Frederick Fair Individuals 2014

September 18, 2014

Last Friday MGAA hosted an individual competition at the Great Frederick Fair.  We had jackpot divisions for Masters and Fossils, and we also had a non jackpot division for fossils and one for intermediate.

The masters division was a good watch, as always.  The A final had a three way tie going into the final race, with Mackenzie pulling out the win, followed by Kimi, Matt and then Jen.  It was a good run and I really enjoyed watching it.  Kimi had really come a long way with Pepper.  The two make a fantastic pair.  Matt has also grown into a strong masters rider and it really shows.  His skills keep stepping up.  Jen is also an amazing rider, and I love her on her pony Marvin.  That was a good move for her.  Mackenzie is always fantastic and a joy to watch.  Her and Inky are top international level riders, so a top performance is always expected.  And this made it even more impressive to see such close points between the top four riders in this division.

The fossils jackpot was really exciting to watch, with very well matched riders and ponies.  Val took the win, followed my Carol Ann, Zoe and then Ashley.  The three white ponies were pretty head to head for most of the competition, with a mistake taking any one of them out of the running.  As a spectator, it was obvious that Val’s pony, Sprite, was slowing down as the competition went on, and in the final session, he was really being out footed by Zeke and Petal.  Ashley was on her on old chestnut pony, Penny.  Penny was much slower than the last time I saw her go, and Ashley’s skills were out pacing the pony.

The fossil open division is where I placed myself, which made it possible to even out the heats.  I had originally planned to ride in the jackpot division, but with quite a few withdraws just a week out from the competition, as organizer, I had to do a lot of shuffling around.  I was happy in this division though, and found that myself and Jennie rode pretty head to head for the whole competition.  Probably more than half of our finishes were nose to nose with us alternating who was just over the line first.  This was really exciting for me, and I think for Jennie too.  Her pony Emmy is new to the sport, but really took to it quickly.  She threw in a few bucks, but in general the pony has just a touch more speed than Poe.  Jennie ended up besting me in the end, in a well fought race. I am already looking forward to ride with Jennie again. There’s nothing quite as fun as riding against someone that is closely matched.

Lindsey rode Simon, and decked him out in body paint and colorful tail glitter.  He looked extremely enthusiastic, but was pushed over the line of festive, and into the realm of drag queen, with the addition of the boas. Lindsey had a splendid time on him, and in the first heat was just a stride behind Jennie and I as we crossed the line in most races. Although by the final session Simon was loosing interest and lacking speed, and Lindsey was often just making the turn on the C line, as Jennie and I finished our race.

Patti, ever persistent, and ever accurate, pulled in a steady fourth place in our division, giving her usual solid performance.  It thrills me to see Patti competing with a smile on her face and having an excellent time.

I think this was also true for the Green/Intermediate division.  Mackenzie rode her new mare, who is excessively cute.  She rode against Sami and Steph on their new ponies, and Shannon pulled her grey greeny after the first session.  Stephanie took the win, with a very steady performance.

For my own performance I was quite pleased.  Not my best, but certainly not my worst either.  I successfully mounted my pony.  Which was an improvement over the previous weekend.  And I had strong performances in several races including Tack Shop, Association, 3 mug, Flag Fliers, 4 Flag and Balloon.  My weakness showed in Bottle, which was horrible both times.  My carton was also weak.  Neither was a surprise going into the competition.  I was let down with my 3 Pot Flag, and will be practicing my flag skills, particularly my 2 flag style placement.  Otherwise I was pretty pleased with myself.  I could have pushed for more speed at certain points, and played a little less conservatively.  My starts were pretty shoddy too.  Poe was rather fussy about them, and I had to keep him moving.  A few times he shuffled back from the line too much, and I was left in the dust at the start, while he unstuck himself.  I think this falls back on him having too much time off this summer.

This was a really fun competition and it was really good exposure for MGAA!  I am looking forward to doing it again next year!

There are a lot of good photos to go with this post, including a few by myself, one by Ashley’s mom and several by Matt Brown.

148776_760618962493_1025681567067575903_nC O’Connor Photo: M Brown



K Wilson Muldoon and L Matossian Photo: M Brown



M Taylor Photo: K Wilson Muldoon


V Hoke Photo: M Brown


K Wilson Muldoon Photo: M Brown


M Taylor Photo: M Brown


L Matossian & K Wilson Muldoon Photo: M Brown


K Flemming Photo: K Wilson Muldoon


L Matossian Photo: M Brown


K Wilson Muldoon Photo: M Brown


A Desjardins & V Hoke Photo: M Brown


Z Edington Photo: M Brown


Simon Photo: K Wilson Muldoon


J Stone & K Wilson Muldoon Photo: M Brown


L Matossian, V Hoke, Ashley Desjardins Photo: Desjardins


MGAA Headline News – Frederick News Post

September 15, 2014

Friday was the opening day of the Great Frederick Fair, which is one of the oldest fairs in the country.  This year was the 152nd year of this fair!  My late grandfather told me once that when he was a kid his family would drive their wagon, sleeping under it at night, to the Frederick Fair.  He grew up west of Baltimore, in the area that Rt70 now covers.

MGAA has hosted an exciting mounted games individual competition on this opening day of the fair for the past few years. We host a jackpot division for both masters and our adult division riders.  Last year we made the front page of the Frederick News Post, and we did again this year!  How Exciting.  Three photos total, including the top fold of the front page, and a full story.

Read the story on the Frederick News Post’s website or find it pasted below.

Horses, riders pull off tricks

By Laura Dukes News-Post Staff | Posted: Saturday, September 13, 2014 2:00 am

All kinds of horses and all kinds of riders were welcomed at the Mounted Equine Games, which helped kick off The Great Frederick Fair on Friday.

Krista Wilson Muldoon, of Broadway, Virginia, with the organization Mounted Games Across America, organized the event, which she said included 25 riders from the Maryland-Pennsylvania-Virginia area. Her group has participated in the fair for about four years, she said.

For the games, riders run short races with their horses while they do things like popping balloons as they go back and forth. Muldoon said sometimes they race relay-style, passing a baton.

More advanced riders do stunts like vaulting on and off their horses, Muldoon said.

The riders use their own horses, which Muldoon said are often rescue horses or “backyard ponies.” She found her own horse online; Poe was listed as a mount deemed unsuitable for children.

“This is honestly the only thing he likes to do,” she said.

The games are good for horses like hers because it gives them a chance to compete and go faster than usual, Muldoon said.

“They’re not just going around in a circle.”

At the same time, she said, just about any horse can participate. Specialized breeding does not matter.

“They don’t have to be pretty or a high-dollar animal,” she said, adding that the activity also strengthens the bond between horse and rider.

The riders themselves have a range of skill levels, Muldoon said. Some just trot slowly; others, who Muldoon said tend to be younger and more athletic, do stunts and compete internationally.

Some riders in the jackpot divisions have won cash prizes of up to $500, Muldoon said.

Horses’ ages have ranged from 4 to 35, Muldoon said, and occasionally the newer horses have acted up.

“Most of them really enjoy it,” she said of the horses. “If they don’t enjoy it, it’s not worth doing.”

Rider Valerie Hoke, of Lovettsville, Virginia, had one of the oldest horses at Friday’s event. Sprite, 29, enjoyed the games as long as she was riding him, Hoke said.

“He’s kind of a snob,” she said. “He’s not dangerous, he just prefers to be left alone. Kind of like a cat.”

Hoke has had Sprite since 2002; she said she received him from a friend whose son stopped riding him.

Several of the riders dressed up or decorated their horses using livestock markers. Lindsey Matossian, of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, gave hers a yellow feathered boa. She was riding one of Muldoon’s horses, she said, since her own does better with team relays rather than racing by himself.

It’s not unusual to ride each other’s horses, Matossian said.

“We become a family here.” 

Follow Laura Dukes on Twitter: @LauraDukesFNP.



Poe on Tap – 2013

December 2, 2013

My family does not hit the stores on Black Friday, but we did take the dogs for a walk around downtown Frederick (which is mostly dog friendly) for Frosty Friday. We popped into Two Paws Up, the local dog store, where I picked up a special new toy for Daisy, and the Trail House, the local outdoor store.

Don’t worry, Ash was not forgotten. I ordered him a MooChew off Etsy, from a small business. After all, the Saturday after Black Friday is Small Business Saturday. I was going to be riding in the first Taylormade competition Of the season so we jumped on it a day early.

After our walk, we popped into Jekyll and Hyde for lunch. We ordered Burgers and crab dip, Lindsey and I enjoyed Peppermint Patties and Rich and my parents decided to try the Poe beer line on tap! Yep, Poe was in tap in three flavors.

We are an Edgar Allan Poe family with our roots in Baltimore. This made finding Poe, the pony, even more ironic. And since adding him to the family I keep seeing Poe things. Like Poe National Park in PA and a store called Poe’s near Winchester, VA.

Rich said the beer Poe was excellent. He tried the Tell Tail Hearty Ale.









The Great Frederick Fair Meets MGAA

September 15, 2013

On Friday MGAA, Mounted Games Across America, riders took part in an individual mounted games competition at The Great Frederick Fair in Frederick, Maryland.  We started the day with an Open and an Adult division.  This was followed up by a Jackpot division.  Each division drew heats and competed in two sessions of six races to get placement in the final divisions.  Everyone looked great and played expertly.

I took Poe in the adult division.  This was a big step up for him.  And he really pulled it off.  In the first session I let him move out a little, but without asking for much speed.  He was keyed into me and we made an excellent pair.  He was eager to please and was right there for me.  In the second session I asked for him to move out a little and he kicked it up a notch.  He was still amazingly responsive, and pulled up and stood still when asked, then moved out immediately on cue.  We were in the B final, and I felt like it was time to ask for a little more, and was pleased I did.  We ended second with some strong riding.

We need to work on our turns.  We only cantered some of our end turns, and our turns in races like 3 mug, were not bad, but could have been tighter.  Poe has it in him.  I was thrilled with our Ball and Cone race in particular.  He cantered up, stopped, allowed me to place the ball, cantered up to the next cone, checked up enough for me to pick the ball, and repeat on the return trip.  He stood for me to mount in Toolbox and then moved out as soon as I was mounted and asked.  And our Association race in the final was spectacular.  His barrel turns were perfect.

He is coming along so quickly, and I was nervous that taking him to MA4 in two weeks was going to be pushing it too fast.  That’s going to be his first big weekend long team competition.  I know I’ll want to push him for more speed, and he has not had much work on handoffs.  But after this weekend, and seeing how fast he progressed, I have no doubt he is ready.  Its going to be great.

So the individuals was fantastic.  The jackpot division was a real show to watch, and the adult and open divisions really held their own.  A photo of three of our fossil riders even made the front page, top fold of the Frederick News Post .  Pretty awesome.

Val took the win in the Adult A followed by my teammate Carol Ann, then Nancy from Time Flies, and teammate Kim, took fourth.  Linda took the win in the B final, followed by myself, then Ann who rode Simon, and Lindsey followed up in fourth.  It was a really good ride and well matched finals.

We had a great group in Open, with Genevieve taking the lead on her newer pony Rubin. She was closely followed by Stephanie, then Laura on her OTTB and Grace riding Captain for the first time!

The Jackpot division was fantastic to watch, and the final rider into the A final was decided by tie breaker between Mitchell and Claudia.  Mitchell won the tie breaker, and really showed how far she has brought her pony Petal along.  The A final was lead by Brea, with Kelsey only one point behind, Mitchell ended in third followed by Matt.  It was tight running in all the finals across the board with only 6 races.  One bad race could really make or break a rider.  The B final was taken by Sarah, followed by Rachel and then Claudia with Zac closing out the heat.  the C final was won by Genevieve, followed by Jen, and then Shannon.  Laura had to pull out before the second session because her pony Cookie came up lame.

This was a really fun competition to ride in, and it was also a really fun competition to host.  I couldn’t have pulled it off without the help of all the great MGAAers that stepped up.  Linda helped with all the paperwork, set up, and helping me keep it all in order leading up to the event.  which is a much bigger deal than you would think.  Janey offered to Ref, and as always, was amazing.  This is the first time in a long time I have ridden under her orders since she usually Refs masters, and I moved out of that division years ago.  Claudia also offered her skills as TD, Line A and over all everything.  Always a pleasure to work with, Claudia was her usual fantastic self.  Kathy announced, and I have to say, she really kept the show rolling.  She did such a good job commentating.  I also find her skill at talking on the phone and commentating at the same time, unbelievable.  Its got to be harder than patting your head and rubbing your belly while singing the star-spangled banner!  My mom, always willing to give it her best, took up the pencil and kept score jointly with Kim.  Score keeping is never an easy feat.  And we can’t forget the work horses George and Kelly who got the ring set up and the equipment in place.  They were assisted by many, including the Crowleys who I saw out there all day.  And lastly, Stacey, who lent, and delivered the equipment.  She really is one gold star person.

And now some photos.

The following selection of shots were taken by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography and a few by Karen.

















and these were taken by myself and Matt.



















yea, there were a lot of Poe pictures.  He just looks so darn good in yellow, I couldn’t help it.

MGAA Write Up

September 12, 2013

Yesterday I was going through the package I received from The Great Frederick Fair in preparation for our competition being held this Friday during the fair.

I flipped through the program of events and was pleased to see us listed on the schedule and then on page 8 I found this amazing write up! It is the single largest write up about an event in the program! And it explains our sport perfectly!

Clearly I am very excited.


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