United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and The American Driving Society (ADS) Reach Preliminary Agreement to Reinstate ADS as the USEF Driving Affiliate

Mar 10, 2017 313 Views 0 Comments FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus

Cross Plains, WI & Lexington, KY - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and The American Driving Society, Inc. (ADS) have reached a preliminary agreement that resolves the issues pertinent to enabling the restoration of the ADS as the USEF affiliate for the driving discipline. The leadership of both organizations are delighted that progress could be made and that it will be possible to continue their 40+ year relationship to the benefit of all of our driving competitors, officials, competitions, and the driving sport, and to be able to consider the driving affiliate matter to be settled.

Murray Kessler, President of the USEF, and Mike Arnold, President of ADS, jointly issued the following statement: “Together, the USEF and ADS look forward to utilizing the best of both organizations to further enhance the quality and participation in the driving sport throughout this country and abroad, while at the same time implementing the Safe Sport and Clean Sport policies that are critical to the future of equestrian sports.”

Details of the agreement, along with the restoration of the Affiliate Status of the ADS, which are subject to the approval of both the ADS and USEF Boards of Directors, are expected to be released within the next few weeks.

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A message from the ADS Board of Directors re: USEF's recent decision revoking Affiliate status from ADS

Jan 21, 2017 710 Views 1 Comments FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus

January 20, 2017

To the Members of The American Driving Society, Inc.

The Board of Directors of The American Driving Society, Inc. (“ADS”) was saddened and dismayed Thursday night when we read the letter we received from William J. Moroney, CEO of US Equestrian(“USE”). The letter announced a precipitous decision taken by the USE Board of Directors in a closed session at their recent meeting in Lexington Kentucky. That decision was to summarily terminate the ADS’s 40-year tenure as the USE Driving Affiliate. We were not allowed an opportunity to attend the secret USE Board meeting or to speak on the matter at any time with the Board, Mr. Moroney or Mr. Kessler (USE President), on this hugely important matter.

The ADS has been the driving affiliate of USE and its several predecessor organizations for more than 40 years. During that time we have worked tirelessly to promote the sport of carriage driving in all of its forms and to ensure the highest standards of sportsmanship and ethical treatment of our equine partners. We are not aware of a single instance of an ADS member being sanctioned for drug or other violations and are proud of the record of competitive and general driving achievement and camaraderie of our members both in the United States and abroad. Indeed, at the recent USE members meeting three members of the ADS family were given major awards by the USE in recognition of their current and long term accomplishments.

The letter from Mr. Moroney states that the ADS and USE had failed to reach agreement on an affiliate agreement and that ADS had requested “exceptions” that the USE Board was not prepared to grant. We were not informed of the decision or indeed of the discussion so we are not absolutely certain we know to what the letter refers.

Some time ago, the then USEF requested that ADS craft a new affiliate agreement and that ADS provide a team to work with USEF in drafting such a document. While we were surprised to learn that no template existed, members of our Board worked many hours to bring that process to a conclusion and most recently provided USE with an outline of the major issues that had been addressed during this process. All members of the negotiating team were in agreement on all of these issues save the licensure of officials who act as judges or technical delegates at ADS only (non-USEF) competitions in Combined and Pleasure Driving. The ADS feels strongly that our unblemished record of more than 40 years of providing this function and substantially all the training for both ADS and USEF officials should continue. The discussion document noted that USEF staff had stated a strong preference for the licensure activity to be the sole purview of the USEF. At no time were any lines drawn or ultimatums given by either party, at any forum, to which we were invited by USEF.

We are baffled that the continuation of a 40-year tradition of service could somehow become an unacceptable exception to some unstated rule. We have questions about the lack of due process in this decision – we have not been informed or provided an opportunity to meet with the Board of the USE or its senior officials. Like you, we have been summarily told that we are no longer the driving affiliate.

It is our plan to ensure, to the best of our ability, that no member of the driving community is disadvantaged by this reckless behavior by the USE. We deeply regret the actions of the USE Board with respect to our status as affiliate and the several steps that they have taken today which will negatively impact our members, our organizers and the sport of driving.

We are proud of the traditions of the ADS and pledge to our members and the driving community at large that we will continue to uphold those traditions and to support the driving community with the same level of service, education, competition organization and other activities as we have for the past 40 years. Many of our current Board members have served ADS and the driving community for ALL those years and are eager to continue that service into the future.

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

Documents to download

1 Comment(s)

Pat Cheatham

A good position and letter to members from our Board. Thank you for providing a link to the Chronicle's report although I didn't appreciate USE's implication that ADS wasn't adhering to affiliate responsibilities - don't believe I've ever seen them. I recommend the same letter go to the Chronicle's editors.

Pat Cheatham

Newnan, Georgia

1/21/2017 2:55:15 PM
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Introducing ADS Matters

Jul 28, 2016 698 Views 13 Comments FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus

ADS Matters is meant to provide a vehicle for communicating and receiving open feedback on items important to the ADS.  It is open for all to read and for members (once logged in) to make comments that can be seen by all.

When posting comments, please try to keep to the topic being discussed and polite. Off-topic comments may be deleted.  

Mike Arnold

13 Comment(s)

Merridy Hance

Thank you for offering this means of communication with one another. I'd like to discuss with others the issue of standards for carriages for VSEs. Are we at the point in the evolution of VSEs in combined driving that there should be standards set for track width? For distance between the back of the horse and the front of the carriage? Distance between traces? We have required measurements for large horses and ponies under Article 940, but we haven't yet defined them for VSEs.

9/14/2016 5:22:14 PM
Hardy Zantke

Even though Mike says, this might not be the most pressing topic - nevertheless, since you asked, Merrily, before we need to focus on the other measurements - like distance between carriage and horse, first just do focus on a standard track width among the VSE people. I think you'll have your hands full enough with just that. Good luck.

9/14/2016 7:23:41 PM
Merridy Hance

Hardy, you're so right that there are now other matters of greater gravity.

9/14/2016 11:52:34 PM
Larry Brinker

Logged in and oddly enough it appears to work in my world of techno-no talent

9/14/2016 5:44:19 PM
Allyn Carman

Works for me, too - now to think of a subject to start in on!

9/14/2016 6:15:33 PM

I'm in!

9/15/2016 2:42:24 PM
Mike Arnold

Just to make a point - Merridy's comment isn't so much on topic :-) ... but perhaps a 'Potential Topic' article is in order.

9/14/2016 6:21:38 PM
Natasha Grigg

The technology troglodyte has also managed to logon with the fabulous Joe Barry's help! I thought that our current topic for discussion is the ADS/USEF Affiliate relationship as it was and how to move forward. Mike, did you post the proposal?

9/14/2016 7:00:30 PM
Mike Arnold

Natasha, yes I did - it should be there.

9/15/2016 9:37:31 AM
Mary Jo Stockman

Mike: Thanks for doing ADS Matters. You have found a clear and simple means for members to discuss pressing issues. As a housekeeping matter, I would ask that anyone posting define terms before using initials only. Usually this is done at the first use of a term i.e. The American Driving Society (ADS). That way we are sure we are all talking about the same thing. I thought DSC was Darn Silly Comment until I got to the end of the article. Mary Jo Stockman

9/15/2016 11:42:30 AM
Ronda McPherson

Nice forum and should help to aid in communication. Thanks for doing this. r

9/15/2016 4:41:52 PM
Linda Bennett

I'm in without having to use a separate log-in.

9/21/2016 8:21:29 PM
Sally Armstrong

ADS Matters is an excellent addition to the website and for the members. Thank you!

11/3/2016 4:12:27 PM
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