FEI2014#00 – FEI Driving Rules Rewrite (Final Distribution)

2014 FEI #
FEI Driving Rules Rewrite (Initial Distribution)
Date Received
Merridy Hance/Combined Driving Committee
Change Date
Next Rulebook
Open for comments – 19Sep13
Initial Posting: 19Sep13
Updated Link: 12Dec13

Anywhere you go in North America – anywhere in the world – you will recognize the sport of combined driving. The rules are consistent anywhere you go, with only minor changes made by national driving affiliates to accommodate conditions in their particular countries. Here in the U.S., the American Driving Society adapts the international rules for our so-called “lower level” competitors, that is Training, Preliminary, and Intermediate. As the international sport grows and evolves, we grow and evolve with it.

Every four years, the Federation Equestre Internationale, the FEI, and our National Federation, the USEF, go through the rules to be sure they are proper, fair, safe, and growing for all concerned, and that means rule changes. As national driving affiliate, it is the ADS’s job to make a good fit for our drivers.

Looking forward to 2014, we’ve seen the many suggestions our own members have put forth to strengthen our sport. Now we ask that you look at the suggestions that have come from the international governing body – the FEI. Your ADS Combined Driving Committee has made suggestions to adjust these rules for us. Do we automatically accept every change the FEI makes? No. Not every rule is pertinent to our drivers. Do we strive to stay consistent with international sport? Yes, as much as is reasonable and right for our participants.

Click here to see the final rules as proposed by the FEI. Click here to see the changes to the General Regulations as proposed by the FEI (some of which may affect driving).

So if you go to Achen or Aiken, Normandy or Nampa, you’ll know your sport and be a vital part of it. No matter where you live, the experience of your pony, or the size of your show, the ADS rules encourage and allow you to participate along a safe and appropriate path in the same game enjoyed by thousands of drivers the world over.

On behalf of the ADS Combined Driving Committee,
Merridy Hance.

6 Response(s)

  1. Iris says :

    September 20, 2013

    Why are the ADS competition organizers not given the choice of Marathon formats? If ADS organizers could use the 2 section marathon with slower speeds for Sec. A some of them might choose this format over a driving trial. Forcing ADS organizers to use the Sec. A, Walk and Sec. B format is short sighted.

  2. Zantke says :

    September 20, 2013

    Great job, Merridy, Simon, Mike & your committee to get us this. Now big job ahead for all of us – and you – to work it through. I’ll be working on it asap.

  3. Zantke says :

    September 26, 2013

    As promised I worked on these and found only one issues (other than some questions which I still have to the FEI, which, however, is a separate issue):

    Competing with more than one entry will be allowed by the FEI under Art 943 (except in CAIO’s and Championships – which looks like an incorrect strike out in the ADS/FEI version under 943.2.2) and is confirmed under 943.2.3. Accordingly the ADS modification under Art 901.10.1 (formerly 904.5) allowing only one entry should be taken out – as we did have before the exception already under our current Art 917.2.9 allowing drivers and grooms to go more than once on the marathon (which really should have said, for the entire event.) So please correct this to allow competitors & grooms to compete with more than one entry – if the schedules allows – and unless the organizers states differently in the Omnibus / prize list. Thank you.

    Otherwise: Congratulations! What a super job to put together this document, showing so clearly the changes that the FEI made ! Thank You !

  4. kmgarrett says :

    October 1, 2013

    Following are some comments and concerns with regard to the proposed FEI rule changes. Most of these relate to how the rules will impact ADS classes and ADS exceptions to the proposed changes.

    Article 901.1 – FEI deleted tandems. In ADS commentary need to add tandems back in.
    Article 937.1.1 – Breeching is compulsory if the carriage has no brakes. Failure to comply will result in elimination. ADS comment is not complete; appears that at ADS recognized events, the provisions will not apply. Does that mean that there is no penalty for not having brakes or breeching? Or does it mean that the old rule of 10 penalties will apply?
    Article 940.1.1 – For horse singles, breeching is compulsory regardless of whether the carriage has brakes. There is no ADS exception in the draft. This needs an ADS exception if there is an exception to 937.1.1. See also 940.1.15.
    Article 942.1 – The ADS sentence isn’t completed. The reference to Article 901.12.4 is crossed out but no new Article is referenced.
    Article 943.2 – For consistency, should “Competition B” be changed to “Marathon”?
    Article 945 – How does 945.1 reconcile with 945.2.4 which would suggest that drivers can use electronic communication equipment during Marathon?
    Article 945.1 – What is the definition of “physical outside assistance”? Isn’t speaking on a cell phone “physical”? Also why use the word “may” be eliminated? If it is prohibited, it should be elimination.
    Article 960.1 – The language suggests that penalties will be assessed for being under the minimum time in the walk section. Is this correct? I think the sentence needs to be modified to add the words “in Sections A and B” after the words “minimum time”. See Article 963.2.6.
    Article 961.4.2 – What does this mean that letters can be used twice in the same obstacle?
    Article 963.2.6 – grammar needs to be corrected
    Article 965.3.6 – This article should also state that there are 10 penalties for the groom dismounting for consistency with 969 and 945.3.
    Article 967.3.3 – Recommend an ADS exception to requiring a drawing of the route in the case of incorrect sequence. I can barely get observers to list the order of the gates!
    Article 969 – Contravening the rule on the use of the whip references Article 933 and assesses 20 penalties. However, that is not one of the penalties listed in 933.4.
    – Motorized vehicles or bikes in obstacles is not in Article 945.
    – Groom leading a horse through an obstacle should reference 945 and 965.3.

    I will have comments on the cones revisions shortly. Thanks to Merridy Hance for pulling this together and making it so readable!

    Karen Garrett
    Southwest Regional Director

  5. kmgarrett says :

    October 1, 2013

    Here are my comments on the FEI proposed changes for cones.

    Article 973.5.2 – A failure of the entire turnout to pass between the markers is considered to be a disobedience. If a rebuild is required (975.4.1), then 10 seconds is added plus the penalty for the disobedience. But if the marker isn’t knocked down (and this can happen), then the obstacle must be retaken. Presumably, the only penalty is for the disobedience. In some instances the driver may not know that they didn’t pass between the markers – how is this supposed to be handled? Is it elimination if they don’t go back and retake the obstacle?
    Article 973.7.1 – What does “correctly and smartly dressed” mean? If you are “correctly” dressed for driving cones but your outfit isn’t “smart” are you in violation of the rule?
    Article 974.1.2 – The clearance width of the cones can be reduced by up to 5 cm in a maximum of 25% of the obstacles and those obstacles should be marked differently, e.g. color of the balls or cones. Does ADS really want to allow this? Cone settings are complicated enough for volunteers without adding this complexity.
    Article 975.2.4 – The provision that driving through an obstacle before starting the course has been deleted. Presumably this means that if a competitor passes through an obstacle before passing through the start gate, they are eliminated. Previously, this was a 10 point penalty. (See Article 956 in 2013 Rulebook). Does the ADS want to make it easier to eliminate competitors; this scenario does occur! It is not made explicit in the rules (only in the summary) that this is elimination.
    Article 975.7.1 – It is a disobedience if the turnout comes to a complete halt with or without stepping back anywhere on the course (italics added). The rule goes on to say “in front of or in an obstacle, or a Multiple obstacle, with or without knocking down any element”. Is this what the ADS wants especially with respect to training level? What if the competitor is lost?

    Karen Garrett
    Southwest Regional Director

  6. Zantke says :

    October 25, 2013

    Two days ago I received an updated version of the proposed FEI rules – with again some new changes. The most important ones, I believe, are, that the “Transfer Section” is back in again – which should be fine for us on the ADS level, sticking with our “Walk Section” hopefully as before. But they also re-wrote the “Outside assistance” rule to disallow only “physical outside assistance”. I hope they will still re-think this – as that would mean, any verbal assistance might be allowed? (Opening the door to Coaching through hazards, dressage & cones by headsets?). So I urge our CDE Committee to watch this very closely, and if indeed the FEI should vote in this latest version, than to please NOT follow this part – but keep our outside assistance definition as we have it now, and see what happens after the dust settles with the FEI.

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