As announced late last week, the American Driving Society is no longer the United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) Recognized Affiliate for Driving; Pleasure and Combined. USEF will be handling the affiliate responsibilities internally for the Driving discipline, at least in the short term. The primary focus is ensuring minimal impact on USEF members during this transition and that the sport of Driving (Combined and Pleasure) responsibly grows and flourishes in the U.S.
The aim of this letter is to update all Driving stakeholders on the work USEF is undertaking to minimize any transitional disruption as we begin the process of moving forward to grow the membership and increase the support provided to both Carriage Pleasure and Combined Driving at all levels. Outlined below are several key updates on the transition plan.
USEF Licensed competitions are not affected by the decision and will continue to operate as originally listed.
ADS licensed competitions operating at the same time and in the same location as USEF licensed competitions, can still continue for the 2017 competition year as long as a separate Entry Form is used for the ADS competition.
Following completion of the 2017 competition year, ADS competitions will be allowed to continue to run at the same time and location as USEF licensed competitions as long as all competitors are USEF members (or pay the applicable Show Pass fee), the Competition is using USEF licensed officials and the horses competing are subject to random drug testing.
USEF will be working with Competition Organizers to encourage and facilitate the introduction of additional Combined Driving competitions at the Intermediate and Preliminary levels (these Rules have already received Board approval for inclusion in the USEF Rule Book). Other avenues for growing the sport will also be actively pursued and will be communicated when details are available.
USEF Licensed competitions are subject to Clean Sport Rules, thus ensuring fairness and safety. There will be increased efforts to educate new members of the USEF regarding these Rules.
Licensed Officials that hold a current USEF License are not affected. USEF will announce shortly a process to allow interested ADS approved Officials to be fast tracked for USEF Licensure approval. Details of this process will be publicized in the very near future and published on the USEF website.
The Licensed Officials area of the website will be updated removing references to ADS. The review regarding initial requirements for becoming a Combined Driving and Carriage Pleasure Driving licensed official will continue. USEF will work closely with our committees and licensed officials’ community to develop a new licensed officials’ education system for Driving.
USEF Committees & Councils
All ADS appointees on USEF Committees and Councils were removed effective with last week’s announcement. New appointments will be made shortly. Any ADS members, who are also USEF members, including those appointees just removed, are eligible for appointment or re-appointment if interested and committed to change. To be considered, please contact Lizzy Staller or Lori Nelson in the USEF Sport Department by 5:00 pm EST on February 3, 2017.
Revised and updated Driving rules will be published in the coming weeks. Changes are expected to be minimal.
Membership benefits for ADS members that are also USEF Members are not affected in any way. There is no requirement to drop your ADS membership. Existing ADS members that are not USEF Members are welcome and encouraged to join USEF.
All Driving fans who are not members of USEF are encouraged to take advantage of USEF’s new Fan Membership ($25). As a Fan Member, you can access the entire newly improved USEF website, where you will find a wide range of information on Driving opportunities in the U.S. The website also includes a newly launched video Learning Center and access to live broadcasts, 2000 hours of video on-demand, and all press and news releases via the USEF Network.
For the past several years, participation in the sport of Driving in the U.S. has significantly declined. An alternative approach designed to stimulate interest and participation in this discipline at all levels will be announced in the coming months.
The existing USEF Horse of the Year (HOTY) Awards for Driving will not change. As the number of Intermediate and Preliminary competitions increase, the USEF will seek to introduce HOTY Awards for these levels.
Of course, we have a great deal of work to do to make this a smooth transition. We will work very closely with our organizers, officials, athletes, owners and other stakeholders to support them, answer their questions and ensure that there is no impact on their ability to conduct and participate in successful competitions. We will promote the benefits of USEF membership and continually seek to develop those benefits, but at the same time ensure all we do delivers against our mission of ensuring fairness, safety and enjoyment.
Many thanks and at any time, please contact us if you have any questions by using the phone or email listed below.
Director of Sport
William J. Moroney
Chief Executive Officer
Murray S. Kessler
Will Connell - Project Lead and Oversight (908) 326-1154 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sonja Keating – Legal & Rules (859) 225-2045 or email@example.com
Lisa Owens – Competition Licensing (859) 225-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sally Ike – Licensed Officials (908) 326-1156 or email@example.com
Lizzy Staller – Sport Combined Driving (908) 326-1159 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori Nelson – Sport Carriage Driving (859) 225-6957 or email@example.com
Vicki Lowell – Communications/Marketing/Content (859) 225-2024 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Coley – Membership & Awards (859) 225-6965 or email@example.com
Justin Provost – Information Technology (859) 225-6905 or firstname.lastname@example.org
David Harris – Finance (859) 225-6935 or email@example.com
Bill Moroney – Executive (859) 225-6912 or firstname.lastname@example.org