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The American Driving Society Not to Renew Affiliate Agreement with US Equestrian

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
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The American Driving Society, Inc. (ADS) has a proud 45-year tradition of focus on our core mission of supporting, developing and enhancing the sport of carriage driving in the United States. For many years that tradition has also included being the carriage driving affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. (USEF). 

After many months of concentrated effort, the Board of Directors of the ADS has reached the conclusion that our role as affiliate is no longer in the best interests of the vast majority of our membership.  Accordingly, the Board of Directors voted unanimously not to renew our Affiliate Agreement. 

The Board is as diverse as the ADS membership and includes competitors of all levels, officials, organizers and volunteers as well as many ADS members who do not compete in activities recognized by the USEF and who drive equines purely for the love of driving. We are united in our commitment to you, to the ADS, and to the sport of carriage driving. We believe that our resources are best focused tightly on our sport and on achieving the core mission which has been a part of our bylaws for many years. The amount of time and money required toserve the Affiliate relationship requirements and the related USEF agenda are simply beyond what is appropriate for the ADS to commit to a small part of one area of our sport.

We began our negotiations with the USEF in the Fall of 2018 and have worked many hours united in a good faith effort to reach an agreement with the USEF management team that would create a relationship meeting your needs as well as those of the USEF. Regrettably, we have concluded that this is simply not possible. Since those needs are, by charter, our major mission, we can no longer continue to consume ADS resources, nor could the enormous increase in solely USEF support activities the USEF will require be sustained by the ADS.

To our Members-Your Board of Directors is united in our commitment to you and to our sport and will continue to work hard to support both competition and non-competition driving activities. We are proud of the many enhancements the ADS has made to the sport and to the value of an ADS membership and are eager to make those our ongoing primary focus. 

To our Organizers- the Board of the ADS will continue to work hard to support your activities and will not take any action which limits your ability to run and structure your competitions as you prefer. We are committed to our long history of supporting your important work. 

To our Officials- the Board of the ADS is committed to ensuring that our officials receive the support, encouragement and education that they deserve. The ADS rules in no way limit your participation in driving activities here in the US or elsewhere, and we support decisions you make as individuals with respect to licensure by ADS, USEF and FEI.

To our High Performance competitors- the Board of the ADS has always included a number of advanced level drivers and current and former USEF Team members, and it will continue to do so as long as there are individuals in those groups willing to volunteer their time to support the sport of driving beyond their participation in advanced driving competitions. We will continue to train officials, provide all of the support required for competitions and education of drivers, and maintain the rules of driving. We will work hard to sensibly harmonize our rules with those of the USEF and FEI and to ensure the safety and well-being of competitors and equines. The ADS does not have rules precluding participation in ADS recognized events by any individual and we have always welcomed USEF and FEI division at ADS recognized shows. We plan to find new ways to add more advanced classes and divisions to ADS competitions which you can use as you always have to train your equines and hone your competition skills. You can count on us to be there at the sidelines, as always, cheering for your accomplishments.

The Board of the ADS realizes that this will be a period of some change for our sport. We believe that this decision is in the best interests of the vast majority of participants and of all of you, our members. We cannot in good conscience continue to devote the amount of human and financial resources required for an affiliation that does not adequately meet the needs of our members.

We are the ADS!!

The Board of Directors of The American Driving Society, Inc,

Daniel M. Rosenthal – President, Member ADS, USEF, DPRA (Life), USDFD (Life), USDF

Danute Bright – Vice President, Member ADS (Life), USEF. Official – ADS, USEF

Rochelle Temple – Vice President, Member ADS (Life), USEF, USDF. Official - ADS, USEF, FEI 2* 

Teresa Bron – Secretary, Member ADS, USEF, USDF

Patrick Cheatham – Treasurer, Member ADS 

Maren Amdal– Member ADS

Jessica Axelsson-  Member ADS (Life), USEF. Official – ADS, USEF

Gwenyth Bassetti– Member ADS, USEF

Allyn Carman– Member ADS, USEF

Ann Craig – Member ADS

Suzanne Edwards – Member ADS, USEF

Kacy Tipton-Fashik– Member ADS, USEF. Official-ADS, USEF

Heidi Ferguson – Member ADS, USEF

Ruth Graves– Member ADS, USEF. Official - ADS

Margaret Grillet-  Member ADS

Maureen Grippa – Member ADS, USEF

Marc Johnson- Member ADS, USEF. Official – ADS, USEF, FEI 2*

Diane Koopman – Member ADS

Pam Miller-Mitchell - Member ADS, USEF

Tracey Morgan- Member ADS, USEF. Official -ADS

Jeff Morse– Member ADS, USEF                       

Jada Neubauer – Member ADS, USEF 

Kelly Valdes- Member ADS (Life), USEF (Life)

Lynn West – Member ADS

Hilda Wilkins – Member ADS, USEF

Esther R. "Boots" Wright-Member ADS (Life), USEF (Life). Official - ADS, USEF, FEI 3* 

Honorary Directors

Audrey Bostwick – Founding Member ADS (Life), USEF 

Elaine Kendig – Member ADS (Life)

Natasha Grigg - Member ADS (Life), USEF (Life)

Ann Pringle – Member ADS (Life), USEF, CAA

Holliday Pulsifer – Member ADS (Life), USEF. Official – ADS

Hardy Zantke – Member ADS (Life), USEF, USDFD. Official - ADS, USEF, FEI 3*, FEI Para Driving 3*    

Susan Koso – Member ADS (Life). Official- ADS, USEF  

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