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New proposed class division in AMHA

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Tommy

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Hi All,

This is a continuation of the discussion on the proposal to add another division in the AMHA driving classes.

Since this will be boarded next month, I thought I would “breath” some new life into this by bringing up the response from Gary Barnes to comments on this class for further dialogue.

Tommy

Here is the quote from Gary:

First, the name game.

As mentioned by Teri Collins we have never been able to agree on a name. In my run it up the flagploe and see who salutes stage (by the way that was a year before the AMHR adopted their Western Country pleasure class) I tried "Stock Driving" in order to paint a different picture than "Western" in our judges minds. Well that painted a similar picture to some judges and driving affecionados so I then started describing it as "Hunter Pleasure". Of course every year we had new members on the committee and every year I had to tweak their interest and the name along with trying to rewrite a rule that fit our breed and our rule book. I also embarked on a campaign to try to clarify our driving rules for the betterment of judging our classes and also to try to make them understandable to the outsider who might want to try our breed. I could keep explaining how this grew larger and harder as time went on, but I think you get the picture. By the way Nancy Idom (spelling?) who is both a Morgan judge and an AMHA judge "coined" this name for our class (she is also supplying the drawing). Then Mike McCabe and Diane Morgan Stasiak convinced us in committee to use this name for the new division. It was actually submitted for the June meeting, timely, as "Hunter Pleasure". The problem we have here is Show Rules had a tele-conference (unbeknownst to the Performance Committee) and shot it down without our input or explanation. Gotta love the politics! We have asked it to be resubmitted for PUBLIC discussion again at the june meeting. PLEASE ATTEND

Second, ADS...............

I talked with AL and his ADS trainer, read some literature, watched AL add a sidecheck to his ADS horse and harness and compete in Driving Obstacle. This made me think that those that liked ADS might want to try our upcoming "Reinsmanship" class along with "Driving Obstacle" and have FUN in our new class that was being proposed as "Carriage". I have seen the writing here and even worse the emails and all I can do is aplogize for painting that picture!

Third, number of classes.

Yes it is a whole division and this applies differntly to the World show and the Local shows.

Local shows. Please understand that just because we add a class (even when it is a "pointed" class) it is not mandatory on the local level. Show Rule GR-025 C. addresses what classes are mandatory for show approval and MOST driving classes are not mandatory. We feel that input from your members will tell you what classes to add for this new division, if any, and this will probably be different in geographical terms. At least at first. Some clubs will embrace the option of adding a large number of what I feel are "all around" horses. Remember that your halter as well as upper end driving horses don't enter as many classes as this type of horse. These horses could feasably be your 10 class horses. Add 10 of them to your show and your talking, what 100 entries at 40 bucks = $4000.00. Probably a lot more, think about it!

World Show.

The Stakes sunsets 2009. This clears the way for 4 classes. If some horses move down into this division from Country and we lose say 3 splits we gain 6 classes (splits run 3 times). That's 10 of the 13 for a whole division and Laura Mullins is helping us work on more time. I believe we also added a day for 2008 and some of these classes are Youth and Amateur/ AOTE. Seems do-able to me!

Vendors.

Not really what Al asked but a sure way to gauge AMHA's solvency in the market (ie; sinking or swimming) is to look around or ask around. Where are the vendors? If we were growing or even stagnate they would be making money by coming to our shows and they have been disappearing for years!

Fourth

The answer is in the above answers.

Fifth

It appears that the members here have resoundingly said they would show in it and the phone calls and email testimonials support it. Don't forget the "members" of AMHA thought Country Pleasure would never take off a few years back...........

I urge anyone that is truly concerned, positive or negative, to contact me at perfcomm@alltel.net or anyone of our committee listed on the AMHA website). I also would like to beat my drum again and say PLEASE contact your Director and Kristy Mackey: kristy@amha.org But put it in writing so it wont get forgotten. Or better yet come to the June Meeting and see how the process happens. Al has reiterated the concerns of Show Rules (I was kicked off because I didn't attend the annual meeting after Lisa's accident) and Show Rules voted this down without asking these questions. Now is your chance to make a difference.

Thanks for your time and your support!

I am available email me if you want to talk.

Gary Barnes

AMHA Performance Committee

Co-Chair

perfcomm@alltel.net

www.minidrivinghorse.com
 

Tango

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How about naming the class "Modified Driven Dressage". That will get those that are CDE competitors interested but with the word "Modified", the class will not give the impression that it is to be driven and judged according to ADS rules. I think you could cover a lot of bases with a name like this and accomplish what you want in a new driving class.

Nikki
 

Minimor

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These horses could feasably be your 10 class horses. Add 10 of them to your show and your talking, what 100 entries at 40 bucks = $4000.00. Probably a lot more, think about it!
I have to ask--do people really pay $400 to enter one horse in 10 classes at a local show? Wow. The shows we've had here charge an entry fee of $10 per class or $30 for unlimited classes. Ten horses entering 10 classes each would bring in $300!

why not use some name that is just totally different--rather than western pleasure with brings to mind a certain "look" and attire....or hunter pleasure which again brings to mind a certain look and attire, how about something like classic pleasure driving, or even leave out the word "pleasure" and have classic country driving, or country classic driving or just classic driving.
 

ruffian

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What about going with the style of the horse instead of the driving style? It looks to me that this is the type of driving found in Quarter Horse shows. So call it Quarter driving.

Most of the shows around here don't do a "Pay one fee" situation. I'd love it if they did!
 

PrestigeMiniHorses

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I agree with you Ruffian it would be nice if they did that would attract mroe people to show since fuel is so high right now. As for a name for this I have no idea what to call it though. I'd have to sit on it and think some. I am alittle confused though as to what they are trying to do. Are they trying to just make up a set of classes or something to appeal to a different group or show-ers?
 

MinisOutWest

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Gary- See if this helps

WESTERN DRIVING

(a) A pleasure driving horse should carry himself in a natural

balanced position with a relaxed head and neck. His poll should be

level with, or slightly above the level of the withers.

(b) Maximum credit should be given to a horse that moves

straight, with free movement, manners and a bright expression.

© The horse shall be severely penalized if he carries his head

behind the vertical, is overflexed, excessively nosed out, the poll is

below the withers or exhibits lack of control by exhibitor.

(d) This class will be judged 80 percent on the horse’s performance

and suitability for assuring a pleasurable drive, with a maximum

of 20 percent on condition and conformation.

(e) Horses must be shown with natural hoofs. No extended hoofs or

shoes allowed.

(f) Horses shall enter the ring in the same direction. Each horse

shall then be exhibited at the walk, western gait and road gait in both

directions of the show ring. The recommended class procedure is

walk, western gait, road gait, and walk. Consistently showing

too far off the rail shall be penalized according to severity. At the direction

of the ring steward, such change of direction shall be accomplished

by the horses crossing the show ring on the diagonal while

walking only.

(g) Each horse shall also be required to back easily and straight

and stand quietly.

(h) No exhibitor shall drive a horse while standing, kneeling or

using a seat extension in the cart at any time. An exhibitor may

momentarily rise if circumstances warrant. No horse shall be unbridled

or unattended while hooked to a cart. Excessive noisemaking

by exhibitors shall be penalized according to severity.
 

horses mouth

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These horses could feasably be your 10 class horses. Add 10 of them to your show and your talking, what 100 entries at 40 bucks = $4000.00. Probably a lot more, think about it!
I have to ask--do people really pay $400 to enter one horse in 10 classes at a local show? Wow. The shows we've had here charge an entry fee of $10 per class or $30 for unlimited classes. Ten horses entering 10 classes each would bring in $300!
AMHA shows usually have 4 judges hence the higher entry fees. Some clubs flat rate amateur classes like you are talking about or they charge less for amateur classes (usually $25.00). But I'll give you an economic example: This year we (bar NS Ranch and training center) took 14 horses to the Red River Shootout. All of these horses were Driving horses. No halter classes entered. All but 2 were Country horses. Our check for stalls, shavings, office fees and ENTRIES was $3919.00. The year before we took 8 horses our check was around $2000.00. With another division adding approximately one third more horses it is safe to say that our check would be approximately $6000.00 maybe more since these "all around horses" would probably be entered in more "other" performance classes. I would also like to add that I was the past secretary for that club and we averaged $2000.00 net profit per show when I was involved. Back then the number of horses per show was greater than it is now. It should be easy to see the profit potential involved!

why not use some name that is just totally different--rather than western pleasure with brings to mind a certain "look" and attire....or hunter pleasure which again brings to mind a certain look and attire, how about something like classic pleasure driving, or even leave out the word "pleasure" and have classic country driving, or country classic driving or just classic driving.
This is a sound arguement! If there wasn't so much history and politics I would like to see a renaming of both Country Pleasure and Single Pleasure. We could maybe use one word names so as to not evoke such a mental image form our very mixed judging pool. Or how about driving "one", "two", and "three"? This whole name thing will have to be decided and should not become an "end all". I'm sure that majority or politics or both will decide.

I really appreciate the continued responses here and we are accomplishing a lot and stimulating the old noggins!

Gary Barnes
 

Minimor

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Ah, when we had $10/$30 unlimited it was a 2 judge show. AMHA one day, AMHR the other, and fees for both were the same. This year we have only AMHR; with 4 judges it is $15 per class or $45 unlimited. If an AMHA show were running the 2nd day, I can assure you that fees would be the same. I guess we're poor folks up here.
If entry fees were as you describe, we would see almost no horses at the show! (Keep in mind that a number of exhibitors complain about the fees being way too high as it is!!)

I think using Drive One Two and Three would be too much like levels--that gives me the impression that one is for the beginning horses; two is for horses that have competed at a number of shows, and three is then the next level. Kind of like hunters, who have first year green and second year green

How about High Stepping, Fancy and Not So Fancy (sounds better than "Plain moving" I think!?)

Sadly I think when "western" is used, so many people immediately picture the peanut rollers of the big horse world. Still, that new harness on the Lutke Harness website looks like it would be perfectly suited to the western division of driving--has anyone else noticed that???
 

R3

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Personally, I don't think we should 'need' a new division. If the Country horses were being judged the way they were supposed to be, they would be the 'western/carriage/hunter' horses that we are again trying to find a place to put. But, we have allowed he 'creep' to let the 'can't cut it as a Single Pleasure horse' trickle down to the Country division where they have a better chance of winning. But, if we 'have' to create a new division, since we can't 'fix' Country Pleasure now, we need a name that's 'right'.

There is a problem with creating a driving division without a clear understanding of what is it supposed to be. It happened when the name 'country' was picked. What does 'Country' mean? It doesn't have a clear counter-part in the big horse world, so it is fully open to interpretation. That is why the 'right' name is so important, and why Carriage or some of the other names that have been suggested won't work, they don't evoke a definite 'style' of horse or movement when you hear them. We need a name that people associate with the look we want. Some names, such as 'Western' create a picture, but it isn't the picture we are wanting in this new division.

As far as not wanting to call it 'Western', I definitely do NOT see AMHA considering some other name as being done merely to be different than AMHR. To me, coming from a big horse background (both English & Western), the term Western Pleasure evokes a very strong image, and I know I am not alone. Most judges have big horse experience, and they also have a strong idea of what a ridden 'Western Pleasure' horse looks like. (Slow, with hardly any forward motion, without implusion, head down, and heavy on the forhand). I honestly do not think that we want our minis to look like what is considered Western Pleasure to the vast majority of horse people. We might say, "No, that's not what we want", and we can write all the rules we want, but I believe the class will 'morph' into its name, if its called Western Pleasure, regardless of the amount of rules we write or direction that we give the judges. The image of a Western Pleasure horse is just too strong in the horse industry.

If we pick name that doesn't immediately evoke the type of image that we want the judges to envision in their mind, then we will be fighting a constant battle to explain ourselves, to the competitors and the judges. Carriage driving does not, for me, evoke a consistant picture. And, if we are not going to follow carriage driving (ADS) type rules for equipment, harness, and turn-out, then we will look foolish to the people who DO know what carriage driving is supposed to be.

It may not be perfect, but I strongly feel that the term 'Hunter' in some form, evokes the correct image that we are wanting to achieve. Big horse people, pretty much, all recognize the type of movement that is desired in a Hunter, vs. a Western horse, vs. a 'Saddle-seat' type horse.

Some of my suggestions on names might be: Hunter in Harness, Hunter Under Harness, or Hunter Pleasure.

I also think that the cart needs to be open or closed wheel. I don't understand why it would be open wheel only.

Also, I don't see this rule listed on the AMHA website as a proposed rule change. Does anyone know why?
 

hobbyhorse23

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How about naming the class "Modified Driven Dressage". That will get those that are CDE competitors interested but with the word "Modified", the class will not give the impression that it is to be driven and judged according to ADS rules. I think you could cover a lot of bases with a name like this and accomplish what you want in a new driving class.
Nikki
Good to see you again Nikki!
I know as a dressage competitor (and admitted purist
) I would be interested in a class by that name right up until I found out it had absolutely nothing to do with dressage. Then you'd hear me muttering some rather uncomplimentary things and stalking off, never to return.
I think unfortunately a name like that would carry all the problems of the original "Carriage Driving" label without really offering any clearer idea what they are trying to achieve. I sure would like to see true dressage classes added to our shows though!

(f) Horses shall enter the ring in the same direction. Each horseshall then be exhibited at the walk, western gait and road gait in both

directions of the show ring. The recommended class procedure is

walk, western gait, road gait, and walk. Consistently showing

too far off the rail shall be penalized according to severity. At the direction

of the ring steward, such change of direction shall be accomplished

by the horses crossing the show ring on the diagonal while

walking only.
Good Lord, when did THAT little change occur in the rules? Or is this from some other breed, not the AMHR class? With gait names like that you're definitely going to create a true western-style class rather than what I've been given to understand they were trying to achieve.

(h) No exhibitor shall drive a horse while standing, kneeling orusing a seat extension in the cart at any time. An exhibitor may

momentarily rise if circumstances warrant. No horse shall be unbridled

or unattended while hooked to a cart. Excessive noisemaking

by exhibitors shall be penalized according to severity.
I shouldn't be giggling right now but the idea of trying to drive standing up or kneeling in a standard show cart is just so funny! I know the mini books don't say anything about horses being unbridled while hitched (although they should) so what registry is this from?
This is personal curiousity here so I apologize for straying off-topic.

Most of the shows around here don't do a "Pay one fee" situation. I'd love it if they did!
Ditto

R3 said:
Personally, I don't think we should 'need' a new division. If the Country horses were being judged the way they were supposed to be, they would be the 'western/carriage/hunter' horses that we are again trying to find a place to put. But, we have allowed he 'creep' to let the 'can't cut it as a Single Pleasure horse' trickle down to the Country division where they have a better chance of winning. But, if we 'have' to create a new division, since we can't 'fix' Country Pleasure now, we need a name that's 'right'.
There is a problem with creating a driving division without a clear understanding of what is it supposed to be. It happened when the name 'country' was picked. What does 'Country' mean? It doesn't have a clear counter-part in the big horse world, so it is fully open to interpretation.
Actually it does, and it comes from the exact sort of situation you've described in the first paragraph. The Arabs used to have Park and the Single Pleasure-equivalent class (Lord, it's been so long I actually forget what they call it!
) but the trickle-down effect made it necessary to create a Country Pleasure class for those horses who couldn't win against the new, more Saddlebred-y action horses. Unfortunately they suffer from the same "Fanciest, Fancy, Not-So-Fancy" sort of feeling just as it seems our classes are starting to. People see the Western, Hunter, and now Sport Horse Arabs as different-but-equal but the Country Pleasure horses as "not as good."

As far as not wanting to call it 'Western', I definitely do NOT see AMHA considering some other name as being done merely to be different than AMHR. To me, coming from a big horse background (both English & Western), the term Western Pleasure evokes a very strong image, and I know I am not alone. Most judges have big horse experience, and they also have a strong idea of what a ridden 'Western Pleasure' horse looks like. (Slow, with hardly any forward motion, without implusion, head down, and heavy on the forhand). I honestly do not think that we want our minis to look like what is considered Western Pleasure to the vast majority of horse people. We might say, "No, that's not what we want", and we can write all the rules we want, but I believe the class will 'morph' into its name, if its called Western Pleasure, regardless of the amount of rules we write or direction that we give the judges. The image of a Western Pleasure horse is just too strong in the horse industry.
If we pick name that doesn't immediately evoke the type of image that we want the judges to envision in their mind, then we will be fighting a constant battle to explain ourselves, to the competitors and the judges. Carriage driving does not, for me, evoke a consistant picture. And, if we are not going to follow carriage driving (ADS) type rules for equipment, harness, and turn-out, then we will look foolish to the people who DO know what carriage driving is supposed to be. YES

It may not be perfect, but I strongly feel that the term 'Hunter' in some form, evokes the correct image that we are wanting to achieve. Big horse people, pretty much, all recognize the type of movement that is desired in a Hunter, vs. a Western horse, vs. a 'Saddle-seat' type horse.

Some of my suggestions on names might be: Hunter in Harness, Hunter Under Harness, or Hunter Pleasure.
I think you've made an excellent post summing up my own concerns regarding the Western label in AMHR or AMHA. I know that for those who have no big horse experience it may seem odd to call a driving class "Hunter" anything (I mean hunters JUMP, don't they?
) but in the context of the larger horse world it makes sense and evokes the correct picture. Let's face it- miniatures drive because they are too small to ride. It would be silly to label a driving class in the large horse world "Hunter Under Harness" or "Western Harness Pleasure" because driving in itself is a discipline with its own rules and expectations. If you wanted to ride them Hunter or Western, you'd ride them that way! If you want them to drive then you train them for driving and it's clearly something you're specializing in. But in the mini world you have all those same kind of movers and only one discipline they can compete in and of course they aren't all suited to the fine harness outline. Perhaps in a way it would almost make more sense to have the Park/Single Pleasure class as the "fine harness" picture, Country Pleasure as the "pretty Sunday driving horse" class with breeching and wooden wheels, and then a Western Under Harness for those joggers and Hunter Under Harness for the more mini-warmblood/jumper/TB types. We've already got Roadster for the mini Standardbreds!
The difference would be more in equipment and style of training than in the horses themselves, perhaps alleviating some of the current problems.

I know that isn't likely to happen but the logic of it was tickling my mind so I wanted to write it out just to crystalize it in my own head. Wouldn't it be interesting to see?
You'd have to allow cross-entry between these different-but-equal divisions which would incidentally create an opportunity to develop a true all-around horse as well as allowing those animals that perhaps aren't fancy enough for the current divisions to still find a niche and be competitive. If the fancier animal entered that class but didn't meet the class standard as well, the plainer horse would still win. That's only fair! Hmm.....

Leia

Edited for typos and one clarification
 
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horses mouth

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It may not be perfect, but I strongly feel that the term 'Hunter' in some form, evokes the correct image that we are wanting to achieve. Big horse people, pretty much, all recognize the type of movement that is desired in a Hunter, vs. a Western horse, vs. a 'Saddle-seat' type horse.

Some of my suggestions on names might be: Hunter in Harness, Hunter Under Harness, or Hunter Pleasure.

I also think that the cart needs to be open or closed wheel. I don't understand why it would be open wheel only.

Also, I don't see this rule listed on the AMHA website as a proposed rule change. Does anyone know why?
Julie

"Hunter Pleasure" is also my first pick and that is the name that the rule change proposal was submitted with. By the way it was submitted by the committee, timely at the February meeting, before the deadline to Kristy Mackey. Then in a strange twist the Show Rules committee held a March teleconfernce call. During this call they addressed concerns about some of the submitted propposals. I was told by a retained member that they contacted the submitters of all of those proposals, EXCEPT THE PERFORMANCE COMMITTEE, for input. They voted this "Hunter Pleasure" proposal down. Strange huh? Well it gets stranger......... Darlene Bridges, my co-chair, was contacted last week by Kristy Mackey with the question, "do you have any last minute changes to your submitted Class splt for youth country proposal? Today at 5Pm is the deadline". I had darlene resubmit the Hunter Pleasure proposal as a "change" with the new name, Carriage Driving, since the deadline was 5 PM. Kristy told Darlene that Darlene would have to call BOB Kane for permission.

It now appears that there is an underlying agenda at work here. We need to ask WHY and stand up for what is right! Not what one person wants to do, but what all the supporters want to do!

By the way the rule says "closed wheel" cart and that was a compromise to try to keep metal work carts from being used at the World show. I have a new wording that says "wooden pleasure cart with metal spoked or wooden wheels".

You were a member of this committee last year but never contributed! Please send me your phone number, I'd like to talk to you some more about this proposal.

email to: perfcomm@alltel.net

Regards

Gary

Leia

Where were you the last 4 years? I need you to join the Performance Committee!!!

Your ruminations are spot on and it has been SO HARD to explain that to so many people. I'd like to talk, send me your number and I'll spend the dime!

Gary
 
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hobbyhorse23

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horses mouth said:
Leia
Where were you the last 4 years? I need you to join the Performance Committee!!! ... I'd like to talk, send me your number and I'll spend the dime!

Gary
Let's see...four years ago I was buying my first mini and ever since then I've been away competing him against the big guys!
Send me an email, I'm all yours. I warn you, my .02 is overpriced! *LOL*

Leia

Spyderwind @ aol . com (no spaces)
 
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susanne

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Not that my opinion is really needed here, but...

IMO, the problem in naming stems from Single Pleasure...everything from there on is inappropriately named.

Instead, they should be:

PARK (okay as it now is)

FINE HARNESS (what is currently Single Pleasure)

PLEASURE DRIVING (what is currently Country Pleasure)

COUNTRY PLEASURE DRIVING (what is, in AMHR, currently Western Pleasure)

Pleasure suggests to me a more relaxed style -- the proverbial Sunday drive. What is now called Single Pleasure bears little resemblence to real world driving, and therefore the name is not accurate.

JMO.
 
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Minimor

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I'd have to disagree Susanne--Mini park horses are pretty much "not there" yet--from what I've seen they have a long way to go before they really are park horses. Mini pleasure horses are not fine harness horses. Out here we have Hackneys that show in Fine Harness, and it's an entirely different look from what you see in the Mini pleasure driving classes. Many competing as country pleasure horses do belong in the western driving division (or whatever you would choose to call it) and many Pleasure Driving horses actually belong in the Country pleasure division. The real pleasure horses are right where they belong and IMO are pleasure driving horses.

In the big horse world (Morgans, Arabs) the Pleasure Driving horses are much more "up" and high stepping than their mini counterparts are.
 

horses mouth

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Susanne you are right about the names. The history as I know it was singles and multiples (I believe there were first drafts and then "pleasure" classes). Then around 1994 a number of members added the "Country Pleasure" division. IMHO the class rules are plaigerized (sic?) from a number of rule books in fact the bit drawing is still available in another registries rule book. This is not without merit but it kindof starts the chicken or egg arguement that Minimor expresses in her post following yours. Now the name paints a picture to some so the original exercise for the Performance Committee was to try to "clarify" that picture. The reality of "behind the scene with Gary" is I started this whole mess by trying to fix the PARK class to entice more and better horses to be shown............... We figure there are about 6 Park horse in the industry. As a side note now that "the voting members" have decided to close our registry, I doubt it will ever be capable of sustaining a true Park division.

Ask yourself this hypothetical question: I have the best park horse in AMHA (you either bred it, or your a trainer). Am I going to show it twice all year, once at the regional and once at the world? Or would I (or my client) be better served making it a Single Pleasure horse? We all know the real answer!

This is why we have creep (and why all other show horse breeds have it).

Now; How do we "fix' this situation?

I first decided we should be showing our driving horses by age (not my idea, look at the other successful breeds), hence the Stakes and futurity proposals.

Then after three years of input (mostly to garner the steam of having unification) I unleashed this giant snail. The reason for the name change at the last minute was two fold, politics (if you can unfairly call it that) and to "agree" with the majority of the committee (three judges who swayed some others).

The name game; I believe in the KISS principle, you can see that in the wording of the rule, the drawing and the balance line. It is our opinion that we should revamp the other divisions to reflect this same line of reasoning. Wording does not have to be wordy. The General driving rules section can be used for that. Tell the judges how to judge what we want. Tell the competitor what turnout we want.

The real question here is are you going to stand for it, or against it? Either way the common thought here is that no one listens to the member. Now's your chance to write a letter.

Respectfully

Gary Barnes
 
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Field-of-Dreams

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Not that my opinion is really needed here, but...

IMO, the problem in naming stems from Single Pleasure...everything from there on is inappropriately named.

Instead, they should be:

PARK (okay as it now is)

FINE HARNESS (what is currently Single Pleasure)

PLEASURE DRIVING (what is currently Country Pleasure)

COUNTRY PLEASURE DRIVING (what is, in AMHR, currently Western Pleasure)

Pleasure suggests to me a more relaxed style -- the proverbial Sunday drive. What is now called Single Pleasure bears little resemblence to real world driving, and therefore the name is not accurate.

JMO.
Totally agree here! THESE make sense!

Lucy
 

R3

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Gary, I don't know why you are saying I didn't contribute... I was at the June meeting in 2007, I contributed with emails, and I participated in a telephone conference last year. I was at the AMHA Annual meeting in February 2008. I have also responded to the email that was sent from perfcomm@alltel on 13 May. I have contributed to this thread.

As for it being an 'open' vs. a 'closed' wheel cart, according to the email that was sent to me by the Performance Committee on 13 May, and according to the thread that Lost Spoke put here on the Forum for you on the 13th, the rule states an 'open' wheel cart.

Here is the quote, "A. Carriage Driving is a single horse driving class, hitched to an “open” wheel cart with either wooden or metal spoke wheels."

Again, I don't believe that there should be any restriction on the type of cart, 'open', 'closed', or even metal training carts. The 'look' of the competitor is to be evaluated by the judge, not by the people writing rules. All we need to consider for the rule is safety. We shouldn't be writing any rules that do nothing more that price some people out of being able to show their horse. Just because someone doesn't think a metal easy-entry type of cart is appropriate for a National Show, doesn't me it should be against the rules to do so. By prohibiting that kind of cart in the show rules, it affect the local shows as well as the National Show. We don't need to put roadblocks up for people starting out in the horse show world. They should be encouraged to show, using whatever equipment they have available, as long as it is safe.
 
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