Mid Atlantic Regional Report Nov. Whip
I am writing this a few days after returning from the ADS Annual Meeting in KY and during the final preparations for MARD, the Mid Atlantic Recreational Drive that I organize and run each October in Fair Hill, MD. It is always a good time and I usually submit an article on it for the next issue of The Whip.
This year, the ADS Annual Meeting was held in conjunction with the National Drive at the Kentucky Horse Park. It was a busy place and since I am a loner by nature, mixing with large groups of people is not my usual comfort zone. Nonetheless, just watching the hustle and bustle of the National Drive was fun. I attended with horses the first five years that it was held but then life took me in a different direction and I hadn’t been back until this year.
There was lots of discussion on the future of ADS that others will undoubtedly be writing about, so I will not belabor the subject here. Suffice it to say that a lot of good discussion points came out of the meetings and ADS is prepared to meet the challenges of maintaining outreach, education and member value. The ironic thing about touching on these matters here is that those of you reading this are already onboard with the organization, so it’s a bit like preaching to the choir. Hopefully, new tools for reaching out to non members will be developed and implemented in the near future.
One of my favorite moments of this year’s annual meeting at the Kentucky Horse Park was spending a long afternoon in the Man o’ War exhibit. This is the 100th anniversary of the great horse’s birth and many of the memorabilia associated with him were on display. This was a real treat, though I had seen quite a few in a previous private tour of the archives when I donated a bench and plaque in memory of my great uncle, who trained this legendary racehorse. I remember sitting by his side as a child while he reminisced about the great horse. Looking at the pictures of my Uncle Lou, I was startled to see the resemblance to my father, as a young man. The famous statue of Man o’ War by Herbert Haseltine was given a complete makeover for the centennial and there was an interesting video running at the exhibit of the refinishing process. One really fun aspect of the exhibit was the green screen photo opt where you could have your picture taken with three different Man o’ War photo backgrounds, send it to one of three email addresses and, in a matter of minutes, a picture of yourself with Big Red was sent back to your email address. Needless to say, I opted for all three photo backgrounds!
Events in the midatlantic are beginning to wind down, but not by much. Preparations are underway for the Maryland and Pennsylvania Horse Expos coming up in 2018. The ADS booths there that are run by local clubs do a great job and volunteers put on demos to highlight the attraction of carriage driving.
Garden State, Gladstone and Elk Creek CDEs are in the history books, as well as numerous club shows and fun days. Delmarva Driving Club participated in the Tuckahoe Equestrian Center’s 25th anniversary by giving driving demos. Brandywine Valley Driving Club hosted a Suzy Stafford Cones Clinic and is currently running their popular Teddy Bears Picnic Event, as well as their fun Photo Contest coming up in November. My Lady’s Manor Driving Club ran their Summer & Fall Fun Day in the Park events. James River Driving Association has decided to not hold their Winter Seminar, but did have a series of clinics run by local talent. Some of the other clubs in the region have not reported in of late, but a quick check of their calendar shows them holding drives or social gatherings. Many are now in the process of electing club officers and conducting member renewals. Have you checked your ADS member renewal date lately? If not, log on to the ADS website and have a look.
Speaking of the office, how many of you realize how few paid employees the ADS actually has? I know when I first became a member, I had this vision of a busy office run by a dozen or so paid employees. Boy, was I wrong! The ADS has just three full-time paid employees; all others are volunteers. Louise, Stacy and Abbie do an excellent job of juggling a lot of balls, and we owe them all our utmost respect for the professional manner in which they conduct business. Next time you have a reason for calling the office, be sure and tell them how much you appreciate their efforts on your behalf. There is always a lot of chatter on the cd-l; it’s a great communication tool, but, FYI, it’s not actually a part of ADS operations. So, if you have a question or concern about our organization, help via the ADS office is just a phone call away. Don’t be shy!
As Recreational Driving Chair, I continue to work on the ADS Trail Guide. It is a BIG job, but here’s how you can help:
1. Log in to the ADS website via username and password
2. Go to Recreational Driving
3. Select ADS Trail Guide
4. Click on your region
5. Peruse the listings
If you see a Site needing revision, or don’t see one of your favorite Sites to drive listed, click on the Online Submission Form and fill it out with all the information you have on the site. When you click the submit button it comes to me, I give it a cursory check and then upload it to the Trail Guide.
It’s easy, and benefits *so many.* Please share your knowledge!
Until next time…..
Remember….what can ADS do for you?
Answer: a LOT……but not without your continued, and appreciated, support!
ADS…where would the sport of carriage driving be in this country without it?
Something to think about….
Check (and/or renew) your membership today!