- 2014 RCS #
- Grooms and Attendants for VSE Pairs
- Date Received
- Sally Armstrong, Lee Fuermann
- Change Date
- Next Rulebook
- Closed for comments: 01Sep13
- CDC – Not Recommended: 25Jun13
- PDC – Not Recommended: 31July13 – For safety reasons
- Initial Posting: 01Jun13
- Pleasure Driving Competitions, Article 27.1.b (page 28).
- Driven Dressage Competitions, Article 115.2 (page 85)
- Combined Driving Competition, Article 917.2.9 (page 136)
- All other references to groom requirements for VSE pairs
Sally Armstrong: I would like to submit for your consideration, a rule change for the VSE Pairs category. The rule stating “a VSE pair MUST have a groom/attendant” is unreasonable for many VSE pairs and should be changed to “OPTIONAL” for a VSE pair to have a groom/attendant.
There are many drivers with VSE pairs that would like to compete and
participate in ADS events, but can’t because of the requirement for a groom. When you consider the weight of the VSE pair and ask them to
pull the combined weight of even a lightweight carriage, plus two average
size adults, it becomes unreasonable and can be detrimental to the
VSEs. You would never ask a pair of ponies or horses to pull that
much weight based upon percentages/ratios.
Safety is always a concern, even with the VSE’s; however a pair of
VSEs can be safely handled by a competent adult driver should the need
Many times in our local shows, the VSEs keep the financial
aspect afloat. In the current economy, every entry counts.
I would like you to consider making a groom OPTIONAL for VSE
PAIRS. Perhaps try it for a two year period to see if: 1.) any safety issues
emerge and 2). entries increase and the sport (and ADS membership)
My reasoning for this “optional” change is based on the percentage of body weight a VSE pair must pull. For example, my VSE pair weigh approximately 600 lbs. (300 lbs each). My weight combined with the weight of my groom is 370 lbs, thus my pair must pull 62% of their combined weight before we add the weight of the carriage and the harnesses. This becomes an unreasonable conditioning challenge for many VSEs.
To put this is perspective, if I had a horse pair with a combined weight of 2200 lbs (1100 lbs each), they would only be pulling 17% of their combined body weight not including the weight of the carriage or harnesses. This puts VSE pairs at a huge disadvantage to present themselves in a positive manner for both judges and spectators. Many VSE pairs shine until the extra weight of a groom is added.
A groom is present for safety, thus anyone feeling the need for a groom should be allowed to have one, but anyone who does not feel the need for a groom, should not be forced to have a groom. I also believe that by changing the VSE pairs groom to OPTIONAL, it could increase interest and attendance in the sport of driving.