Arena Driving Trials
The most rapidly growing area of competitive carriage driving is in one day events, called Arena Driving Trials, or ADT's. They take each of the elements of a three day event, allow flexibility in the choice of the facility and relax dress and presentation requirements to make carriage competitions accessible to more people. In Arizona, ADT's have proved to be the most popular activity hosted by our ADCS club. Almost half the statewide membership participates in one or more ADT's during a season. They are typically held in six locations around the state. At the end of the ADT "season" awards are given to the top point people, by choosing their best scores during the year.
In addition to dress standards, flexibility is offered in the size of the regulation dressage field, number of cones, and number of hazards. Where space is limited, the cones course and dressage field have even been combined, sometimes within an indoor arena. If room is not available, one or two hazards are driven, sometimes more than once. The net result is an enjoyable event that people can participate in while taking only one day and at far less expense than two or three day events.
Left: Roz Ashby at the 2003 Atonna ADT
Right: Donna Lutter in the Atonna's water hazard. As you can see, the Atonna's competition course is right in our back yard.
Left: Lynn Simpson in the water hazard
Right: Barb Sims driving her mini in the Fort Atonna hazard. It can get windy in June in Paulden
Left: Bliss Knight in the cones course during the ADT at her house
Right: Mary beth Goree is Judging dressage at the Knight ADT
Left: Lynn Simpson's pair got hung up in the very tight Single Tree hazard and she decided it was better to unhitch rather than to try to force the horses on.
Right: While we pulled the carriage out of the hazard, Lynn continued on with her horses - back to her trailer, actually
Left: Debbie Roberts in the first hazard in the Knight ADT. Debbie's horse is deaf and she must communicate entirely with her reins.
Right: Stephanie Whitfield during cones in the second Knight ADT
Left: Susan Lawson in the Paulden Forest hazard at the Atonna's
Right: Allen Funderberg at the Knight's
Left: Bob Smith driving his mini pair at the Mother Road hazard at the Atonna's
Right: Mary Jane driving Melodie in the ADT near Globe at the Apache Gold Casino
Left: Susan Lawson at Globe. You drove the hazard at the top of the photo first, then went immediately to the second where Susan is now maneuvering. Gary Gang is timing the competitors standing between the two.
Right: Here is Bliss Knight going through the same hazard pair.
Left: Stephanie Whitfield on the cones course at Globe.:
Right: Here is Stephanie at the Knight's ADT. Friesians make an impressive sight when moving, particularly when hitched in a pair.
The fall 2004 ADT at Bliss and John Knight's featured perfect weather for a day outdoors. This is Mary Jane and Melodie in Dressage. Melodie is getting better, but dressage is the area in which she needs the most work. By the way, Mary Jane did win her Intermediate Single Horse class. In the photo on the right, she is heading for gate #18 on her way out of the cones course. Things were going great until Melodie decided that she wanted to go a different place than Mary Jane wanted her to do and spoiled a clean, fast round by knocking the next two balls down.
Left: Mary Jane is taking the quick and dusty route through a serpentine in the cones course
Right: Trudy Hurst is barrelling around some of the trees at the Knight's place as she goes for another gate in the first hazard.
Left: Kim Dean is heading into the "U" where she enters from one side and exits the other. Not only must she not knock down the cones at the entrance, but also not hit the pipes defining the gate.
Right: Kim has now spun around the U and is leaving while leaving behind a cloud of dust. In Arizona carriage events, dust is a way of life.
Left: Many of the ADT locations are quite beautiful in their own right. Here is Tom Short and his pair in the shadow of the Usery Mountains at the Apache Junction ADT
Right: Again at Apache Junction, we are at their rodeo grounds, but with the spectacular Superstition Mountains looming to the east.
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