MGAA Nationals 2016

July 31, 2016

This year MGAA went back north to the Grange in Centre Hall, PA for MGAA’s 3 day National competition.  This is our longest competition of the year.  We run 3 qualifying and two final sessions, 10 races for each of the first 4 sessions and 15 for the final, so 55 races in all!

Wendi and I teamed up to pull this competition off and I think we did a good job.  There were plenty of bumps along the planning road but all in all it came out great.

Lets talk about the Saturday night party.  We do one a year, held Saturday night at MGAA Nationals, and have done different formats over the years.  This year we went with the back yard lawn party theme, so everyone was welcome to wear whatever they wanted, and just relax with friends.  We had Chipotle catering, which was a big hit, and then went onto the planned entertainment.

Wendi booked up Knocker Ball.  This was a huge hit and the majority of people gave it a try, including me!  It was way fun, more so than I expected.  Getting up after being knocked down, was as challenging as I expected too.  Lol.  Knocker Ball was a much fun to watch as it was to play and a couple of us live streamed some video on Facebook of the fun.

We followed up Knocker Ball with live size Hungry Hippos.  The game was planned and constructed by Wendi and Carl.  Another raving hit, it was a big fun game that lots of people took part in.

ok, so the party was a hit! Lets give some shout out to my personal support system for the long weekend.  I arrived Wednesday evening and there was the Canadians, the Barnes family in particular, who snatched me up and whisked me off for an amazing dinner in the little town down the road.  It was the coolest little town,  with the neatest little shops, and lots of well preserved antiquity. Dinner was in the 1819 tavern, which was an old house like building, with amazing structure.  But let me continue my oddly placed shout outs, the Barnes family really stepped up and helped me out.  They cleaned Poe’s stall and refilled his water, which was something I was having trouble getting around to each day.  Lindsey and Averi also helped me out with Poe and keeping me in order.  And my whole team was just beast and made sure we were in every work session, fully represented.  Thanks all.

So the riding.  Honestly, I waited too long to talk too detailed about my performance.  I am over all happy with myself, and of course Poe.  He is always awesome.  I know I need to work on my end turns, and riding all the way to things before I check up.  Poe has fabulous breaks so I should use that.  I was not perfect.  I screwed up needle and thread, and I cant remember what else.  Oh I know a big folly for me.  Litter.  I think it was the first session, Val broke the litter cane when she reached down with it (I think it stabbed the ground and Spite in the belly).  so when I went it was SHORT.  I could not get the litter.  when I leaned enough Poe was ready to roll too fast for me to get back up, and then he got angry it was taking so long and it was just a mess.  A long, hot, annoying, never ending mess, with a rider in another lane dealing with the same situation.  I finally did get it, and Poe was GONE, and my super super sloppy dunk bounced back out.  Mean while the rider in the other lane, blasted on by me with a finished race.  So that sucked.  I did redeem myself later with a nice clean litter in another session.

Our team battled the whole weekend with Time Flies.  we were always a point ahead or a point behind.  Back and forth.  In the end they beat us by one point.  256 to 257.  Five sessions, 55 races, and we finished 1 point apart.  What fantastic competition.

Wendi and I do a lot to make MGAA Nationals special.  We do the party, we do tons of awesome prizes, including RACE prizes.  These are extra cool, and took place during the two final sessions of each division.  The winner of each of those races wins a special prize.  some of them were bags of sample products, there were Amazon gift cards, games equipment, some other cool things, and even Horse Holsters (look them up).  Horse Holster was one of our sponsors, and sent us their super awesome and useful product, “the Horse Hoster”, which is a full size phone pocket that straps around your thigh.  a super awesome prize!!  Wendi and I also had a few odd items, that didn’t fit into the :set of 5″ items, so we did a rider raffle, and raffled these interesting items throughout the weekend.

And lets not forget the fun games.  All divisions finished Saturday’s second session with the water balloon race.  We sat out two barrels, one on B and one behind C.  On the end barrel we put a bucket with water balloons.  On the other barrel we put the 5th rider.  Each rider got to go down to the C line, collect a balloon, and smash their 5th rider with it.  This was really fun.  There was one Masters team and I think one fossil team that did not play, all other teams had a really good time playing.  The fossils also played the margarita race before the water balloon race.  which was also a lot of fun.

Personally I think the fun races really lightened the mood and brought all the teams together in general fun, as riders hit each others teammates with water balloons and stole margarita refills from each others teams.

This is a very chaotic wrap up, but hopefully Ill be back on schedule and ready to post on time going forward.  maybe.

This one above is from J Belshaw! 


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