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Combined Driving Committee

Marc Johnson
P.O. Box 31, Hamilton, MA 01936
(978) 807-0060
Committee e-mail:

Committee members:
Breanna Sheahan, Pat Cheatham, Jennifer Matheson, Ellen Ettenger, Diane Kastama, Jenny Garner, Jennifer Keeler, Heather Kuenzi, Danny Harter


Rationale for the Committee:
      o   The ADS Combined Driving Committee seeks to cooperatively represent and develop the sport of Combined Driving on local, regional, and national levels.
      o   The ADS Combined Driving Committee interfaces with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), U.S. National Federation which is in turn under the international body for Combined Driving, the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI)
      o   Unique to North America are the inventive Combined Driving formats of Driving Trials, Arena Trials and Derbies

Responsibilities:  The ADS Combined Driving Committee:
      o   Interfaces with drivers, officials, and organizers at all levels of development.
      o   Provides information, resources, and networking to develop and govern the sport.
      o   Evaluates and formulates development of rules for safety, fairness, and welfare in Combined Driving.
      o   Values and promotes open communication, transparent processes, and practices that partner divisions and groups.
      o   Oversees compliances in competition organization.
      o   Coordinates communication and programs with fellow ADS committees.
      o   Participates in the formulation of curricula for training of competitors, officials, organizers, volunteers
      o   Oversees North American Championship criteria in conjunction with the Event Standards Committee and continues Championship development with direct   competition support. 

Relationship with other ADS committees:
The Combined Driving Committee works closely with:
      o   Fellow standing committees of Rules, Licensed Officials, Event Standards, and Education as well as with the other driving technical committees: Pleasure, Dressage, and Recreation.
      o   Open communication is also fostered with Regional Directors, Development, Governance and Bylaws.

Goals for 2017:
      o   Assist the development of training via webinars, publications and on site for course design, current rules, volunteers
      o   Create new Organizer’s Guide
      o   Assist the ADS Omnibus submissions system for Combined Driving
      o   Maintain active, timely communication with members who contact the Committee
      o   Work closely with the Rules Committee and general membership in annual review and development of rules for Combined Driving
      o   Interface with fellow equine organizations in promoting Combined Driving in North America
      o   Support interrelationship with USEF via affiliate agreement and cooperative practices
      o   Continue joint supervision of the North American Championships with the Event Standards Committee










Development Committee

Kelly Valdes

Committee Members:
Hardy Zantke (CA),Mary Phelps(KY),Dan Rosenthal (NJ),Daphne White(CO),Kristin Whittington(IN)

The Development Committee is charged with raising funds for use by the ADS for its many programs, publications, meetings and education. Unfortunately our dues are not enough to meet all the needs and desires of our membership, so we are tasked with periodically asking you for a bit more!



Driven Dressage Committee

Tracey Morgan
Beallsville, MD
(301) 648 5158   

Committee Members:
Dana Bright (PA), Boots Wright (FL), Hardy Zantke (CA),Dana Diemer (NC), Jennifer Matheson(SC)

Committee Mailbox: 


The purpose of the Driven Dressage Committee is to provide the society with dressage tests to be used in ADS competitions and to make recommendations on the rules that apply to Driven Dressage all divisions of ADS competition.  The Driven Dressage Committee cooperates with the society activity in educational efforts, licensed officials training and certification, and the rule change process including rule modifications from USEF and FEI.

Rationale for the Committee:  Dressage is one of the four types (Driven Dressage, Pleasure Driving, Recreational Driving and Combined Driving) of driving events recognized by the ADS.  The Dressage Committee is primarily responsible for maintaining and updating the format, rules and practices of the Driven Dressage discipline including the derivatives of Driving Trials and Arena Trials, as well as Pleasure Driving.

Specific Requirements

  • Prepares, proposes and considers and makes recommendations on rule change proposals (RCP) from ADS members, the USEF or the FEI.
  • Proposes new rules or proposes modification of existing rules to improve the Discipline of Dressage
  • Assesses, reports and makes recommendations on the health of the Dressage discipline.
  • Participates in the creation of curricula for the training of learners and officials in Combined Driving.
  • Participates in the creation and upgrading of the ADS Dressage tests for Training, Preliminary, 
  • Intermediate and Advanced (non FEI)

Relationship with others Committees: The Dressage Committee works most closely with Licensed Officials, Rules, Education and the other Technical Committees (Event Standards, Pleasure Driving and Combined Driving).

Education Committee

John Porter
4909 Stanley Rd
Plant City, FL 33565

Committee Members: 
Dana Bright (PA), Penny Nicely (NV), MaryAnne Boyden (SC), Kail Palmer-Miller (PA), Billie Hill (NY) Joanne Bellion-Povenski (PA), Myrna Rhinehart (WI)


  • Create and produce informational pieces for distribution through the Whip, Webinars,
  • Create a user friendly index for the ADS Rule Book.
  • Create informational pieces for the new/novice driver
    1. Marathon 101 
    2. Intro to Pleasure Driving
    3. Intro to competitions
  • Contribute a regular Education Committee articles/column for the Whip.
    1. Shafts fitting, Clinic strategies, and Harness care are scheduled.
  • Continuous update of a Driving Bibliography.
  • Respond to the Educational needs of other ADS committees.
  • Act as resource to Webinar productions.
  • Create a Safety Video in Cooperation with ADS office.
  • Continue proactive relationship with the CAA on matters of Educational interest.

Rationale for the Education Committee:  To design and implement a comprehensive information delivery system for officials, membership, and interested public.  These efforts will be coordinated with the appropriate ADS committees. A series of goals and objectives for each relevant cohort will be presented to the ADS Board for comment and approval.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • To provide easily accessible information to persons involved in the sport of driving.
  • To provide training, information, and development for officials, drivers, and potential drivers
  • To carefully analyze the role and function of each official position.  To produce a cognitive construct for the assessment, training and advancement of officials
  • To make accessible to breed disciplines, pony clubs, 4-H, and any persons or groups involved in hitching equines to vehicles.
  • To investigate the possibility of a cooperative relationship with the CAA to become involved in the licensing of instructors.

Relationship with other Committees:  The Education Committee will work most closely with the Licensed Officials Committee and the Marketing Committee.  It will also work with the four discipline committees, Pleasure Driving, Combined Driving, Dressage, and Recreation. 

Event Standards Committee

Esther (Boots) Wright
Ocala, FL
(352) 629-7801

Committee Member:
 EllenMarie Ettenger (FL) Jennifer Matheson (SC) Donna Crookston (PA)

The Event Standards Committee strives to ensure that every ADS recognized competition is run fairly and in conjunction with the ADS Rules and Standards. The Event Standards Committee is committed to fair competition and the safety and welfare of the horse. We support and regulate competitions by promoting and encouraging interest, participation and excellence at every competitive level.


  • Reviews Judge’s and Technical Delegate’s Reports and act on the ones which suggest that competition needs some guidance.
  • Develop a rating system, similar to that of Eventing, for each of our competitions. The rationale being that to achieve a four-star (for instance) rating, certain standards and conditions must be met; caliber of course, experience of Officials, quality of venue and amenities etc.

Rationale for the Committee:  The Event Standards Committee is responsible for making sure that conditions and venues are appropriate to the level of competitors and recreational drivers and that proper safety measures are taken regarding footing, course terrain and venue infrastructure in order to maintain the quality of ADS Events

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Reviews technical delegate reports and those of judges from all ADS competitions and recreational driving activities
  • Makes recommendations to the various ADS Standing Committees based on the committee’s conclusions regarding any problem
  • Consults with other committees to ensure that standards are achieved.
  • Works with other committees in organizing and creating curricula for Organizers Clinics

Relationship with other Committees:  The Event Standards Committee works closely with the  Combined Driving Committee, Driven Dressage Committee, and Rules Committee.

Executive Committee

Mike Arnold, President -
ADS Vice President - Vacant
Dan Rosenthal,Treasurer - 
Teresa Bron - Secretary -
Ruthie Graves -
Kelly Valdes -
Group Email: includes staff members Abbie Trexler and Stacy Carlson

Finance and Audit Committee

Chair: Dan Rosenthal, NJ 
C: 908-892-0415

Committee members:
Pat Cheatham, GA
Marc Johnson, MA
Kelly Valdes, NC
Maren Amdal, CA
Shelley Temple, SC
Maureen Grippa, NC

Committee Email: 

Governance & Bylaws

Chair: Interim - Dan Rosenthal
Committee Members: 
Penny Nicely
Dan Rosenthal
Natasha Grigg
Elaine Kendig




Licensed Officials Committee

Ruth Graves,Greenville, TX, 903-883-4638,

Committee Members: Audrey Bostwick (PA), Larry Brinker (CN), Keith Yutzy (TX),  Mickie Bowen (PA), Shelly Temple (SC), Mary Anne Boyden (SC), Penny Nicely, (NV), Muffy Seaton (SC), Jessica Axelsson (NJ)

The duties of the American Driving Society’s Licensed Official’s Committee pertain to the development of comprehensive and continuing education of officials so they may have a thorough knowledge of carriage driving sport as described in the ADS Rulebook. Licensed Officials are a resource for event organizers to provide good, fair sport, and for competitor’s performances to be evaluated fairly.


The ADS LOC will continue to implement the tasks directed by the ADS Policies and Procedures, Competition Guidelines, and ADS Rulebook, including, but not limited to:

  1. Review applications for acceptance and promotions of officials. Applications are obtained through the ADS website.
  2. Review and update criteria for above as needed.
  3. Keep website information current.
  4. Apprise USEF LOC of clinic dates and carriage driving education opportunities, and keep current on new USEF Stewards and Technical Delegates Committee projects as they relate to AD.
  5. Review written complaints and evaluations of officials as directed by Policies and Procedures Disciplinary Guidelines. This will occur as needed.
  6. Coordinate with the ADS Education, Pleasure Driving, Combined Driving, Dressage, and Event Standards Committees to develop curricula and create educational materials to use at events whether on site clinics or on line webinars.
  7. Inform membership of Committee activities through ADS publications and make breed partners of ADS aware of LOC activities.

Specific Responsibilities 


  • Creates the criteria for Learner acceptance, license promotion, and annual renewal for ADS officials as published in the ADS Rulebook, Policies and Procedures, and ADS Competition Guidelines.
  • Reviews and acts upon all applications for acceptance, promotion or renewal of official’s licenses. Strict confidentiality is observed in all matters.
  • Reviews and acts upon all written complaints about officials received by the ADS Executive Office in accordance with the disciplinary mandates outlined in Policies and Procedures.
  • Creates curricula for training of Learners and officials in the sports of combined, pleasure, dressage driving, as well as coaching.  
  • Schedules, plans, and implements clinics and other educational opportunities to allow officials to meet mandated continuing education requirements.  

Relationship with Other Committees

The ADS LOC works closely with Education and other Tech committees, Event Standards, Pleasure Driving, Combined Driving and Driven Dressage. 

Pleasure Driving Committee

Jeff Morse
236 Perrys Peak Road, Richmond, MA 01254
(413) 698-3804

Commitee Members:
John Greenall (VT) 
Susan Koso (MA)
Ted Campbell (CA)
Jody Cutler (CA) 
Sterling Grayburn (KY)
Marsha Himler (NY) 
Mary Anne Boyden (AZ) 
Mary Jo Stockman (MN)
Dana Bright (PA)
Ruthie Graves (TX) 
Anne Councill (PA) 

Email Committee

Rationale for the Committee:  The Pleasure Driving Committee is primarily responsible for maintaining and updating the format, rules and practices of the Pleasure Driving discipline, which includes Coaching, while preserving the established traditions thereof.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Prepare, propose, and make recommendations on rule change proposals (RCP) from The Pleasure Driving Committee members,  ADS members and the USEF
  • Develop new Pleasure Driving competition classes
  • Propose new rules and modification of existing rules to improve the sport of Pleasure Driving and Coaching.
  • Review ADS Omnibus Pleasure Driving submissions
  • Assess and report on the health of the Pleasure Driving discipline
  • Make recommendations on how to increase participation in Pleasure Driving as a sport and increase membership in ADS by those with an interest in Pleasure driving
  • Participate in the creation of curricula for the training of Pleasure Driving learners, officials and competitors
  • Recommend qualified members for the USEF Pleasure Driving Technical Committee to the President

Recreational Driving Committee

Heidi Ferguson
Milford, DE 19963
P: 302-632-8024
email - 


Recreational Driving Handbook - (ADS Rulebook RD 3-6)

Recreational Driving Goal: to raise awareness and recognition of ADS benefits to current member and non-member recreational drivers while providing support, educational opportunities and other benefits to the recreational driver

Member Benefits:

  • Trail Guide - update, verify and enhance
  • Club Incentives
  • ADS Recreational Drives in all regions
  • Hours to Drive program
  • TREC
  • Traditional Day of Driving
  • Promotion of Fun or Game Days
  • Omnibus listing for ADS recognized recreational events
  • ADS Recreational Drive Handbook (currently listed in Rulebook under Recreational and on ADS website under Recreational Driving link)
  • Organizer’s Guide for Planning an ADS Recreational Drive
  • Event Insurance
  • Educational Opportunities & Grants
  • Merchandising

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Report to the ADS Board of Directors any activities and issues of concern to the broader organization
  • Keep aware and connected with other equine activities, events and organizations so as to promote safe and enjoyable recreational driving
  • Work with other committees to coordinate activities with their events and purposes
  • Report any major issues of concern to the officers and board

Relationship with other Committees:

  • The relationship should be to enhance the ADS’s overall usefulness to our members and the driving community at large
  • A general awareness of other committee activities should be maintained so as to not overlap activities or duplicate efforts
  • Communication with other committee chairs via Internet and meeting will enhance this flow of information
  • Regional Directors involved in the Recreational Driving committees efforts is crucial to the recreational driving committee’s success

Rules Committee

Acting Chair:
Kate Morgan
594 CR 3585
Paradise, TX 76073
phone: (817) 688-9580

To send email to all members of the committee, use:

Committee Members:
2017 committee members: Deborah Branson, Jeff Morse, Penny Nicely, Hardy Zantke, Doug Ward





The Rulebook 

  • Maintain and update the master file of ADS Competition Rules. Additionally, guidelines for Licensed Officials and Competition Organizers are included in the Rulebook as a convenience for officials and the membership.
  • Produce the Rulebook as a downloadable PDF file with live links and as a printed spiral-bound book. The electronic version is also available with all changes marked (red-line) to assist tracking the yearly updates.
  • Archive past documents.

The Rule Change Process

  • Maintain the year-round RCS/RCP blog which allows members to submit and comment on changes and to track Suggestions/Proposals through the process. User support is provided as needed. 
  • Assist and coordinate with Technical Committees, who are responsible for reviewing rule change Suggestions (RCS) and comments before submitting Proposals (RCP) to the RC for inclusion in the Annual Membership Review. 
  • Present the final slate of RCPs to the BOD for approval. 
  • Oversee the schedule and responsibilities of the process calendar.

The Future (proposed)

  • Publish an Abridged version of the Combined Driving Rules for ADS-recognized competitions (not to include FEI rules that do not apply to ADS levels).
  • Implement additional ways to educate and provide members with an understanding of the rule change process and how they can participate. 
  • Work more closely with USEF and FEI to ensure consistency of  updates to rules common to all levels.
  • Investigate creation of topic- or level-specific rule reference sheets.

The 2017 Rule Change Process Calendar

Rule change Suggestions are accepted until June 1. Tech committees review each to determine whether they recommend or do not recommend. Recommended suggestions then become rule change Proposals


January thru May (deadline June 1)

Rule change Suggestions accepted from any member or committee. Suggestions from members are forwarded to the appropriate Technical Committee(s).

June 1-15 (deadline June 15)

Technical Committees may make additional or modified Suggestions.

June 15-July 15 (deadline July 15)

Tech committees review each and determine whether recommended or not recommended. Recommended suggestions become rule change Proposals. Results are sent to Rules committee.

Rules committee updates blog

August (deadline September 1)

Annual membership review period. Final opportunity for member comments on proposed changes.

September (deadline October 1)

Tech committees finalize language and submit to Rules committee the final Proposals for approval by the Board of Directors.

Rules committee updates and sends final RCPs to BOD

Fall Board Meeting (usually mid-October)

Board votes to approve.


Advance copy posted to web.

January 1

Effective date

2016 Park St, Ste 5, PO Box 278
Cross Plains, WI 53528, USA

Copyright 2018 by The American Driving Society, Inc.