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.



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.

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