RCS2014#35 – Grooms and Attendants for VSE Pairs

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

Current Wording

  • 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)

Le Feurmann
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.

13 Response(s)

  1. rules says :

    July 23, 2013

    CDC Reason for ‘Not Recommended’:
    Grooms and Attendants for VSE Pairs – not recommended by the Combined Driving Committee. Evidence has shown that VSE pairs are quite capable of pulling the weight of a turnout that includes a groom. In consideration of safety in a turnout with two animals, a groom is a prudent and vital requirement.

  2. chateaulog says :

    August 2, 2013

    disapprove: For safety factor VSE pairs and multiples MUST have a groom.

  3. katie whaley says :

    August 4, 2013

    disapprove. For safety, VSE pairs and multiples Must have a groom

  4. shadowbrook says :

    August 4, 2013

    I agree that vse can pull two adults, They can each pull one Adult when single so in a pair they can pull two adults and they share the carriage weight.

  5. keithy says :

    August 6, 2013

    I do not support this change.
    Due to safety concerns.
    One person alone cannot take care of two stressed/panicked equines no matter what the size.
    And as has been already stated, if one VSE can pull one person then two VSE’s should be able to pull two people.

  6. cathyjo76 says :

    August 11, 2013

    I disagree with the rule change. A pair should always require a second person for safety.

  7. Iris says :

    August 13, 2013

    I don’t support this change.

  8. Donene McGrath says :

    August 19, 2013

    I do not agree with this change. A pair of equines requires a groom for safety’s sake – the size of the equines should not matter.

  9. Zantke says :

    August 20, 2013

    I do not approve. Pairs do need a groom for safety.

  10. daves says :

    August 24, 2013

    Do not support this change.

  11. CaroleSweet says :

    August 27, 2013

    I do not support this….pairs need a groom.

  12. wgallen says :

    August 28, 2013

    I disagree with the proposed change. A pair is a pair is a pair. Even
    for VSEs, the added complexity requires extra help.

  13. RhinehartM says :

    August 30, 2013

    As a driver of VSE pairs/tandems as well as singles, it is unreasonable to think that one person can handle two horses in an emergency. Just because they allow mini pairs and tandems to drive without a groom in breed shows doesn’t make it logical for ADS shows where the requirements are different and usually more involved (i.e. obstacles, cross country, showing with other large turnouts in the ring, etc.). It is up to the driver to figure the weight of the turnout and configure it so that the conditioned pair can pull it. Our mini pair is INCREDIBLY strong even compared to our single. Even with a single turnout, the VSE is expected to pull more weight by ratio than its larger counterparts. There is a theory that this is possible due to their potentially larger heart and lung capacity, which is why many VSEs can come in from a marathon with perfect P&Rs, even with pulling “more than their fair share”.

Comments are closed.