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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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2008 – December

MDDA Board Meeting Minutes – Conference Call
Thursday, December 11, 2008
7:00 PM

Board Members present included President Jac Deweese, Vice President Gary Jackson, Secretary Katz Jackson, Treasurer Jack Shea, Linda Low, Lori Schoofs, Mary Clapper, Tony Troyer.  Wes Licht joined the call approximately 7 minutes after the meeting began.  Theresa Meyers, UMECRA, also joined the call.

President Jac Deweese called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM via conference call.  All participants appreciated the efforts made by Jack Shea to arrange and coordinate the conference call.

The agenda was forwarded to all board members by Jac Deweese on 12/02/08 and included the following items:

1)     Election of  new president-Jac asked if anyone would like to step forward and be president.  Gary Jackson, Vice President, hesitated to accept the presidency due to the many other commitments he has at this time and the many other conflicts with other activities.  Tony Troyer was planning to run for president of UMECRA, and therefore he was not available at this time.  Wes felt he would be a weak choice, and no other members volunteered for the position.  The matter was tabled until later in the meeting.   Jac later agreed to continue as president for this year, and other board members volunteered to assist with ads, newsletter, website maintenance, etc.  Jac reminded all that responses to emails sent to all board members should be answered using “Reply to all” option.

2)     MDDA’s position on the Elevator Drive was discussed.  Reference was made to the attachment Jac had sent to members previously.  (See Jac’s summary included at the end of these minutes.)  The pros and cons of the elevator drive were discussed in terms of extra work load for ride managers, veterinarians, and other helpers, prices to be charged, and other logistics of timing for moving from, e. g. a six mile to a 12 mile drive following the first P/R check.  Discussion followed regarding the distances that might be included in the elevator drive, including 6 & 12, 10 & 20, 12.5 & 25, etc.  UMECRA is currently pushing for longer rides.  The suggestion was made to begin a two day event with shorter drives the first day and longer ones the second day.  Wes noted that shorter distances should be encouraged more for novice drivers.  Iron Oaks would be a possible site for the first elevator drive. Theresa Meyers, UMECRA President at Large, participated in the conversation and emphasized the importance of keeping the language clear.  A summary would be prepared and then presented to UMECRA at the upcoming January annual meeting.

3)     The Iron Oaks event details were discussed.  It is scheduled for Saturday, April 25, one week after the Mifwest Horse Fair.  Iron Oaks is an event that attracts new riders and drivers, and the importance of having ribbons, especially for novice riders, was noted.  Both Jack and Mary have ribbons.  Jack has other prizes as well that could be used for completion awards; items could also be combined for prizes.  Last year there were many products from feed and veterinary supply companies.  This year Mary Clapper reported that a local feed store is going out of business and she will be able to get a 75% discount on products.  She agreed to check with the store and report back to board members on items that would cost under $5.00.   The limit of $150 was suggested for Mary.  It was noted that Elinore Tonsor likes to give flowers away at Glacier Trails, which is scheduled for Mother’s Day weekend, and that tradition should continue.

Advertising for spring drives was discussed.  Ads should be placed in Wisconsin Horseman’s News (WHN) as they were last year.  Two were placed, one in March for Iron Oaks, and two in April for both Iron Oaks and Glacier Trails.  The Horse Fair is also a good venue, where we have permission to advertise the Dairyland Driving Club and Morab booths at no charge.  The ads should be pursued this year.  [Jac, please clarify who is to pursue the advertising.  Also, didn’t we also place an ad for our Feb. driving clinic at Grundahl’s in Marshall?]

4)     The newsletter and website were discussed.  Assistance is needed with both and all agreed to help contribute.  Jac will forward the newsletter to Linda Low and she will be taking it over.  Concern was expressed regarding the need for folks to volunteer at events and to take pictures, write articles, etc.  A suggestion was made to circulate a sign-up sheet for the various drives, and to have participants assume responsibility for the pictures and articles, ultimately for submission to the newsletter and to WHN.  The distribution of the newsletter only electronically was preferred, although hard copies would still be needed for persons without email.  At the current time ten hard copies are being mailed out.  All were encouraged to submit articles that could be used as “fillers” in the newsletter.

5)     The proposal was made to combine singles and pairs for UMECRA awards, due to the financial strain on the organization.  This policy could also apply to MDDA awards.  For several years there has only been one set of pairs.  Wes made the motion that we present the combination of singles and pairs for awards to UMECRA and that we keep them separate for MDDA.  Gary seconded the motion.  Motion passed.  The possible irritation of a single driver being upset by the extra 5 minutes given to pairs was mentioned, but general concensus remained that this should not become a big issue and if need be, would be discussed further in the future.

6)     The combination of MDDA/UMECRA membership fees was explored.  MDDA currently charges $15 for a single and $20 for a family membership.  UMECRA charges $25 for single and $35 for family memberships.  Several advantages of combining the fees were named, including demonstrating our support to UMECRA and the importance of their organization.   Gary made the motion to charge $30 for a combined rate for single membership and $45 for family membership.  Mary seconded it.  Motion passed.

Jac made the motion to adjourn the meeting.  Wes seconded it.  The meeting was adjourned at ………..[Jac, do you recall the time we adjourned the meeting?]

Minutes respectfully submitted by Katz Jackson, Secretary 12/19/08

Note:  The Elevator Drive Summary was forwarded to members by President, Jac Deweese, and is included here below.

Elevator Drive

The Midwest Distance Driving Association would like to see ride managers offer elevator drives at their events.  With UMECRA’s approval we propose to offer elevator drives at Iron Oaks and Glacier Trails and will report back next year on the results of these drives.

It is our understanding that there should be no conflict with UMECRA rules as long as both drives involved start at the same time.

The concept is to mark a single trail that can be driven either once or twice.  Distances of the marked trail could range from 5 to 15 miles.

The competitor will select the distance to be driven at registration.  If he/she selects the shorter of the two distances he/she will have the option to ‘elevate’ to the longer distance immediately after the mid-point P/R and before the trot out.

If unable to continue due to the trot out the driver will receive a completion at the shorter distance, but will not be placed.

A final vet check would be performed only when the driver elects to stop or the longest distance has been completed.

A driver who elevates is eligible for completion only.

We are continuing to search for methods to get more participation in distance driving.  We anticipate that elevator drives will:

Encourage new drivers who may be concerned about conditioning for longer drives.

Encourage experienced drivers to extend their distances based on favorable P/R at a shorter distance.

Encourage drivers to compete when conditions may be unfavorable.  Heat and humidity may make them question the advisability of competing at a longer distance.

It should simplify trail marking for multiple distances.

Management considerations:

A single fee should be established for an elevator drive, regardless of the distance declared at registration.  It is understood that the driver has the option to complete the longer distance.

For drivers who elect the shorter distance of an elevator drive it is suggested that the number assigned include the letter E (in place of D) to indicate participation in an elevator drive  (This will alert the scribe at the P/R that the driver has the option to elevate.)

We are very interested in maintaining the late start, shorter distance drive on the 1st day of an event and would encourage the managers to consider an elevator drive that includes a distance that is ½ of that planned.

This concept seems ideal for those events that offer two distances on a single day.  For instance a 10 and 20 could be combined into a single elevator drive with only one distance marked.

To further assist managers in planning and administering driving events we propose that singles and pairs be combined for awards at UMECRA events.

To recognize our dependence on and emphasize our commitment to UMECRA we have established a membership structure that includes membership to UMECRA   Our treasurer will submit membership information and fees to the UMECRA treasurer, thus ensuring that all MDDA members are also members of UMECRA.

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