Haislip Farm kicked off a new season of mud bogging when they held their first event of 2013 on May 18. Between 40-50 vehicles participated in the competition, bringing in drivers from across Virginia, as well as West Virginia and North Carolina.
The dual-track mud pit at Haislip Farm has a 200-foot flat track and a 225-foot “hill and hole” track, a course with thicker mud and various bumps and dips along the way. Drivers have a choice of which track they compete on, and are only judged against drivers of the same track and truck class.
Trucks are divided into a number of classes, depending on what modifications have been made to the vehicles. Classes range from the Deer Hunter category—vehicles that are closest to a stock truck—up to the Unlimited category, where there are few, in any, rules regarding the alterations that can be made.
“The sky’s the limit,” said Shannon Haislip, one of the event organizers.
Competitors were put into ten racing categories: Class D 44 and Under, Super Modified Hill and Hole, Super Stock Hill and Hole, Modified Flat, Class C 38 and Under, Modified Hill and Hole, Class B 36 and Under, Unlimited, Class A 33 and Under, and Deer Hunter.
Drivers are judged by the distance they travel in the mud put. If multiple drivers reach the same distance, then the competitor with the fastest time is declared the winner. The top three finishers in each category were awarded prizes.
All trucks are given a thorough pre-race inspection to ensure both the safety of the drivers and the audience. A “kill switch” must be within reach of the driver, should any emergency arise. Participants must be at least 16 years of age, but aside from that one limitation, mud bogging attracts drivers of all age groups. Competitors will occasionally share a truck, taking turns running it through one of the mud pits.
After a group prayer and the playing of the National Anthem, Robert Richardson became the first driver of the day to enter the mud pit. Richardson made it all the way through the hill and hole track on his first attempt, with a time of 24.43. Scott Payne followed, successfully finishing the track in 16.84 seconds. Casey Morris, one of the few female drivers, went third. Her purple truck was named “Misunderstood.”
The Haislip Farm Mud Bog got its start three years ago. Shannon Haislip began racing seven years ago, but was disappointed by the lack of events in the Charlottesville area. Since its debut, the Mud Bog has become a significant competition for mud racers, attracting a sizable audience and earning sponsorships from Tavern on the James, the Scottsville Diner, and Coleman Outdoors of Scottsville.
An alcohol-free event, the Mud Bog is a family friendly gathering that prides itself on safety. Highway-strength guardrails line the sides of the mud track and spectators watch from the top of a hill, a safe distance from the pit. Paramedics and law enforcement were on hand, as well.
There was a 50-50 raffle and souvenir shirts available for purchase. Pee Wee’s Pit Barbecue sold meals, snacks and refreshments. Additional mud bog events are tentatively scheduled for Aug. 31 and Oct. 19.
When Haislip Farm is not hosting competitions, it is busy raising beef cattle, soybeans, corn and “a whole lot of hay.” More information about the events can be found at haislipfarms.com.