USEF Driving Discipline: Moving Forward and FAQs

Thursday, June 27, 2019
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On June 11, 2019, the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) affiliate agreement with the American Driving Society (ADS) expired. USEF understands that this circumstance left many USEF driving members with questions regarding the future of the sport. Please be assured that USEF remains thoroughly committed to supporting the driving disciplines, its current programs, and developing new ways to grow the sport. The following information details how USEF supports the driving disciplines and outlines a pathway forward:

USEF continues to support the driving disciplines in the following ways:

  • The (Developing and Elite) Athlete Pathway Programs for Combined Driving: offers 10-12 clinics each year, along with educational and training opportunities for program members. USEF will seek to grow and expand the Developing Program. We encourage all to regularly visit the USEF website Driving page
  • Preliminary and Intermediate combined driving divisions will not require membership or a show-pass (non-member) fee, as it has been since 2017
  • Competition grants of $3,000 are offered to USEF-licensed combined driving competitions, subject to eligibility and annual budget approvals
  • Most USEF-licensed combined driving competitions are named as Selection Trials for FEI World Championship Team selection, which helps increase entries to those events
  • Promotional coverage of six USEF Combined Driving National Championships, international competitions, carriage pleasure driving competitions, clinics, media coverage, and more through the official “USA Driving” Facebook page
  • Promotion of carriage pleasure classes at USEF-licensed breed competitions
  • Traveling grants for licensed officials to further their education and experience, especially internationally. In addition, USEF is in the process of developing an education program. More details about this program will be announced at a later date

Remaining USEF-licensed competitions in 2019:

Kentucky Classic at Hillcroft Farm, August 29-September 1 in Paris, Ky. - Offering classes in the following divisions for horses, ponies, and small ponies: ADS Training CT, USEF Preliminary CDE/CT, USEF Intermediate CDE/CT, USEF Advanced CDE/CT, FEI 1*, and FEI 2*

Garden State CDE, October 11-13 in Allentown, N.J. - Offering CDE classes in the following divisions for horses, ponies, and small ponies: ADS Training, USEF Preliminary, USEF Intermediate, and USEF Advanced. Host of the USEF National Championships for Preliminary and Intermediate divisions

Katydid CDE, October 31-November 3 in Windsor, S.C. - Offering CDE classes in the following divisions for horses, ponies, and small ponies: USEF Preliminary, USEF Intermediate, USEF Advanced, FEI 1* and FEI 2* - Host of the USEF Advanced Single Horse National Championship

USEF-licensed competitions will be published online and promoted via emails to USEF driving members. Click here to begin receiving USA Driving newsletters.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who can compete in USEF-licensed competitions?
USEF members and non-members are both welcome to compete at USEF-licensed competitions.
Non-members competing in the USEF Advanced division will pay a show-pass fee of $45 (“non-member fee”);
Non-members competing in USEF Preliminary and USEF Intermediate divisions do NOT pay a show-pass fee (“non-member fee”).

Without a driving affiliate, how will competitions be licensed, recognized, and sanctioned?
All USEF and FEI combined driving competitions will be licensed for Preliminary, Intermediate, and Advanced (and/or FEI) divisions. USEF rules do not prevent other organizations from also recognizing those divisions.

For the remaining 2019 USEF competitions, a Training division recognized by the ADS will be permitted with the understanding that competition organizers must still enforce the USEF suspension and banned lists (including Safe Sport) throughout the entire competition. We are examining the path forward for 2020 and beyond and will publish those specifications later this summer.

Where can I find a list of USEF-licensed competitions?
On under Compete, click on Competitions and then Competition Search. USEF will also send driving newsletter updates through email with the current competition calendar.

How will the departure of ADS as a Recognized Affiliate affect USEF Combined Driving National Championships?
The USEF Combined Driving National Championships will continue as published. The remaining USEF Combined Driving National Championships for 2019 include the Preliminary and Intermediate National Championships hosted by Garden State CDE and the Advanced Single Horse National Championship hosted by Katydid CDE.

The 2020 USEF Combined Driving National Championships are currently open for bids. Applications are due August 1, 2019.

What happens to the driving committees that used to have affiliate seats?
The Driving Sport Committee (DSC), overseeing combined driving, will function as the affiliate in the interim. There were four seats on the DSC assigned by the ADS, which are now vacated. These seats will be filled shortly pending approval by the USEF Board of Directors.

The Carriage Pleasure Committee (CPC), overseeing pleasure driving, will also function as the affiliate in the interim. There were nine seats on the CPC assigned by the ADS, which are now vacated. These seats will also be filled shortly, pending approval by the USEF Board of Directors.

What opportunities exist for carriage pleasure driving?
There are 26 USEF-licensed competitions that host carriage pleasure classes at various breed competitions. A list of competitions can be found here. If you are interested in joining our newsletter to find out about more competitions please sign-up here.

Should the Carriage Pleasure Driving rules in the CP chapter of the USEF rulebook be reexamined?
USEF currently has 26 licensed breed competitions that offer a Carriage Pleasure Driving section that are guided by Carriage Pleasure Driving (CP) chapter in USEF’s rule book. The Carriage Pleasure Committee is discussing future rule changes. If you would like to submit revisions please contact Chuck Walker via email for discussion at the next meeting.

How will USEF manage education for Licensed Officials moving forward?
Licensed Officials attending the ADS super clinic in Parker, Colo. July 25-28, 2019, will still receive USEF clinic credit for licensing and maintenance purposes. However, all other future ADS clinics will not count towards USEF credit.

USEF is reviewing the method for providing interested ADS licensed officials with the comparable USEF license through a grandfathering process.

What are the benefits to becoming a USEF member?
USEF members have access to several benefits including:

  • Access to apply for the Developing and Elite Athlete Pathway Programs
  • Awards programs such as Horse of the Year
  • Ability to access full search, standings, and competition results
  • Full access to the Learning Center with educational videos and content featuring elite athletes, trainers, and industry experts, with new videos released frequently throughout the year
  • Access to full USEF Network coverage with over 2,000 hours of live and on-demand content
  • A fresh and updated US Equestrian magazine with digital stories that educate and celebrate, delivered quarterly to members
  • Optional $1,000,000 excess personal liability insurance for as low as $18/year for Junior members
  • MemberPerks Program including cost-saving discounts like:
  • 10% off purchases online and in-store at Dover Saddlery
  • Up to 40% off at Sherwin Williams
  • Up to 28% off John Deere Equipment
  • Buy 12 bags of feed, get one bag free from Triple Crown Nutrition
  • $15 off your activation fee with US Rider...and many more
  • Youth participation in US Equestrian Lettering Program and other opportunities
  • Special member-only offers from ShopUSEF
  • Exclusive discounts from our Media and Education Partners
  • Member communications via press releases, US Equestrian Weekly, and more
  • Access to U.S. Center for SafeSport training and compliance

For further details or questions, please contact:

Danielle Aamodt, Director of Driving, for combined driving questions at or Chuck Walker with carriage pleasure driving questions at and follow the USA Driving Facebook page for updates.