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2011 – June

MDDA Conference Call Meeting

June 30, 2011 @ 7:30 PM

Members Present: Ruth Casserly, Mary Clapper, Jac Deweese, Gary and Katz Jackson, Lori Schoofs, Jack Shea, Tony Troyer

Members Absent: Linda Low

The meeting was called to order at 7:40 PM by President Tony Troyer.

1. Approval of Minutes –The purpose of the April 20th conference call was to decide whether to go ahead with Iron Oaks Ride/Drive scheduled for April 23, 2011, or to cancel it due to the recent tornado in the Ukarydee Campground area.  The decision was made to cancel the ride/drive and to consider re-scheduling it at a later date in 2011.  Following the discussion on this date, the decision was made to not re-schedule Iron Oaks for 2011, and to also review other open dates in 2012.    Open dates to be discussed are June 30 – July 1, and October 13 – 14, 2012. Email communications prior to and following the April 20, 2011 conference call were determined to be sufficient documentation of the discussion.

Minutes from the April 8, 2011 conference call are current and have been posted by webmaster Jac Deweese on MDDA website, mdda.info.

2.Treasurer’s Report-See Jack’s report emailed to board members on June 29, 2011.   Jack walked members through the current status of General and Iron Oaks Income and Expenses.  Jack will send Gary a check for $100.00 for his role in representing MDDA on the Wisconsin Horse Council (WHC).  Purchases of awards and prizes totaled $340.25, and those items will all be carried over for future events.   Awards listed in the report were purchased from Gary Steers, Steers Tack LLC.  Katz will draft a letter of thanks to Gary Steers for selling MDDA items at cost. The canopy and miscellaneous trail marking supplies were purchased for $150, and these will also be ready for the next event(s).  Some additional awards and prizes may be needed for next year’s Iron Oaks event since we were planning just a one day event for 2011.  The PayPal account worked fine-many thanks to Jac’s Deweese and his efforts in setting it up.  Due to the cancellation of Iron Oaks, the club has made no money so far this year, but Jack noted that we are still well-positioned for the end-of-year awards banquet, which will cost $800 – $1000.  Overall, the club is in good financial shape with a balance of $4605.59.  Katz made a motion to approve the Treasurer’s report.  Gary seconded it.  Motion passed.

3.Consideration of date change for Iron Oak in 2012-A possible change in date for 2012 was discussed, with both a two and a one day event considered.   The weekends of June 30 – July 1, 2012, and October 13 – 14, 2012 are currently available on the UMECRA schedule.   Due to the big commitment required of members, it must make sense for the entire club.  Tony would like to make Iron Oak an AERC sanctioned ride and include a 50 mile endurance ride.  Over the years, the month of April has provided both good and miserable conditions.  The June 30 – July 1 weekend was discussed as being too close in date to the Big Valley ride the following weekend.  It also offers a 50 mile endurance ride, which might limit turnout of endurance riders for Iron Oak.

The October date would be two weeks away from Tony’s AHDRA III’s Big River ride, which he did not think would be a problem.  After much discussion, most felt the October dates would be workable.  Mary Clapper will check with Ukarydee campground hosts for availability.  If the date is changed, Tony needs to contact UMECRA Ride Sanctioner, Jeanne Crispin.  Jac made a motion to accept the October dates for 2012, pending availability of Ukarydee.  Gary seconded it.  Motion passed.

4. Opportunities to improve relationships with UMECRA and Ride Managers-MDDA members were first and foremost, encouraged to SHOW UP at scheduled events!  Also, whenever possible, driving folks were encouraged to stick around and get to know the riders and ride managers better, and not just arrive shortly before the drive begins, and/or take off immediately after the drive ends.   Volunteering to help crew is also another excellent way of improving relationships with riders and ride managers.

Members expressed concern over the offering of only one day’s drive (12 miles on Sun.) at the September 17-18, 2011 Colorama Classic.  Tony explained the change was due to all vets being out of camp when drivers would be coming back in from their drives.  He will continue to work with staff to return the event to two days of driving in future years.

Both Tony and Gary agreed to work with Mona Radtke and Elinore Tonsor to encourage continued inclusion of drives at UMECRA drives.  Email reminders of upcoming drives from Board members are also helpful in encouraging folks to participate to the extent possible.   Jack Shea has been good about sending out reminders.

Ruth expressed concern with Drawarama and the 2012 site (Big Valley) not being appropriate for driving.   She may go for a day of the Big Valley ride and check it out.  Katz also added that she had ridden trails at Big Valley Ranch (BVR) near Avoca, and indicated they might be appropriate for driving.  She will work with her and Gary’s farrier and with staff at BVR to see if it’s possible to take a horse and cart there and have a more thorough check of trails for driving suitability.

With a change in the Iron Oaks date, folks will have more time for conditioning, and Tony reassured us that Jocelyn Seefeldt, president of DRAW, will work with us on a clinic earlier in the season.  We will discuss other joint or separate clinic opportunities at a later date.

All were encouraged to view the MDDA schedule for upcoming drives, including the AHDRA II Endure for the Cure ride/drive on July 9-10, 2011 in Washington, IL, which has a mid-morning start time.  The drive offers a really nice setting with natural water crossings.  All members should encourage folks to keep coming out for drives.  Tony will make announcements later in August regarding the status of the Rock River Charity Ride/Drive, Utica, IL, where major erosion has occurred due to ravine washout.  (Jac later encouraged all to see photos on Facebook.)

5.Old Business-Ruth asked if there had been progress on revising the language in the Rule Book on carrying a whip while driving.  Jac Deweese and Lori Schoofs will work in consultation with Ruth to change the language.

6.New Business-Ruth requested that an MDDA membership list be compiled and shared with MDDA members,  which would make it much easier to contact members.  Jac did not foresee a problem.  Names, phone numbers, email, and snail mail addresses would be included.  Jack Shea has the membership data.  He will send an email to the membership stating that a list is being compiled and stating that their information will be included unless they opt out before a given date (E.g. “If I don’t hear from you in 10 days (mmddyy), your name and contact information will be shared with club members…” )  If anyone does not want their contact information shared with the MDDA membership, only their name would appear on the list.  The membership list would be compiled and shared via a spreadsheet attached to an email (addressed using BCC option).  Membership information can be made available at this time, at least for MDDA Board members.

As an added note, Tony also mentioned he knows folks and places in Florida with competitive rides and drives year around.  See information posted on MDDA website, mdda.info.

Tony Troyer volunteered to get a sympathy card on behalf of MDDA members for Bonnie Mielke in the passing of her husband, Bob, this past week.  Tony will attend the Celebration of Life for him this coming Tuesday.  Bob is fondly remembered for his significant contributions to UMECRA and his assistance at rides and drives.

Motion to adjourn was made by Mary and seconded by Ruth.  Motion passed.  Meeting adjourned at 9:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Katz Jackson