April - Florida Whips



April - Florida Whips
Newsletter of The Florida Whips
Promoting all aspects of equine harness driving, by encouraging good will and emphasizing safety and education
APRIL 2012
Tina Ring, with Kelly & Sophie Onboard,
Drives Her Percheron/Welsh Ponies Through the Hazards
at the John Porter Cones & Hazards Clinic
View From Behind the Dash
View From Behind the Dash,
President .......................Mary de Greef
PO. Box 183 ~ Parrish FL 34219
941-776-1638 - home, 941-704-2128 - cell
[email protected]
Editor ···················· Deby Stewart
17701 SW 58 Street
SW Ranches FL 33331
[email protected]
Vice President ..................... Dona Love
1550 SE 120th Ave ~ Morriston FL 32668
[email protected] 352-486-2829
Advertising ············Jeanne Abbott
14305 NW Gainesville Road
Reddick FL 32686
[email protected]
Secretary .................Mary Beth Miklos
10115 S Arabian Ave ~ Floral City FL
[email protected]
Treasurer .......................... Nelie Boehle
PO Box 183 ~ Parrish FL 34219
[email protected] 941-518-4828
Yvonne Griffiths
12551 SE 16th Lane
Morriston FL 32668
[email protected]
Membership ................. Linda Bennett
12215 Spottswood Dr ~ Riverview FL
[email protected] 813-671-2859
Panhandle .................Cynthia Perkins
[email protected]
Panhandle ············ Rhoda Icerman
[email protected]
Northern ......................... Linda Evans
[email protected] ...... 352-486-3197
Northern ············ Connie Thoreson
[email protected] ···· 352-528-5646
Southeastern ................. Kathie Beeson
[email protected]
Southeastern ················ Peg Belvin
[email protected] 561-798-1718
Southwestern ............. Kathy Maxwell
[email protected] ...... 813-991-7341
Southwestern ············· Katie Carris
[email protected]
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APRIL 2012
Send Ad & Check to:
Jeanne Abbott
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View From Behind the Dash
Inside the
APRIL 2012 Issue ...
Editor’s Notes .......................................................... 3
Upcoming Events at a Glance ................................. 4
President’s Corner ................................................... 5
Region Reports ......................................................... 5
Membership News ................................................... 6
Events & News:
Mother of All Hazards Drive - Apr 7 .............. 7
Steeplechase Continuous Drive Results .......... 8
Spring Fling HDT - Apr 21 .............................. 8
Steeplechase Fun Drive - Apr 28 .................... 8
Grand Oaks Classic Division Winners ............ 8
Port Mayaca Spring HDT - May 5-6 ............... 9
John Porter Clinic Report .............................. 11
Ladies Driving Retreat III - May 11-13 ........ 11
March’s New Members .................................. 11
Mary & Poppy’s Excellent Adventure .......... 12
Classified Ads ......................................................... 15
Editor’s Notes ...
We’re winding down to the end of our spring season of
drives, shows and events. While no one is looking forward
to the coming high temperatures of summer it does at least
give everyone a a chance to slow
down and take a breath. Now is a
great time to think about all the
reasons why some events were a
success and some weren’t; why
some had great turnout and some
had to be cancelled; and to figure
out what to do to have greater
success in the 2012-2013 season.
My own personal, selfish suggestion is for you to make sure to
send me photos and great stories after your event so everyone is really sorry they missed it. :)
Soon we’ll be having our general membership and region
meetings. Please make this the year YOU decide to get
more involved with the Whips. The good news, as well as
the bad news sometimes, is that our club reaches out to the
whole state of Florida (and quite a few states outside of it) this makes involvement a challenge to some of us in the
more remote parts. But that’s why we have regions and not
just separate clubs and why our members are some of the
friendliest and most fun people of any club I know I’ve
ever belonged to. And it must be why we are still welcoming 8 more members in March! We are not just drivers - we
are Whips and no matter where we go in FL we have
Please plan to attend the upcoming membership meetings
in your area as well as the general membership one at Steeplechase on April 28th and bring with you your ideas and
plans. Share your thoughts and feelings about how to make
the Whips even stronger. Maybe even plan an event yourself!
This month’s newsletter brings you reports and some photos (but not enough photos!) of the Grand Oaks Classic, the
Steeplechase Continuous Drive, the John Porter Cones &
Hazards Clinic as well as a terrific story about Mary DeGreef’s recent trip to Muffy Seaton’s Adult Driving Camp
in Aiken SC. I’ve also included a few other things that I
found around the internet that I think you will enjoy.
We still have quite a few events left on the calendar with
April bringing the SW Region’s Mother of All Hazards
Clinic on April 7th, and the General Membership meeting
at the SW Region’s Steeplechase Fun Darby on April 28th.
Then we have the SE Region’s Port Mayaca HDT and SW
Region’s Cypress Keep Memorial Day Schooling HDT to
look forward to in May.
And you still have time to just go drive. :)
APRIL 2012
View From Behind the Dash
* area numbers are only approximate locations
2012 Florida Whips Calendar of Events
See Website for Entry Forms
~ www.flawhips.org ~
FL Whips Events
Mar 31- Apr 1
N Region
Black Prong Schooling ADT, Cypress Keep - Bronson FL
CONTACT: John Porter & Erika Matulich [email protected] 813-982-2200
Apr 7
SW Region
Mother of all Hazards Fund Raiser / Fun Day - Whisnant Farms
CONTACT: Mary DeGreef [email protected]
Apr 28
N Region
Steeplechase Fun Darby & Spring Membership Meeting
CONTACT: Dona Love [email protected]
May 5-6
SE Region
Port Mayaca HDT CONTACT: Bettina Scherer [email protected]
May 26-27
SW Region
June 9-10
SW Region
Cypress Keep Memorial Day Schooling HDT CONTACT: [email protected]
Jean White Clinic @ Little Everglades Ranch, Dade City FL
CONTACT: Katie Carris [email protected]
Calendar ~ Other Events
Apr 13-15
Pines NC
Southern Pines CDE @ Carolina Horse Park CONTACT: Claire Reid & Ann
Pringle, P: 910-692-9114, C: 910-691-7735, [email protected]
Apr 21-22
Dade City FL
Spring Fling @ Little Everglades Ranch, Dade City FL CONTACT: Erika Matulich,
C: 813-784-8484, F: 813-982-9709, [email protected], www.cypresskeep.com
May 6
Ocala FL
STRIDE @ Florida Horse Park CONTACT: Hellena Smejda [email protected]
May 18-20
Weirsdale FL
Ladies Driving Retreat III @ Grand Oaks
CONTACT: Judy Martin [email protected]
APRIL 2012
View From Behind the Dash
President’s Cor ner ...
........................... Panhandle Region Report
The Panhandle region members have had a slow
winter of driving, except for our most consistent
competitor, Nancy Ziegler. Nancy has regularly participated in Whips events.
Believe it or not the
Spring Annual Meeting
is this month! It will be
held in conjunction
with a continuous drive
put on by the Northern
Several members are working on developing their
personal driving skills or those of their equine partners. We were unable to arrange the Panhandle Region training clinic which was originally scheduled
for April; however, we want to set up another recreational drive for later this Spring.
If anyone needs details
about the drive or scheduling for the day, please contact
Dona Love. The plan right now is to have the meeting after
the drive. Hope to see everyone there of course. I
Cynthia Perkins
Panhandle Region Director
t's been so busy lately. I've had an adventure of my own
that you can read about elsewhere in the newsletter. I'm
almost, (not quite), looking forward to summer when
things will slow down a little. Or at least I'm looking forward to not feeling like I'm playing catch-up every day. I
know it will happen sooner or later.
...........................Southeast Region Report
Southeast Region has been busy this spring. Have to get
as much done as possible before its too hot. The Vero
Beach group put on a clinic with John Porter. You can
read more about it in a separate article in this newsletter.
We gained two new members at the clinic.
We're all anxiously anticipating our May Day Show at
Port Mayaca. The show committee (self proclaimed) will
be meeting March 19th while I'm in West Palm Beach.
Over dinner, of course.
The May Day Show is always our biggest of the year, so
be sure to get entries in early. Local drivers are exploring
the possibility of driving in Dupruis Park. Riding and
camping are already allowed and many use the park for
those purposes. There are also dirt roads throughout the
park so its just a matter of getting permission.
Mary de Greef
President, FL Whips
............................. Northern Region Report
It has been a busy month here in the Northern Region.
Sunshine State CDE & Little Everglades CDE being the
BIG events with many of our members competing or volunteering. The pleasure show at Grand Oaks (formerly
Florida Carriage Museum & Resort) was also well attended. The new owners have invested a lot of money improving the facility including a new cafe which served
gourmet fare at a reasonable price and bar which served
your favorite libations. Results for all of the above can be
viewed on www.drivingnewsus.com.
Kathy Beeson
Southeast Region Director
March brings with it another full month of driving opportunities. I hope everyone will support the upcoming events
by competing or volunteering. The Whips will be hosting a
tailgate tent at Live Oak once again so be sure to stop by to
meet with friends, old and new and partake in our delicious
refreshments. I am looking for volunteers to help serve so
contact me at [email protected] or Connie Thoreson at
[email protected] if you can lend a hand. I look forward to seeing you all there!
24478 Evaline St ~ Brooksville FL
321-205-9353 ~ 321-480-4216 cell
Linda Evans
Northern Region Director
View From Behind the Dash
Membership News …
We have had an active month in getting renewals and
new members, we are now up to 223 members. That is
great and I want to thank all the events that have been
responsible for getting the new members. I especially
want to thank the Northern Region, at their SteepleChase
Farms Continuous Driving Event they brought in several
new members. Welcome to everyone.
Starting on April 1st, if you join or renew, your membership will carry over to the 2013 membership year.
As you read this, he 3 “big” CDE’s will be done . We
have a few more great events in our state before the season starts to wind down. Look at your calendar to see
where else you can drive before our hot weather really
hits. I will be going to at least two before the end of the
season. Also time to start thinking about next year and the
great events to plan.
Remember, all of our events run on a LARGE amount of
volunteers so please, please, please help out when you
Homes to Ranches Realty
Linda Bennett
Membership Chair
24478 Evaline Street
APRIL 2012
View From Behind the Dash
It’s time to fire your college educated navigator
and find a first grader. Only the ABCs will help you now.
You’ve driven A-C, maybe A-D or even A-E.
Some smarty pants may have even driven A-F.
But nothing will have prepared you for
So pull up your big girl/big boy pants
and prepare to challenge the mother of all hazards –
the mighty M.O.A.H.!!
That’s right… 26 gates… Hold on tight!
It’s going to be a long & bumpy ride.
ENTRY FEE - $25.00 For questions or info contact;
941-704-2128 CELL
[email protected]
A pleasure course will be available for the faint of heart,
if you can bear the shame.
The mother of all lunches is included
& is guaranteed to be entirely edible!
APRIL 2012
View From Behind the Dash
Steeplechase Continuous Drive Results
Steeplechase Fun Drive
On March 29th, Steeplechase hosted a Continuous Drive organized by Robin & Wilson Groves who became Whips members at
the event. It was a long course that proved to be challenging and a
lot of fun for the drivers. A huge thank you goes out to David Jay
who was our guest dressage judge. David is a ridden dressage
rider and trainer so his eye for judging was spot on. He offered
helpful advice to many of the drivers after their tests since this
was a schooling event. Here are the results
April 28, 9:00 AM - Salty Dog Arena in back of 1550 SE 120th
Ave., Morriston FL 32668. This drive will be similar to the
Continuous Drives held here in Feb. and March, but will be a
lot shorter and no watches allowed.
Horse Division
Louisa Emerick
Barb Chapman
Barb Wheele
Bill Peacock
C Grange
Margy Cox
L Arney
Ray Fisher
Sec. A will be 1 to 2 K at a trot only: Minis 9 KPH, Ponies 13
KPH, and Horses 14 KPH. Entries wil be scheduled at 10 min.
intervals. Horses will go first, then ponies, and Minis last.
Sec. B will be cones at a trot only. Approximately 18 cones that
can be done in any order for 1 min. Points for total number of
succssfully driven sets. Sec. C will be 1 to 2 K: Same pace as
Sec. A. Phase A and C will be judged on a predetermined time
with a penalty of one-half (1/2) point per second over or under
the time allowed. Sec D will be dressage (Prelim test #2). Drivers and passengers to wear helmets. Informal attire but Drivers
must carry whip.
Pony Division
Jessica Brister
Wanda Chancellor
Laura Santiago
Beth Rieselman
June Kingsley
Bob Koopman
L Catlett
Karen Gorham
Wilson Groves
A. Ferrell
Grooms are required for pairs and multiples. Grooms may ride
with singles and may dismount during dressage or cones.
More detailed instructions will be given upon arrival at the
show if needed. Ribbons will be given 1 - 6 in each division
after the Florida General membership meeting which should
begin approximately at 1:00. There will be a concession stand,
Sweet Dreams (the one that has been at Blackpong the last two
times and has the yummy smoothies), for food.
Spring Fling HDT
Event Date: February 17-19, 2012
The Spring Fling Horse Driving Trial and Combined Test is being held on April 21-22, 2012 at the Little Everglades Ranch in
Dade City. We would love to have you as a competitor, volunteer, sponsor, or vendor!
Judges: Muffy Seaton / Technical Delegate: Erika Matulich
Division Championships:
If you aren’t ready for a marathon, you are welcome to do just
the combined test (dressage and cones) on Saturday. Entries
close on March 17, 2012. Come join us for a weekend of fun and
frolic with flamingoes and other critters!
For detailed information, see www.cypresskeep.com and click on
the link to the American Driving Society Spring Fling HDT/CT.
Single Horse
1 Susan Diemer
2 Dee Aldrich
Single Pony
1 Bill Hunt
2 Linda Fritchle
Pair Horse/Pair Pony
1 Darryl Billings
2 Steve Wilson
1 Brandon Bonaccorso
2 Avery Wilson
Trade & Commercial
1 Bill Ricci
2 Bob Koopman
Single VSE
1 Beverly Driver
2 Janey Randlett
Multiple VSE
1 Rachael Rice-Blanchard
2 Sally Armstrong
APRIL 2012
View From Behind the Dash
APRIL 2012
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APRIL 2012
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A big thank you goes out to Anna and Howard Crothers for hosting the clinic, Paul and Barbara for organizing, and to Sali Petri
for feeding everyone. It was a fun weekend during which John
Porter, like the blustery weather, swept away bad old habits and
left us to build on the lessons he imparted.
New & Renewed Members in March!
Craig Grange
Robin & Wilson Groves
June Kingsley
Martha Scott
Barbara Wheele
Jessica Brister
Barb Champman
Louisa Emerick
N Region
N Region
N Region
N Region
N Region
Out of State
Out of State
Out of State
Delmar LA
Brownsville VT
Ocala FL
Lowndesboro AL
Valparaiso IN
Moss Point MS
Metamora MI
Elkton MD
Submitted by Jan Petri
John Porter Teaches Cones & Hazards
in Vero Beach
John Porter blew into Vero Beach on March 3rd to hold a "cones
and hazards" clinic at Anna Crothers' lovely farm. The clinic attracted participants and auditors from Eau Gallie, Sebastian,
Micco, Vero Beach, and Palm Beach County.
Bonnie Dobson and Milo gaining confidence in hazards
at the John Porter Clinic.
Describing cones and hazards as nothing more than “dressage
with cr#p in the way,” John gave both classroom and individual
instruction. Saturday was devoted to cones and Sunday to hazards. Event organizers, Paul and Barbara Reese, pulled out all
creative stops to find a way to set up hazards that would withstand the near-gale force winds that kicked up on Sunday.
Ladies Driving Retreat at Grand Oaks
Ladies, Ladies, Ladies are coming to the Grand Oaks Resort for
a weekend of carriage driving lessons, camaraderie, food, drink,
games, videos, and round table discussions. Ladies Driving Retreat will be held May 11, 12 and 13, 2012.
First-timer Tina Ring, who brought her groom, Kelly, and
backup driver, Sophie, age 12, to drive her pair of percheronwelsh ponies Diesel and Dually said, '' I am less than eight
months into driving and find cones and hazards exhilarating! The
clinic provided me with an introduction to those who are driving
in my local area and some laughs and hopefully a few new likeminded friends. At home it's hard to know how hard to push myself and my ponies, how to use momentum as a tool, and I certainly don't get to practice on a professionally laid out
course. The clinic did all that for me! The things I learned will
fill hours of practice until my next show!"
We have the following instructors:
Marjas Becker, a FEI International Level Driver and trainer,
who enjoys CDEs and pleasure driving.
Audrey M. Hartnett, Advanced level driver and trainer formerly from Ipswich MA, now living in Weirsdale FL.
Bonnie Dobson with her delightful fjord pony Milo, who has only
been hitched to a cart for three months found out that, "cones and
hazards are no longer a great mystery thanks to the excellent John
Porter clinic held at the Crothers' lovely Double Brook Farm in
Vero Beach. Because of this clinic, I now have the confidence to
try my first HDT this spring."
The above instructors are here to help you improve your driving
skills. We are going to have private lessons to work on your
individual needs and group lessons to help with your show ring
skills, cones, hazards and cross country. The cost for the whole
weekend with group housing, stall or paddock and lessons is
only $229.00
Please call Judy Martin at 352-638-8398 or email [email protected] to reserve your spot in this exciting clinic.
Eloise Nelson, a much respected pleasure driver, who attended
with her VSE gelding Sid, remarked that “the individual lessons
were a great reinforcement of what we learned in the morning
classes. I was glad to have a second lesson that reinforced what
John taught on the first day.”
The clinic also enjoyed a surprise visit from two of the most influential drivers in the southeast region, Peg Belvin and Bettina
Rounding out the participants were Ann Hartnett with Crème
Brûlée, Anna Crothers and the indefatigable Bunny, Barbara
Brooke-Reese with the bionic Little Dude, Paul Reese with the
super-athletic Buddy, Sali Petri with the most congenial Emma;
and yours truly with all around good guy and hazards-monkey,
APRIL 2012
View From Behind the Dash
Just Drivin’ Around ...
Mary & Poppy’s Excellent Adventure
A couple of months ago I made the decision to do something
quite out of my comfort zone. Muffy Seaton had posted on the
CD-L list that she would be holding an Adult Driving Camp at
her farm in Aiken, S.C. I contacted her, got the details and somewhat impulsively made the decision that I would go, with my
pony, for the camp from March 4-11. I know most of you all out
there have been there and done that with your horses and ponies
but I have never traveled with my pony before on my own. Years
ago my daughter and I were always together when we went to
shows or clinics. But now, it’s just me.
just knew would eat her. She calmed down from that and the rest
of the lesson was fine. We began applying the things we did on
the ground to driving. I sure wish I could always drive with an
instructor giving me instant feed-back. Those of you who are
situated so that you can work with a trainer are very lucky. After
my lesson I watched some of the others and took pictures before
heading to the grocery store. The afternoon was chores and
Thursday morning we got up early and as a treat, drove into
Aiken. We went to the training track and watched horses breeze
followed by breakfast at the track kitchen. Aiken is such an interesting town. Barns and stables are all over the place, right downtown. There are wonderful southern style homes and a huge
wooded area for hacking out. It’s a very horsey town indeed. We
got back to the farm mid-morning and Poppy and I were up first
March 4th arrived and I was packed and ready to load the pony at again. This time Muffy got in the cart with me and we drove
7:00am. Fortunately my new gooseneck stock trailer had arrived Poppy through the woods and down the road. Again we applied
the principles we learned in long-lining, but this time to real
just in time to make the trip. The trip up was uneventful and we
world situations you encounter on the trail or road. Poppy also
arrived about 4:15pm. It took a little less time than expected. I
was the first camper to arrive and was well settled before the oth- learned you have to pull just a little harder with 2 people in the
cart and deep sand. She was a trooper. I wish I was as smart as
ers showed up. There were four of us all together. Bonnie Luft
my pony. After we all had completed our lessons and chores we
from Michigan was there with her 2 Arab cross pinto mares and
from Ohio, traveling together, were Stacey Giere and Mary Tho- drove to town to the grocery store and brought home food for
mas. Stacey and Mary arrived with 3 Dartmoor ponies and a Selle dinner. Muffy also gave us a talk on different types of bits and
Francais in tow. Two of the Dartmoors were to be driven as a pair their uses, benefits, pros and cons etc.
and the “spare” was there for breeding. Muffy and her husband
Friday we did lessons again in the morning. Poppy and I were
Doug gave us a spaghetti dinner that first night as we all spent
back in the dressage arena to reinforce what we had learned so
some time getting to know each other.
far. It was a good drive. There were moments when I was frustrated with myself but also moments when everything came toMonday morning was cold and windy so we didn’t get started
gether and it felt great. Those are the moments I want to try and
until about 10:00am. The first lesson of the week, which really
was the basis for everything else we did, was long-lining to teach fix in my brain and repeat. In the afternoon we drove to Katydid
to walk hazards. The other girls were going to drive there on Satus and our ponies to move laterally. We all had a go with an
older Dartmoor of Muffy’s before each trying with our own ani- urday at a hazards clinic. I didn’t feel Poppy was quite ready for
that so I volunteered to help time. Muffy walked the hazards with
mals. Muffy quickly taught each pony or horse to do it and
handed the lines to the owner. It looked so simple but was a chal- us and routes were planned for a training level pair, training level
lenge for me. I confess to having done very little long-lining but single horse and prelim level single horse. Later that evening we
were off to town for dinner at the Asian Buffet. Good food and
have definite plans to change that in the near future.
great conversation again.
We had a mid-afternoon lunch in Williston before going back for
more long-lining. After that an early bedtime for me was in order. Saturday was our last day. During breakfast the ewe behind the
house gave birth to twin lambs. You don’t see that over coffee
My legs were really feeling stiff!
every day. I opted out of driving that morning and decided to get
Tuesday morning we did more of the same. It was starting to
my trailer all packed up and then spend a couple of hours in
feel a little better but I really have a long way to go. After a
Aiken before heading to Katydid at noon to time hazards. I found
morning of long-lining we had a quick lunch and then Muffy had some delicious beef empanadas for lunch, bought a hat at a thrift
arranged for her equine dentist to stop by and give us a talk. It
shop and quite enjoyed myself. The afternoon was spent at the
was very informative and I feel I understand the importance of
water hazard at Katydid. All the ladies did great, the weather was
regular dental care for horses. She had a quick look in all our
wonderful and I met some nice people. It was a great way to
horses mouths and I was really pleased to hear she thought my
spend the afternoon. Muffy and Doug graciously cooked meatdentist had done a great job. We had a few quiet hours after the
loaf and asparagus for me on the last evening.
dentist was gone. That evening we attended a lecture at another
Sunday morning started way too early. The gals from Ohio were
farm. The topic was how all horses are inherently crooked and
what to do about it. The information dove-tailed nicely with eve- up at 4:00 am in order to leave by 5:00. I tried to stay in bed but
gave up about 5:30. By 6:30am I had had my coffee, eaten breakrything Muffy had taught us so far about moving our animals
fast, loaded Poppy and was on my way. Of course with day-light
laterally and driving from the shoulder. It was still quite cold so
savings time it was the equivalent of 5:30am the day before!
we did leave the lecture early and drove to Aiken for dinner.
The drive home was long but OK. I felt a real feeling of accomWednesday morning was driving day. We each had individual
plishment when I pulled into my driveway about 3:30pm. I gave
lessons with our ponies. I had my lesson first up because I
big hugs to my husband and dogs, put the pony away, called my
planned to drive into town, buy some groceries and cook dinner
for everyone. The lesson was in the dressage arena. Muffy drove daughter and was definitely done for the day! What a wonderful
week it was.
my pony some herself. Poppy had a minor melt-down because
~ Mary DeGreef
there was a cat in the woods next to the dressage arena that she
APRIL 2012
View From Behind the Dash
tion on Monday evening. Burckhard had no idea how long she
was tethered to the fence when his teenager dishwasher, Tim Ranel, noticed the distressed horse tugging and fighting aggressively.
"Tim said, 'I think it's going to get loose, and we should go tie her
up,' " Burckhard remembered. The two walked out back to secure
Midnight to the fence. And just as they approached her, "she got
loose," said Burckhard.
Tim Ranel is only 15 years old. He had just arrived for dishwashing duties at the Old Timer Café, located on the northwest side of
St. Ignatius just a block off of U.S. Highway 93. And Ranel
bounced into work that day with good news: Just a couple hours
before, the teen had proudly presented his mother, Hope, with an
envelope from the Montana Department of Justice. "I didn't believe him, but it was his driver's license," said Hope Ranel.
It would come in handy this night. Because Burckhard wasn't
going to let Midnight go into that dark night, and he would need
Ranel's help to get the job done.
As soon as Midnight bolted, Burckhard told Ranel to run to his
Chevy Trailblazer, parked just outside the restaurant.
Top: Mary & Poppy getting instructions from Muffy at the
Adult Driving Camp in Aiken SC. Bottom: Muffy driving
Burckhard jumped in the driver's seat and the two sped off, hellbent on stopping the runaway horse and buggy with the SUV,
because "I knew that either the horse was going to get hurt or
somebody else would," Burckhard said. "But the main thing is I
didn't want her to get on the highway."
Modern-Day Cowboy, Sidekick
Save Runaway Horse, Buggy
TOM BAUER/Missoulian So with Ranel in the passenger seat, Burckhard twice tried to stop
Midnight's run by blocking her path with his Chevy. It became
clear after the second attempt that Midnight was not going to be
deterred. She raced north of town before turning onto Airport
Road, a narrow stretch that heads directly into the foothills of the
ST. IGNATIUS -- Dustin Burckhard was slinging food to the
locals at the Old Timer Café on Monday night when he saw
something wrong with the black horse parked outside the back
Tied up to a chain-link fence, the mare was restless -- not an uncommon reaction for immobilized steeds. But the 7-year-old
horse, named Midnight, had cargo — she was hitched to a twoseat buggy, whinnying and fighting against her confinement. The
fence, about 300 feet behind the café, is still stretched and bent
from Midnight's desperate efforts.
That's when Burckhard stopped the SUV and told Ranel to get
behind the wheel. Ranel obliged, just two hours after he was allowed to by the state of Montana.
Burckhard was concerned for the horse's safety. So around 5
p.m., just as the sky cast a dusky, gunmetal glow on the Mission
Mountains, he left his post and wandered outside to go fix Midnight's bridle, making sure she stayed put while her owners -- two
Amish girls doing a little shopping in town -- finished their visit
to town.
Burckhard approached Midnight. That's when the horse, already
spooked, flinched and snapped her bridle free of the fence and
bolted into the decaying light, the black buggy bouncing behind
her. And that began what may go down in St. Ignatius lore as the
Midnight ride of Dustin Burckhard.
Burckhard stepped onto the SUV's driver's side running board
and held onto the roof rack while Ranel gunned the Chevy to
catch up to Midnight, who was weaving all over the road while
other motorists either pulled over or attempted to cut her off.
"We had the horse slowed down to a trot," said the teenager.
"Then we realized there was a semi in front of us."
Finally, two miles down Airport Road, after the buggy had sideswiped three separate vehicles trying to stop it, Ranel maneuvered the Chevy into position next to Midnight and her black
buggy. "The last thing I said was, ‘See ya!,' " said Burckhard.
"And then I went over."
After Burckhard's "See ya!," he jumped, a leap of faith that was
either going to send him tumbling onto the pavement at 30 mph
St. Ignatius is no one-horse town. In fact, there are lots of horses or get him successfully onto the open-seat buggy. "I had a pretty
here, and they sometimes share the road with more modern trans- good idea that one way or another, I was going to get her
portation in the shadow of the Mission Mountains. You're just as stopped," said Burckhard.
likely to run over road apples here as you are roadkill. Many of
Once on the buggy, Burckhard pulled on Midnight's reins. The
those horses are owned by the valley's Amish population, who
problem was, however, that the reins were no longer attached to
can regularly be seen riding through town in their horse-drawn
Midnight's bridle, because Midnight's bridle was attached to a
bent, chain-link fence two miles back.
When the Amish visit town from their valley ranches, they park
their horses and buggies in town, tying their steeds' bridles to
continued on next page
fence posts or other standing structures. That was Midnight's sta-
APRIL 2012
View From Behind the Dash
continued from page 13
Photos below of Dr. Bill Hunt and his Haflinger "Andre" at the
February Grand Oaks Classic. They were Single Pony Division
Champions, taking 1st place in Single Pony Turnout as well as
2nd place in the Picnic Class with their Patriotic theme. Photos
courtesy of Marilyn Hunt & Pics of You.
So Burckhard had to leap onto Midnight's back and crawl up to
her head, where the damned fool began tugging on the horse's
ears to get her to slow or stop. That's as rudimentary as horsemanship gets.
Two miles down the road, with Burckhard yanking on her ears,
Midnight turned into the gravel driveway of a private farm.
About 100 feet later, Midnight jerked left, sending her passenger
flying off onto the driveway. He landed hard on a wooden box,
bruising his ribs and tearing ligaments in his knee. Burckhard
also has a suspected fractured ankle (he was to be X-rayed
Wednesday evening).
Meanwhile, Midnight and her buggy came to rest in a field next
to the driveway. The Midnight run of Dustin Burckhard ended,
and her rider leapt to his feet, not knowing the severity of his
"I thought, I'm still young," said Burckhard. "I can bounce back.
But you know, it hurt a lot less to get thrown from a horse when I
was 16 than it does now."
Ranel, meanwhile, had stopped, still taking in what had just happened and not really considering that his first legal driving experience was to pilot a big SUV with a human hanging on the
outside to chase down a horse he doesn't know.
But once the two reunited, both drove back to the Old Timer Café
to see if they could find Midnight's owners, and to let them know
their horse was OK.
Standing next to the battered chain-link fence were two Amish
girls, who had been wondering where their horse was.
That night, Midnight and the girls were reunited. "They were
super grateful," said Burckhard.
Ask the folks at the Old Timer Café their opinion of what Burckhard did and they're not too shy. "I think it was pretty damn stupid," said a voice from the café's kitchen. "I'll drink to that! He's a
damned fool!" said a man at the counter. They say so only halfkidding. In other breaths, they'll call Burckhard a hero.
Heroes come in many forms, and sometimes they come in duos.
On Monday evening in little St. Ignatius, they came in the form
of a cafe waiter and a teenage dishwasher, who risked a lot to
save a mare and placed themselves in the small company of rural
legends in this little Montana town.
Hope Ranel, Tim's mother, also has mixed feelings about what
her son did that night. Asked whether her son is a fool or a hero,
she answered: "Oh, kind of both."
Copyright 2012 The Billings Gazette.
Tim Ranel, left, and Dustin
Burckhard stand near the
fence in St. Ignatius where
they saw a horse named
Midnight get loose with
her buggy and run off into
the dusk .
APRIL 2012
View From Behind the Dash
2 sets of adjustable shafts, one short set for CDEs and a curved
set for pleasure shows; removable back navigator step; Oak panels and brass hubs; Extending Axle; Adjustable winding axle
balance; 78cm wheels; very easy to store or transport as the
shafts are easy to take on and off. Used for slight 12 hh and larger
13 hh ponies. Cart located near Black Prong until April 5th and
then will be heading back to Maryland. Please contact me for
more information or pictures [email protected] 410-409
-8633. Asking $3,200.
Apr ‘12
Classified Ads ...
FOR SALE: Almost new cut-under Dr's Buggy with every option built by Justin Carriage. Paid over $5000.00 sacrifice
$3750.00; good formal cut-under show Dr's Buggy $1250.00;
good Meadowbrook Cart, free if you buy the Dr's Buggies
$550.00 alone.
Vehicles may be seen in Silver Springs FL. Call or email Ed
Harrison at 352-289-0049 / [email protected] for more
Feb ‘12
FOR SALE: Road Cart.Easy rear entry, 82" shafts, 44" wheels.
Good condition $500.00 OBO. Please call Jack Martin at 352274-3137 or at [email protected]
Apr ‘12
FOR SALE: Hardwick road cart, Brewster green with brass fittings and patent-leather trim. Adjustable shaft length used with a
15.2 hand horse and with cob sized pony. Excellent condition #2,200. Kentucky breaking cart $1000. Also have a Morong
show harness. Ocala, Florida Call 561-212-4726 Gary and Angela Ingenito.
Feb ‘12
FOR SALE: Kutzmann Cob Fox II Carriage - Bought April
2011. It needs brake work but otherwise it is in good shape.
Bought another carriage that better fit the driver, so this one is for
sale. 4,000.00 OBO. Also have a 2 horse Bumper-pull Horse
Trailer - some rust, tows great. 1,500.00 firm. Pictures available
at http://lldressage.com/sale-items/. call Barbara Brooke-Reese
772-202-0575 or email [email protected] for more information. www.Canterburytailfarm.com
Apr ‘12
FOR SALE: 2-wheel Village Cart by John Pavlik, excellent
Condition, fits a pony 11 to 13 hands. Gorgeous metallic Burgundy; lamps included. $3200. Call Connie Thoreson 352-5285646 or email [email protected]
Feb ‘12
FOR SALE: Horse size WCC marathon vehicle, front & rear
brakes, adjustable shafts $4200. Spider Phaeton Navy with
Lamps $4800, Smuckers harness $900, Work harness $500 used
with Friesian. Pictures availabe: call Judy Martin 352-638-8398
or email [email protected]
Apr ‘12
FOR SALE Hardwick Puddle Jumper - cobb size. Excellent
used condition, fits 12.2 to 14.2 ponies. Comes with two single
seats (one is more upright) black powder coated, closed loop
shafts. Comes with stainless steel quick-release shackles on the
single tree. $4300 show/marathon ready. Linda Fritschle 941927-3428 Sarasota FL
Mar '12
FOR SALE: Friesian gelding rides & drives elegant and gentle
with a winning personality. 13 years of experience, reasonable
offers considered. $4,500. Located in Ocala FL Priced to Sell
Alexis Brown Call 352-812-6889 or email [email protected]
Apr ‘12
FOR SALE Courbette Alpina 17" close contact jumping saddle,
w/fleece lined saddle case. Excellent condition. $700 OBO
County Eventer 17 1/2" No 3 fit, black, excellent condition.
$900 OBO.
Single Horse Leather Harness from Country Carriages USA,
Black with stainless hardware, patent leather blinkers & saddle,
Padded nose band, breast plate, girth & breeching, 2 sets of
traces, slotted and D ring [80” & 78”], Marathon shaft loops,
used with a Morgan, and young Swedish WB $750 OBO
Back to Back Village Cart by Mill Run, dark forest green with
wheat pin striping, super smooth ride, Med to Lg pony or cob
size. $3300 obo. David Getz [email protected] 352229-3215
Mar '12
FREE TO APPROVED HOME: Bay Standardbred 5 yo bay
gelding; 15.2h trotter, raced as a 2-5 yo, won in May, quiet &
sensible has been ridden bareback, would be great for pleasure
driving, needs a forever home, call Dr Robert Reichard @ 561352-8820.
Apr ‘12
FOR SALE: Antique Gig in beautiful yellow & black. Horse
sized. Built in England in 1898. Authentic under seat compartment actually used to carry terrier hunting dogs with real open
louvers, front entry & antique brass "key" for rear panel door.
Front hang down "steps" for easy front entry. Lamp brackets.
Swan flexion shafts correct for use with front & second (Tandem)
horse. Double springs for comfortable ride. Holds 2 adults.
Ocala. A collector's item to be used. $3,900.00.00 Jackie Musler
352-861-4422. [email protected]
Apr ‘12
FOR SALE: Black Bellcrown Phantom 2 Wheel Carriage. Excellent condition-always stored inside, many extras. Perfect for
CDE's, pleasure shows and everyday. Comes with: single wedge
with back & sides; 2 person seat with back cushion & oak sides;
APRIL 2012
Parting Shots …
The Florida Whips
is only as strong as its
Volunteer where you can!
Give input when you can!
Participate often!
Be a part of YOUR club!
Found on Facebook and just too good not to share.
It was created by artist and fellow driver, Victoria Smith who
related, "Many of you don't know it, but I spend my nonMini moments each day working in our welding shop making metal yard art out of all recycled 'found objects.' Here is
a CDE miniature donkey just finished for a close friend of
Check out Recycled Ranch Relics on Facebook to see more
of Victoria's work.
16 2012

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