May 2000 Newsletter

By Fred Thompson

Above are JoAnn and Ken Davis.  On the left is JoAnn Driving Matt at Longenburger Carriage Classic in 1999.  On the right is Ken driving mares, Marion Sue and April at the Kenton Heritage Days in October 1999.

  Hey everyone it's MAY-don't you love it.  Don't you just love all this
daylight.  It's going to get harder spending the time inside to write
these reports each month.  I know-I know, It's a tough job and someone
has to do it.  Lucky me.
  Well, foaling season should be about over for another year.  I hope
everyone that had a mare due got what they wanted.  We ended up with two
little boys again this year.  It may not be exactly what we wanted but
they are both strong and healthy and that is good.  There is just
something about watching a new foal frolicking in the pasture that puts
a smile on your face and a lightness in your heart.  God sure knew what
he was doing when he made the horse.
  There isn't much to report for this month.  A meeting was held May 9
at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Findlay with 23 members showing up. 
President Mike Cook call a short trustee meeting to discuss a few items
of interest before turning the rest of the members loose to enjoy the
snacks, deserts and other munches that was brought to share.  Man I love
these meetings.  Anyway, after everyone was done eating like an equine,
Mike Cook called the meeting to order.  Sue Murray gave the Secretary
and Treasurers report.  Sue announced that we reach a milestone and
Maria Cash was it by becoming our 75th member for year 2000.  Welcome
Maria.  Once again the concern about liability was brought up.  A motion
was made, voted on and passed that only members of the Black Swamp
Driving Club can drive at BSDC sponsored drives and events.  I want to
make it clear that this to protect the club.  This does NOT mean that
you cannot invite a guest to ride with you in your turnout.  For your
protection check to see how your insurance protects you in case of an
  The idea was brought up that members should start wearing their
nametags at the drives and other events.  This will help acquaint new
and old members.  Anyone that is interested in getting a nametag can get
in touch with Sue Murray.  She is checking into where we can get new one
that will be like the old ones some members already have.  In the mean
time Angie Hohenbrink said she would write out nametags at any BSDC
function.  Sue also handed out the new Mentor-Protégé forms for people
interested in filling then out.  There may be some members that might
want to fill out the form to be both a Mentor and a Protégé.  A person
that may want to be a Mentor to help someone to learn to drive single
hitch but would like to be a protégé to learn to drive pairs or learn to
drive in competition.   This form can also be accessed on our web page
under "For Members only".  I for one like the new "For Members Only"
addition to the web page.  Nice job Angie and thanks for constantly
improving the best sight on the web.
  Sue Murray wanted to let anyone know that is planning to go to the
Kentucky Horse Park drive that we are in charge of the Scavenger Hunt
this year.  She suggested that everyone bring five items that can be
used in the hunt.  They will be stored in Roger and Sue's trailer until
the morning of the hunt and then a couple members will go out and plant
the items along the drive.  It was also mention not to use items of any
real value, as these articles will be placed along a public road and
could sprout legs and walk off.
   A vote was taken and our Annual Meeting and Banquet will be held at
The Barn at Sauders in Archbold, Ohio again this year.  The date has not
been set yet.
  With time running out President Mike Cook announced that this will be
our last "OFFICIAL" meeting until after the driving season is over and
any news and business will be passed on at the drives in the form of
"UNOFFICIAL" meetings.  With that Mike called the meeting to a close and
wished everyone a happy driving season.
  Did someone mention "DRIVING SEASON"?  May is the "OFFICIAL" beginning
of our drives and we have two scheduled for this month.  The Fairchilds
will be hosting the first drive May 7th at Spencerville, Ind. The
directions are: Take State Route 18 to Hicksville.  Where 49 and 2 split
pick up Spencerville St. Take it into Indiana, it will now be Rt. 64.
Once in Indiana go to the 2nd stop sign.  Turn left on St. Rt. 1 and go
into Spencerville.  At the intersection of Rt. 1 and Rt. 68 turn right
and you can see the Community building.  You can't miss it.  It will be
the building with all the horse trailers parked near it. Dinner will be
held at the community building at 1:00 Ohio time.  The drive will
  The Hohenbrinks will be hosting the next drive of the month on May
21.  It will be at Van Buren State Park, Van Buren, OH.  A potluck will
be held at 1:00pm with grilled hamburgers and hotdog furnished, then
we'll hitch up and drive down paved public roads.  The directions are:
Take I-75 to State Route 613  (exit # 164).   Turn east on 613 and go
into Van Buren.   At the stop sign turn right on Main Street (Twp. Road
220).   Go 1 mile; turn left on County Rd 109 (east).   Go 1 mile, turn
left on road 229, go about 1/2 mile, shelter house is on left, trailer
parking is on the right.  (Road 229 can also be accessed from State
Route 613 but the bridge before the horsemen's parking area has a 4-ton
weight limit). (Sorry, NO overnight camping at Van Buren State Park with
horses until new horsemen's campground is finished late summer.)
  Moving into the first of June-June 2-4 to be exact is the drive at
Kentucky Horse Park.  If you are planning on going and didn't get any of
the paper work, it can be copied off of the BSDC web page in the "For
Members Only" box.  The registration form has to be returned by May 10.
Another must is to be sure you have an up-to-date Coggins Test.  If you
don't, you will be asked to leave.   So make sure everything is up to
date and don't forget to take the health papers with you.  They won't do
you any good at home.  OK now lets all go and have some fun.

I saw a child who couldn't walk, sit on a horse and laugh and talk.
I saw a child who could only crawl, mount a horse and sit up tall.
I saw a child born into strife, take up and hold the reins of life..
And that same child was heard to say, thank you God for showing me the

-John Anthony Davis

Member Profile: Ken and JoAnn Davis

Hello everyone, we are Ken and JoAnn Davis from Liberty Center, Ohio and this is our story.  Not in a million years did we ever think we would be driving! I guess you could call us crossovers from the Quarter horse world. We have always bred, raised and shown quarter horses up until 4 years ago. That's when it all started, well, actually it was a year or two before that.   JoAnn got a job at Bittersweet Farms in Whitehouse, Oh.  As the therapeutic horsemanship instructor for Autistic adults. They have 3 Belgian mares they use for riding and driving. The riding part was easy but the driving was a different story. With a few quick lessons and a lot of learn as you go, it soon became a passion. The only problem was Ken thought that Belgians were much too big so a compromise was struck. Haflingers! What a wonderful choice it was. We started with 2 and have since added 3 mares and are currently standing a stud and expecting 3 babies in April. We have been in the Black Swamp Driving club for about 3 years and have attended several drives.  We currently have a Meadowbrook cart, a hitch wagon and a type of buckboard.  Ken is a self-employed carpenter and enjoys building and remodeling different types of wagons in his spare time. In our younger days, when the kids were around, Scott and Kenna Jo, all of our time was spent showing the Tri-State Rodeo circuit. The kids won many awards at the local and state level and dad always had a good horse to ride or show at halter .We have always stood our own stallion and have enjoyed owning a World Champion producing broodmare. She gave us two World Champion performance geldings and a Reserve World Champion along with several other point earners. Those days sure were hectic. Now is the time for us to slow down, or so we thought, and enjoy driving around the countryside with family and neighbors. Between the carriage auctions, Haflinger sales, drives, fairs, clinics and 3 grandchildren, Josh, Tyler and Megan, things are as slow as they are ever going to get.

We have really enjoyed all the new friends we have made and those we
haven't met yet- -Just stop in and say hello, we always have time for a visit.

A note from our Club Photographer Denise Ruffing:

  I was wondering if you could help me with my new projects.  I would
like to set up at least five binders for the previous years of the BSDC
achieves (two years per book) I would love to do one per year, but I
don't think I will have that much information to collect. If any one has
photographs or articles about Black Swamp if they would like to donate
them for the Achieves?  Or I can copy or scan to copy any material
received.  Any thing a person would want back can be returned.   I am
looking for material all the way back from the founding to 1999.
  My goal is to have them started and the 2000 book done for the year
end dinner.  I would like to share them with the club so everyone can
see why the crazy person is always taking their picture.

Thanks for the help,



May 5 Gene Darbyshire
May 14 JoAnn Davis
May 12 Gary Gillfillan
May 16 John Tschantz
May 21 Vicky Englehart
May 29 Marla Newman
May 31 Mike Cook
June 5 Roger Higgins Sr.
June 11 Nathan Strasbaugh
June 12 Sue Thompson
June 13 Pat Burghardt

* May 7... Drive at Spencerville Hosted by the Fairchilds
* May 21.... Drive at Van Buren State Park hosted by the Hohenbrinks
* June 2-4.. Drive at Kentucky Horse Park
   June 15-17. Topeka, Ind. Carriage Auction
* August 27..  Drive at Sandy Young hosted by
*September 10. Drive at Oak Opening hosted by Mike Cook
  September 22-24 Longaberger Carriage Classic, Dresden,Oh
   October 5-7. Topeka, Ind. Carriage Auction
* October 7-8. Heritage Days Kenton, Oh hosted by the Gillfillans
   October 11.. Mt. Hope Carriage Auction
* October 14-15 Corn Huskers hosted by the John and Sara Hunter
   October 18-20 World Singles Champion at Gladestone, N.J.
* October 29... Drive at Mark and Marla Newman
*  Denotes a BSDC sponsored activity

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