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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

2011 – February

Midwest Distance Driving Association (MDDA) Meeting

Via Conference Call-Friday, February 25, 2011, 7:15 PM

Members present: Gary & Katz Jackson, Jack Shea, Lori Schoofs, Linda Low, Ruth Casserly, Jac Deweese, Tony Troyer

Members Absent: Susan Keating

Call to order – The meeting was called to order at 7:15 PM. President Gary Jackson thanked everyone for their participation, and the agenda was approved as proposed. Minutes from the last meeting would be added to the next agenda as they were not included in the current agenda.

1. Election of officers took place. Tony Troyer agreed to run as President, Jack Shea was willing to continue as Treasurer, and Katz agreed to continue as Secretary. Tony nominated Gary as Vice-President, and he accepted. All were in favor of the proposed officers and none opposed. It was noted that Tony brings in the strength of having worked with UMECRA for many years, and he also brings in a fresh interest in driving. Jac Deweese stated he was willing to continue as webmaster, and we all were appreciative and grateful for that.

2. Castle Rock Horse Trails (CRHT) Spring Trail Clean Up-April 9th, 2011– The instructions must be sent out very soon and posted onto our website. The clean-up event will take place, as it did in 2010, at the Ukarydee Campground. The date for this year is Saturday, April 9th, rain or shine. All should dress accordingly. Volunteers should report beginning at 8:00 AM, at which time teams will be formed. ATVs, nippers, pruning saws, and other tools will be needed. There will be a chili dump lunch, and participants are encouraged to bring chili, along with a dish to pass. Other condiments will be provided. Volunteers should not bring their horses, as work will be done on foot and ATVs can transport folks to various areas of the trail. Work will be mainly in the morning. Jac will post the details onto MDDA’s website. Mary Clapper is our local MDDA contact person and her number is 608-564-2129.

3. Iron Oak Ride/Drive-April 23rd, 2011 was discussed. Jack Shea reported that we are in pretty good shape at this point. There have been several inquiries and three registrations already. Katz and Gary will work with Mary and Ukarydee staff on trail marking. Lori Schoofs agreed to be in charge of food again. Supper will be needed on Friday evening, breakfast on Saturday morning for vets and workers/volunteers, and lunch for riders on Saturday. Riders will start Saturday at 7:00 AM for LDs and they will finish about 11:00 AM. They have a maximum of six hours to complete their ride, with an average finish time of 4 ½ to 5 hours. The 25 mile Competitive ride averages 7 mph, and starts at 7:30 AM with riders getting in about 12:30. Lunch will be at the usual lunch time hour. We will plan to feed the whole group at lunch time, and volunteers and vets for all meals. Lori will try to make it simple; hot dogs and other easy to prepare items. Lori and Jack will work out the details of food.

Jac Deweese has the UMECRA supplies for trail marking. Jack Shea will stop at Jac’s place to pick up the supplies. Two novice ride leaders are still needed-Jack will email Susan Keating to see if she is available. Mary will also talk with Nate and Tammy. P/R takers and scribes are also needed. Linda volunteered to assist. Overall, the work load for dealing with riders and drivers should spread out quite nicely, although there will be some bottlenecking at the end of the day and possibly around lunch time. LDs will want to do their trot outs right away. Drivers are encouraged to help scribe and/or take P & Rs Friday evening and on Saturday, when possible. It was pointed out that AERC allows electronic pulse taker on LDs, but not on Comps. Mary Clapper asked Larry if he would be a timer and he agreed. Mary will also coordinate reservations for the weekend-contact her by phone or email requesting the number of spaces needed. We’d also like to use the lower part of the house for the two vets.

Prizes—50 completion prizes are left over from last year. Lori will donate 20 bars of her homemade soap as prizes. The price range for 1,2,3 place prizes-cost range is $15-$20 for 1st place; ribbon plus donated prize;, according to Tony; set on ribbons for this year; Jack reviewed the ride categories; novice rides go no farther than 15 miles; maximum number of first place prizes, e.g. 11; Jack will buy some prizes, 40 participants? Hard to guess with Easter the next day; gauge numbers in relation to last year; may have fewer novices than last year; for LD, can give horse statue trophies; Gary and Jack Shea will go to Gary Steers to purchase additional prizes and possibly get some donations. Iowa Valley Carriage donated prizes in the past and we still need to thank her for past donations and ask if she’ll give anything else this year.

We will also need a two horse trailer, truck and driver as ambulance. [I do not remember if this was determined at our meeting.]

In terms of grounds set-up with canopies, etc., last year Mary and Larry Clapper brought theirs, and Wes brought his as well. Tony has a pop-up and he will bring it this year. It was clarified that MDDA members should be able to drive our horse(s) and also work. The 12 mile drive is at 1:00 PM on Saturday. Trail marking will be on Thursday, with a check “run” on Friday.

4. ApDRA Spring Clinic-March 19, 2011 – Katz communicated with Dawn Haas, of ApDRA, regarding MDDA’s joint participation in the upcoming Endurance and Competitive Riding Clinic at Double Bar A LLC Ranch, Oakfield, WI. Their flyer is posted on the UMECRA website. MDDA members were encouraged to add “Driving” to the flyer and post it in their local businesses. If drivers attend, Katz and Lori Schoofs will be there, and will split those persons off from the riders’ group at the appropriate time to focus on driver specific areas. Katz can bring a cart and a harness, and a horse, if needed. She will check with Barb Gardner, owner of Double Bar A LLC Ranch, to see if a demo horse is needed. Handouts will need to be gathered and duplicated for the workshop and Katz will contact Board members, if need, for additional driving clinic materials. She will handle the duplication of materials.

5. Midwest Horse Fair – Bill Lower, long-time driving expert in the U.S., is slated for the 2011 driving clinician. Bill will be presenting six different sessions throughout the horse fair, two on each day. He coaches several top US and Canadian driving competitors and offers clinics across both areas.

MDDA’s presence at the 2011 Horse Fair was discussed. In the past, Wes incorporated MDDA into the Morab booth. Gary and Katz also shared some MDDA information at the Morgan booth in the barn. They are still waiting for final confirmation of their horse(s)’ in the Morgan demos. Katz might be taking Talon in “country driving”. Their participation should be confirmed within the next 2-3 weeks.

Looking ahead to 2012, Gary suggested the possibility of having an MDDA booth next year, and/or giving a seminar/lecture on distance driving. With that in mind, it would be great incentive to take a lot of pictures this year at our events. It would be good to show photos of each step of the process of getting ready to compete, from start to finish. Gary will draft a proposal and present it back to WHC Board for review and discussion. The down side is making sure personnel are committed to participating in the events, which are carried out all three days at the fair. Areas of concentration would include safety, ability to use a variety of horse breeds and types, learning how to manage your horse’s stress and conditioning, not having to get all wound up in the competition of horse show; having outdoor fun with your horse, and enjoying beautiful trails. Folks can also still drive when they can no longer ride. Rhonda Reese, MHF Director, will review the proposal at the same time as the Board mailing, and we should know if our program is accepted by fall of this year. In the past, MDDA members have also helped with Dairyland Driving booth in exchange for sharing our materials. Jack Shea is a member of Dairyland Club and he indicated they are still waiting for the request for volunteers. Jane Licht manages their website; Katz will contact Jane and Wes regarding distributing materials at Horse Fair.

Gary noted that driving presenters are needed for the 2012 Horse Fair, and we were encouraged to forward suggestions to him, which he will share with Wisconsin Horse Council. Following discussion, Gary agreed to make recommendations for Clay Maier and Wes Licht as clinicians in 2012.

Gary also reported that Wisconsin Horse Council (WHC) also has a “Horseman of the Year” award. Wes Licht was nominated for 2012, and Jac Deweese seconded it. Jac Deweese & Jack Shea agreed to work with Gary to put a bio and recommendation together for Wes as “Horseman of the Year” for 2012. The dates for next year’s MHF are April 20, 21, 22.

6. Wisconsin Horse Council (WHC ) – Unwanted Horses Committee Gary led the discussion regarding issues related to unwanted horses, which was in part caused by the loss of horse slaughter facilities in US. Gary presented three resolutions to the Council at a recent meeting. One says it would push WHC to take a position yeah or nay; another one proposed a hay bank program to assist folks who have come onto hard times; and a third dealt with the re-establishment of horse processing plants in the US. The committee is not just looking at processing, but rather, a whole system for dealing with unwanted horses. Unfortunately, there’s not always a home for every horse. At times the most humane thing might be death by slaughtering. Members are encouraged to see Gary’s written resolution that he emailed out to Board members yesterday regarding the re-establishment of horse processing facilities in US. WHC was generally in support, yet need other conditions listed as well. Council members were requested to take the resolution out to different horse organizations and see if they are pro or con, or if they don’t want to take a position at this time. There is a certain amount of fear of PETA or Humane Society of United States’ opposition to horse slaughtering at this time. Gary noted that not taking a position is taking one. The topic is open for discussion and further feedback is encouraged. Board members generally agreed with the proposal as written. Jac made a motion to accept the resolution as written, and ? seconded the motion. Motion passed.

7. Rule Change – Breeching – Breeching ruling will go with the recommendations made in recent emails. Jac lead the discussion from the January 19th email that includes terms “light and appropriate” , which may be an issue. Drivers should be able to explain the use of alternative harnesses that do not include a breeching. It will be important for the Safety Check person to see that all is buckled and snapped into place and that the driver can assure the turnout has been successful on trails. It will be a judgment call of the safety check individual. Bitless bridle driving should only be done with horses properly trained to use them, and again this will be “at the discretion of safety check inspection person”. All were referred to Ray’s earlier email notes. Drivers new to the organization would be questioned to determine their understanding of the proposed ruling. Ruth and Jac will review the language outside of this meeting and proposed changes will be forwarded to members and discussed at the MDDA conference call in early April. As such, further discussion on rule changes was tabled until our next meeting, which will be held on Friday evening, April 8th 2011. Ruth Casserly made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Mary Clapper seconded it. Meeting adjourned at 9:07 PM.

Respectfully submitted by

Katz Jackson, Secretary

March 9, 2011

Minutes approved April 8, 2011 via conference call meeting.

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