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Rule Changes for the 2022 Rulebook

Abbie Trexler | Published on 10/29/2021

October 29, 2021


The Board of Directors of the American Driving Society, Inc. (ADS) met on October 27, 2021 for their annual Fall Board Meeting during which, traditionally, they vote on Rule Change Proposals that have been reviewed by the members and the technical committees. After careful review of every comment submitted by ADS members and thorough discussion, the ADS Board voted as noted below. Thank you to all members who participated in the annual ADS Rule Change Process. 


The following Rule Change Proposals were passed as written:

RCP #:            Article #:          Section:                       Subject:

1                      249.2               Pleasure Driving         Progressive Obstacles

2                      246                  Pleasure Driving         Pleasure Driving Combined Test

5                      973.2               Combined Driving       Closed Obstacles

6                      962.1               Combined Driving       TD Visit

7                      943.2.7.2         Combined Driving       Para Harness System

9                      972.1.5            Combined Driving       VSE Course Exception

13                    962.3.7            Combined Driving       Closing Gated Obstacles


The following Rule Change Proposals were voted down as written:

RCP#:             Article #:          Section:                       Subject:

3                      938.2               Combined Driving       Spares Kit

4                      937.3.1            Combined Driving       Same Carriage Dressage/Cones

8                      961.3               Combined Driving       Dry Route Exception

11                    928.1.12          Combined Driving       Aprons

12                    955.3               Combined Driving       Presentation


RCP #10, article 928.1 in Combined Driving, was not passed as written. The Board voted that the ADS will adopt as a rule the decision of the FEI on headgear when driving Combined Driving cones for their 2022 Rulebook, FEI voting occurs in mid-November.

The complete list of all Rule Change Proposals for the 2022 Rulebook can be found HERE.


The Board, in the interest of including all material necessary to run a competition in the Rulebook, voted to include in the 2022 Rulebook excerpted material from Non-Licensed Competition Personnel (CP), Approval of Competitions (AC) and Licensed Officials (LO).


Finally, the proposed ADS Code of Sportsmanship, below, was adopted and will be included in the 2022 Rulebook.





The American Driving Society, Inc.

Code of Sportsmanship


Our sport of Carriage Driving has the valuable reputation of being welcoming to all, a sport where the welfare of the horse is foremost, and the thrill is in the partnership with our equines, (regardless of the results). Protecting these ideals is of paramount importance to the health of driving.

In order for the sport of driving to prosper, our expectation is that every participant knows the rules, plays fairly, graciously accepts the final results, and always conducts themselves in a composed manner. It is the duty of all to behave in a manner that creates a positive environment.

Therefore, any infringement of the common principles of good behavior, fairness or good sportsmanship will result in disciplinary action. Sportsmanship infractions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Abusive, or intimidating language at ADS Recognized Events.
  2. Refusal to accept Officials’ final decisions.
  3. Intentional circumventing of the rules.
  4. Unsafe behavior while on event grounds.
  5. Damaging land or property.
  6. Actions detrimental to the welfare of the horse.
  7. Negative interaction with volunteers.
  8. The use of social media, or any public platform, to personally attack the character or reputation of fellow competitors, organizers, volunteers, or Officials.

We all have a duty to each other and to our sport to display good sportsmanship. 

When our members display good sportsmanship, it not only makes driving more enjoyable for all, but presents a positive impression of the driving community to the general public.

Let us always do the right thing for our equine companions, our sport, and our fellow ADS members.




Established in 1974, The American Driving Society, Inc. (a 501c3 charitable organization) supports carriage drivers in the United States and Canada through education, events, rules for competition, and licensing of Officials. For more information visit