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 312 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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The Southern Drive at Grand Oaks

Mar 2, 2017 208 Views 0 Comments FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus

Register Now
The Southern Drive at Grand Oaks!
May 11-14, 2017

Looks like this group has some fun things planned again this year, go out and have yourself some fun in the sun!

Clinicians include:

Muffy Seaton
Bob Giles
Gary Yeager
Elizabeth Keathley
Thorsten Zarembowicz
Kacy Tipton-Fashik

Documents to download

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carriage driver wanted

Feb 15, 2017 161 Views 0 Comments FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus


Large organic working farm in Upperville, Va in search of responsible, reliable individual with driving/horse experience to work with Shire draft horses. Full time job with benefits. Salary commensurate with job experience. On site housing available. Job duties would include grooming, riding, carriage driving, tack/harness cleaning, feeding and barn chores. Flexible schedule and opportunity to drive horses!  Interested candidates please email your resume/job experience and references to

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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

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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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2016 ADS Northeast Recreational Drive-Columbus Day Weekend at Touchstone Farm

Sep 14, 2016 855 Views 0 Comments FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus



Columbus Day Weekend at Touchstone Farm

We are proud to be hosting the American Driving Society's Northeast Recreational Drive over Columbus Day Weekend at Touchstone Farm. Festivities will include loads of driving at-will over unspoiled historic property, country dirt roads, and open fields with limited traffic. There's a great Barbeque at our farm on Friday night. On Saturday there will be a Cones Scramble and Safari Drive. There are also opportunities to practice a cones course and dressage in a regulation dressage arena, followed by a Therapeutic Driving Demo presented by Touchstone Drivers topped off with an ice cream social (yes, it's local homemade ice cream from Connolly's down the road). And there's more. Saturday night, there will be a a classy Reception and Banquet Dinner at Timberdoodle Club. On Sunday there's a drive to the surrounding farm and a Blessing of the Horses and Carriages on Sunday morning. The Recreational Driving weekend concludes at approximately 2PM Sunday Oct. 9th with the Closing Brunch and Presentation.

The Registration Form is available on the Touchstone Farm website.
All event and stabling questions should be directed to Leona Anastasi at 774-276-0490 or email or
Onsite stabling opens at noon on Friday October 7th. 
One day truck-in opportunities are welcomed. 
Onsite lodging at Touchstone farm is also available. For lodging details please call Kris Young at Touchstone Farm at 603-654-6308.

There are some other opportunities:

Receive your own private lesson with either

  • Marc Johnson at 978-807-0060 or

  • Scott Monroe at 860-459-0208 or

  • Robin Groves at 802-484-5016 or 802-738-8959

  • Mary Gray at 207-406-2918 and

    These highly respected and beloved instructors will be available at Touchstone with lessons to top off your driving season.
    Please contact them personally to set up times. You should pay each clinician directly.

  • Carriage Association of America's Driver Proficiency
    Topping off the list of great possibilities for those of you who wish to try your hand at the Carriage Association of America's Driver Proficiency evaluation without having to travel to Florida, this is your chance! Jerry Trapani will be with us for the weekend to offer either Level 1 or Level 2 for those interested. Register directly on the CAA site. We want to encourage your participation in this important weekend program which strives to keep all drivers better educated and with a higher level of safety awareness!!!

Touchstone Farm has just become the newest CAA Driver Proficiency Education and Evaluation site in the US! Please go to the CAA website to find out more details and to register directly with CAA. Applications are being taken now!

There is NO better time to drive in New England than in the height of the fall season. 

Come Drive with US!!!


Isabella (Boo) Martin,M.Ed.
Executive Director & Founder
Touchstone Farm
13 Pony Farm Lane
Temple, NH 03084

Touchstone Farm # is 603-654-6308 and website for more details:

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United States Para-Equestrian Association

August 24, 2016 - U.S. Para-Equestrian Driver Stefanie Putnam Earns Fifth in the World at 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships in Beesd, The Netherlands

Aug 26, 2016 691 Views 0 Comments FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus
United States Para-Equestrian Association

Media Contact: Lindsay McCall -USPEA, 3940 Verde Vista Drive, Thousand Oaks,

U.S. Para-Equestrian Driver Stefanie Putnam Earns Fifth in the World at 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships in Beesd, The Netherlands


By: Lindsay Y. McCall


Lafayette, California, August 24, 2016 –The 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships took place August 3-6, 2016, in Beesd, The Netherlands. Stefanie Putnam

Stefanie Putnam at the 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships, August 3-6, 2016, in Beesd, The Netherlands. Photo by Marcia Putnam

made her international debut as the sole Para-Driver representing the United States of America. Putnam drove her horse Bethesda After Dark, a 1993 Morgan gelding, to a remarkable individual fifth place in Grade I against 13 seasoned competitors, also earning a third in Cones. She was supported by U.S. coach Scott Monroe and chef d’equipe Marcie Quist, as well as Marie de Ronde-Oudemans from Holland who graciously hosted and assisted the team. Seven nations competed in the championships with drivers from Latvia to Ireland. Putnam and Bethesda After Dark have been working towards accomplishing their international dreams for five years and on August 6, Putnam did just that.

Putnam grew up competing hunters and jumpers and was also the captain of the Cal Poly Tech polo team. She suffered a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the chest down in 2009. In 2011 she discovered the sport of driving and competed in her first competition the very same year. In 2015 Putnam andBethesda After Dark claimed top honors in the Preliminary Single Horse division at the Shady Oaks CDE, as well as earning the prestigious Charles Kellogg American Driving Society North American Preliminary Horse Champion and West Coast Triple Crown Preliminary Single Horse co-Champion titles. This season (2016) the duo took the Reserve Championship in the Intermediate Single Horse division at the Summer Festival CDE.

Stefanie Putnam at the 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships, August 3-6, 2016, in Beesd, The Netherlands. Photo by Katrin Doerr

The 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships gave Stefanie an opportunity to compete at the FEI level for the first time (this is not an option for Para-Drivers in the U.S., as it is for Para-Dressage riders). The World’s enabled Stefanie to experience the thrill and challenges of international competition and to get to know the Para-Equestrian Drivers from other countries. Being selected to represent her country on behalf of USEF was especially exciting and meaningful. While there are no carriage driving events in the Olympics and thus the Paralympics, this competition is considered to be the equivalent in the equestrian driving world.

Stefanie stated, “I have been deeply honored and indelibly touched by this incredible, inspiring opportunity. It has taken an army of people to help me reach this goal, and I want to extend my utmost gratitude and heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported me in this amazing journey. Against the backdrop of Rio, it was a proud and unforgettable feeling flying the American flag from the back of a beautiful horse drawn carriage.”

Results from the 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships:


Stefanie Putnam at the 2016 FEI World Para-Driving Championships, August 3-6, 2016, in Beesd, The Netherlands. Photo by Marcia Putnam

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Top 20 FEI Driver Award Ranking competes in Breda

World's best four-in-hand drivers will battle at world championship

Aug 25, 2016 652 Views 0 Comments FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus


Top 20 FEI Top Driver Award Ranking competes in Breda

World's best four-in-hand drivers will battle at world championship

Breda, August 18th, 2016 – Today the definitive entries for the FEI World Driving Championship Four-in-Hand organized by Outdoor Brabant are announced. In total 57 riders from 16 countries, including 14 competing for the team title, will compete in Breda from August 31st until September 4th. The line up includes the complete top 20 of the FEI Top Driver Award ranking.

Boyd Exell (AUS) will defend the individual world title and the Netherlands will defend on home soil their team title. For Netherlands Bram Chardon, 3 times winner of the world title four-in-hand ponies, is the rookie in this World Championship together with Edwin van der Graaf. Other riders making their first appearance at the World Championship Four-in-Hand are Mark Peel (AUS), Josef Leibetseder jr, Andreas Ruschitzka and Ewald Wurm (AUT), Dries Degrieck (BEL) and Johan Dengg (SWE). The 76-years old Antonio Blazques Marin (ESP) also debutes at this World Championship, he is the eldest competitor.

As the host country The Netherlands are allowed to have 9 riders. Chef d'equipe Harry de Ruyter selected his golden team IJsbrand Chardon, Koos de Ronde and Theo Timmerman. Mark Weusthof, Herman ter Harmsel, Edwin van der Graaf, Peter de Ronde, Bram Chardon, and Hans Heus are individual starts.

With the teams the Dutch trio is expecting strong competition from Germany, Hungary and Belgium. In the battle for the individual medals reigning world champion Boyd Exell will have to defeat the new German National Champion George von Stein, his ongoing rival IJsbrand Chardon (NED) and the numbers 2 and 3 at the Top Driver Award Ranking Jozsef Dorbrovitz jr (HUN) and Koos de Ronde (NED).

"It will be exciting to watch the battle between the world's best four-in-hand riders here in Breda," says Cees Meeuwis, president of Outdoor Brabant. "Our course designer Jeroen Houterman, sports secretary and course builders are right now working day and night to present the four-in-hand sports at its very best in 2 weeks from now. I'm looking forward to great championship."

On Wednesday the 31st of August the vet check is scheduled followed by the official opening ceremony. Thursday the 1st and Friday the 2nd of September are dominated by the dressage competitions. On Saturday the four-in-hand drivers will compete during the spectacular marathon and on Sunday the final show down will happen during the cones competition. Besides the FEI World Driving Championship there are national dressage and jumping competitions scheduled. Furthermore there are several side events planned, f.e. the third edition of the After Summer Lounge on Thursday night and all days there is an Outdoor Fair with nice stands, bars and restaurants.

About Outdoor Brabant FEI World Driving Championship Four-in-Hand

Outdoor Brabant is the largest equestrian outdoor event in the Netherlands taking place from the 31st of August until the 4th of September. The program is concentrated around the FEI World Driving Championship Four-in-Hand.

Outdoor Brabant is a well visited event and known or the great atmosphere at the Outdoor Fair and the important networking opportunities for businesses. The event gives athletes the opportunity to perform at their utmost best in their discipline. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy equestrian sports at world level in the beautiful surroundings of the Prinsenhoeve and the nice offering of lifestyle products, bars and restaurants at the Outdoor Fair. Sponsors have discovered Outdoor Brabant as thé networking event after the summer holidays with excellent hospitality possibilities to create and maintain contacts.

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American Driving Society Northeast Region Recreational Drive

Aug 4, 2016 946 Views 0 Comments FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus

Northeast Region Recreational Drive is being held Columbus Day Weekend October 7-9, 2016 at Touchstone Farm.

 Registration fee for DRIVER ONLY includes: 

* 3 days of scheduled activities and use of all trails, cones and dressage arena and open obstacles 

* Reception Party and Bar B Q Friday (BYOB to Bar B Q) 

* Brown bag lunch Saturday noon 

* Dinner Banquet at Timberdoodle Lodge (BYOB) 

* Sunday Brunch 

For more information and a registration form  click here to view online or download using the document link below.

Documents to download

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USEF Names U.S. Driving Team for 2016 FEI World Driving Championships for Singles

USEF Names US Driving Team for 2016 Single

Jul 19, 2016 818 Views 0 Comments FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus

USEF Names U.S. Driving Team for 2016 FEI World Driving Championships for Singles

RELEASE: July 18, 2016
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named the U.S. Driving Team for the 2016 FEI World Driving Championships for Singles. The championship will take place August 3-7, 2016, in Piber Köflach, Austria. Michael Freund will serve as Chef d'Equipe and Thorsten Zarembowicz will be the team coach.

The following combinations will compose the U.S. Driving Team for the FEI World Driving Championships for Singles (in alphabetical order):

Leslie Berndl (Newcastle, Calif.) and her own Uminco, a 2001 KWPN gelding
Sterling Graburn (Paris, Ky.) and his and Laura Corsentino’s Mannkato, a 2001 Dutch Harness gelding
Suzy Stafford (Wilmington, Del.) and her own PVF Peace of Mind, a 2007 Morgan mare

The following combination will serve as an alternate for the U.S. Driving Team (in alphabetical order):

Donna Crookston (Saltsburg, Pa.) and her own Viktor, a 2008 Dutch Harness gelding.

Crookston will compete as an individual unless a replacement to the team is necessary.

Find out more information on FEI World Driving Championships for Singles.

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members.

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Cross Plains, WI 53528, USA

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