With the conclusion of their initial affiliate agreement, the USEF and ADS are unable to reach a new agreement.
EDITED PRESS RELEASE – On June 11, the USEF announced termination of the affiliate agreement with the American Driving Society (ADS). As the current agreement has expired, this decision is effective immediately. The agreement was first terminated in January 2017 because the organizations could not reach a consensus regarding the ADS’s responsibilities as driving’s recognized affiliate; the agreement was reinstated May 2017. The ADS remained driving’s recognized USEF affiliate through November 2018, at which point the organizations met again to renew the affiliate agreement. Despite continued negotiation and repeated agreement extensions, after the initial affiliate agreement expired, it was decided that it was in both organizatons’ best interests to part ways.
Said USEF CEO Bill Moroney, “we recently met with ADS leadership and developed several proposals regarding competition licensing, licensed officials, alignment of rules and anti-doping for presentation to the ADS Board of Directors. We are very disappointed that the ADS Board of Directors was unwilling to accept these proposals required to keep our environment safe and fair, despite USEF’s best efforts to be flexible regarding their affiliate concerns. Ultimately, however, USEF cannot compromise on protecting our athletes, ensuring the welfare of our horses and maintaining the integrity of our sport.”
Moroney added, “Recognized affiliate association status offers significant benefits, but also comes with great responsibility. Relationships between the USEF and its recognized affiliates must be mutually beneficial in order to best serve the needs of the horses, athletes and the sport of equestrian. In today’s environment, there are higher requirements to ensure fairness and safety, added scrutiny, and increased exposure associated with operating as an amateur sports organization and this can create challenges. USEF is uniquely positioned to assist our affiliates in meeting those challenges so we can all enjoy a safe environment.”
The USEF is committed to the development of driving and is in the process of replacing the ADS with a new recognized affiliate. They’ll continue working with organizers and competitors, ensuring all athletes have access to resources and competitive opportunities to hone their talents.