he has to be credited with my not having a huge time penalty and I have to take the blame for any time penalty I incurred.  He really did try to explain it all to me but it wasn’t until later that it clicked in my mind. Thanks Jack.

Wes Licht not only did the safety check but also gave me an impromptu whip lesson. I had no idea there was an ergonomic way to hold the whip but the minute I tried it on the trail I realized it was a boon. That wasn’t all, he quickly made significant adjustments to the hold back straps. Belle and I were saved a lot of potential trouble on those wickedly steep inclines. I really don’t know how we’d have done it safely without those adjustments. Thanks, Wes.

Then too, I’d have no pictures of that drive but for Jane Licht. I remembered to bring my camera and memory sticks but alas, the battery lasted only long enough for a few pictures I took for a competitive rider. Thanks to Jane I have some photos for Belle and I to cherish.

Then Lori Schoofs zipped into the spot next to me on Saturday. She arrived in time to share her smiling enthusiasm not to mention some advice on feeding the competitive horse. She also had trail tips. I listened, she should know, her home is close to the park and she’d been conditioning her Haflinger there.  Thanks Lori.

Upon arriving home my husband asked how it went?

My response was, “ I love those driving people. They’re all so friendly!”