On March 22, 2019, the Southern Indiana Draft Horse and Mule Association
lost it's current president and long time friend when Danny Joe Sommer passed away rather unexpectedly. Danny Joe (nicknamed Rabbit) was only 64 years old and was always the life of the party.
He was one of those people who never met a stranger. After his death, Danny Joe's wife Alice invited the club to continue to use their camp up near Tell City, Indian in the Hooiser National Forest
as a base for wagon rides just as we had in the past. This resulted in plans being made to meet at the camp over the Mothers Day weekend and hold a wagon ride. However,
the weather forecasters were predicting rain for that weekend so the ride was moved over to the Southern Indiana Horsemans Club instead because of the fear that we would
damage the grounds at the camp if it rained. The plan was to ride on Friday and
Saturday so that folks could go home to enjoy Mothers Day with their family. As is often the case, the weatherman's prediction was off and we only had a few periods of light rain
over the weekend. Unfortunately, the threat of heavy weather did reduce the number of folks in attendance.
My weekend started off a little shaky as I had a flat tire on arrival
Thursday afternoon and had to go to town for new tires first thing on Friday morning. However, I made it back in time to ride. It was a lttle cooler than expected over the weekend, but we had really nice rides
on both days with a little bit of rain just before we got back to the club grounds on Saturday. The highlight of the weekend occurred prior to the rain on Saturday afternoon when our route took us past
Danny Joe's house. We stopped for awhile and visited with Danny Joe's wife Alice. There were both a lot of laughs
and several tears shed as we remembered our friend and some of his antics. Alice was able to visit with Danny Joe's buggy horse Larry who now has a new home with Dennis and Edna Taylor.
Overall, the weekend was both fun and somewhat sad as people continued to bring up their memories of Danny Joe. Over the years, I had the pleasure of riding with him on almost every ride he and I
attended together so I've taken the liberty of titling this event on my website as a memorial ride for the Rabbit.
Individual photos are available for purchase!
You can click
here for information about
ordering. A DVD with a slideshow of all of
the photos displayed on the website for this event is available for $25 which includes shipping.