2021 Arizona Driving Trial Series

This page contains information on what our AZ Driving Trail entails, as well as specific information about 2021 scheduled events. Scroll down or use the links below to take you to a specific event.

SCHEDULED EVENTS - when information is available, the link below will be filled with color:


Arizona Driving Trial

ADT stands for Arena Driving Trial, but for ADCS, it stands for Arizona Driving Trial as we have adapted some of the ADS rules to better serve us. This is usually an informal one day competition with most of the elements of a 3 day combined driving event (CDE). The Judge and TD are sometimes more advanced drivers, rather than rated officials. The idea is to keep costs down, while providing opportunities for learning and practice for our membership. 


A dressage test is driven, a cones course is negotiated, and finally, several hazards or obstacles complete the event. There is no full fledged marathon section. The "in the obstacle" times count for all levels, except Green Drivers at Training Level. There are usually fewer hazards/obstacles compared to a CDE.  If set in an arena, there may only be two obstacles, driven twice. If at a site with permanent obstacles, usually only four are used.


The ADCS usually holds a series of six ADT competitions each year. They are at various locations throughout the state. The club tracks points earned based on the results of each individual ADT,  and awards Year End Awards in each class, through 6th place. Club members must compete with the same equine, at the same level, in two ADT events to be eligible for a year end award. Up to four placings will be used in the point totals – fewer if fewer are attended. 


An awards banquet is held after the final ADT of the series. Usually, it is held in conjunction with the yearly Christmas Party and General Meeting. See the CLUB CALENDAR in the Menu for any upcoming ADT events. The event information page will have the Entry Form and event particulars approximately one month prior; one week prior, the Hazard and Cones maps are posted for download.


For the most recent copy of our ADT rules, classes offered, and year end points> ADCS – ADT Rules

Please note that the ADT Rules have not yet been updated to include the recently added Small Pony Division.




Precision part of the competition...



Really fun!.

Sheree Riggs Water Mr. B Oct 2017-0001.j


Very Exciting!




ADS (the American Driving Society) as well as FEI (International Equestrian Federaton) have designed a series of tests for each level of driver. Tests are driven in a specified size arena that is usually 40 X 80 or 40 X 100 meters. Sometimes a smaller size is used for very small equine (VSE-39 inches and less). ADCS commonly uses a 30 X 60 meter arena for VSE.


Tests include an enter down centerline at the trot, halt and salute the judge, trot and walk circles of various sizes in both directions at particular spots in the arena, working trot and lengthened trot down sidelines or across the diagonal, and a final halt and salute. The exact pattern and order of elements will change with each test and depending on what level the test is. Some Intermediate and FEI level tests include a canter. 


Examples of Driven Dressage tests can be found at the ADS website. (a link to dressage tests is in the footer)


In addition to Dressage at an ADT, ADCS offers judged dressage tests as part of our Pleasure Show, and has at times offered Dressage only competitions.




CONES COURSE - Part 2 of an ADT

A Cones Course is a really fun part of a combined driving event. Course length ranges from 500 to 800 meters, depending on the area available for setting up the course. A course may contain up to 20 elements, the most common of which is a set of cones with a ball set atop each cone. Each element is numbered, with a red number on the right of the desired direction of travel, and a white number on the left side. The numbers indicate the order in which each of the obstacles is to be driven.


After the whistle sounds, the driver passes through the start gate (in the correct direction) and proceeds to drive through the numbered obstacles in the correct direction and order, then passes through the out gate. Time on course is taken. Depending on the level of the driver and the size of the equine, there is a specified allowed time for each entry. If the time on course is within the allowed time, no time penalties are given. If a driver is over the allowed time, then time penalties are figured at .5 penalties for for each second over the allowed time. In addition, one or both balls down at an obstacle adds 3 penalties to the score.


Each entry has the track width of their wheels measured. Then depending on the level and horse size, a value is added to that track width, and the course is adjusted to that value; i.e., the distance between the cones making up each obstacle is adjusted to the setting for that driver. This way, drivers in the same class with different sized carriages, all have the same amount of clearance in an obstacle for their vehicle.


In addition to cones driving at an ADT, ADCS offers various cones competitions as a part of our Pleasure Show.



Monica Phillips and Miss America

driving a cones course.



OBSTACLES - Part 3 of an ADT

Obstacles is the preferred term, but this part of an ADT is also referred to as "hazards." In a CDE, the obstacles are the last portion of the Marathon Course. In an ADT, this is the only portion of the marathon that is used.


An Obstacle is comprised of a series of “gates” that are set up in a defined area that may have natural elements like trees, or man made fences, upright poles, barrels, barriers made from other objects, and so forth. The gates are lettered A through E. A red letter goes on the right side of a gate, and a white letter on the left side, to show the required direction of travel (red must be on the right to pass through a gate in the correct direction), and to define the sides of the “gate.”


The level of the competitor determines which of the gates must be negotiated correctly. Training Level is required to do A, B, and C, for instance. There is also an “In” and an “Out” and time is taken in the obstacle as the horse nose breaks the “In” gate, and until the nose passes the “Out” gate. For the time to count, all required gates must be taken in the correct order (A, then B, then C) and in the correct direction. Gates become “dead” after they are driven correctly, and may consequently be redriven in any direction to get to the next required gate. Corrections of course may be made, but add penalty points to the score. Usually, an ADT uses four Obstacles, or may use two and drive them twice.


The elasped time in all Obstacles is converted to penalty points by multiplying the time by .25. Penalties in Obstacles are added to the scores for the other parts of an ADT to determine a final penalty score. Should an Obstacle be driven incorrectly (a gate is missed or driven in the wrong direction-and no correction is made) the competitor is eliminated and they do not place in the competition.


Here is an Obstacle using posts and rails sections to make the "gates."


INFORMATION FOR 2021 ADT #1 AT Apache Junction Rodeo Grounds

Event Date: ADT #1  Saturday, February 20, 2021 

See Results 


Rodeo Park Event Center
1590 E. Lost Dutchman Blvd.
Aerial photo     Get Directions    Park Rules   Grounds Map

Dressage Judge for ADT #1: Cynthia Ganem, who has judged for us the past few years at A.J.


Cones Judge: Mike Self


Technical Delegate: Trish Demers

Dressage Tests for this event: New ADS tests - Training B, Preliminary B, Intermediate B.



(On a smart phone, files may appear on the bottom of the page, not in this section.)


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Obstacle 1

Obstacle Maps (Hazards) 

     Cones Course


2 -Barrels

New Obstacle 3

Obstacle 4


INFORMATION FOR 2021 ADT #2 AT Apache Junction Rodeo Grounds

See Results 


Event Date: ADT #2  Saturday, March 27, 2021 


Rodeo Park Event Center - Entrance is Tomahawk Rd. north from the intersection with Lost Dutchman
1590 E. Lost Dutchman Blvd.
Aerial photo     Get Directions    Park Rules   Grounds Map- ADT 2
Holding pens available for overnighting your horse, but are limited to approx. 20 animals. Pens are uncovered. Overnight camping on the grounds is permitted for this event for Friday night only. Those coming in on Friday are asked to arrive after 12 noon Friday, as organizers will be busy setting up that morning and unavailable for check in.​

Dressage Judge for ADT #2: Vivian Creigh, Tucson. FEI Driver and experienced judge. Also a new club member and new to Arizona.


Cones Judge: Wayne Kramer


Technical Delegate: Trish Demers

Dressage Tests for this event:

This event used the new ADS tests. Training Test B, Preliminary Test B, Intermediate Test A.

COURSES FOR ADT #2 - (please print off your own copies):

(On a smart phone, files may appear on the bottom of the page, not in this section.)

      PDFs of Obstacle Maps (Hazards): Obstacle 1     Obstacle 2      Obstacle 3       Obstacle 4 (this file prints in landscape)

      PDF of Cones Course


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Information for 2021 ADT #3 At Atonna's in Paulden

Link to the Results

Date: Saturday, May 15th, 2021.


Location: Atonna's in Paulden

        Directions will be emailed to all participants.

Dressage Judge: Lois Whittington 

Technical Delegate: Gary Gang

Dressage Tests: Training Test A, Preliminary Test A, Intermediate Test A:  


Cones Map and Obstacle Diagrams 

Cones Map   Obstacle 1   Obstacle 2   Obstacle 3   Obstacle 4

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Information for 2021 ADT At Chino Valley

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel this event.

Due to all the rain, the fields we were going to use are weed bound, and there is not enough man power or equipment to properly take care of that issue or to build hazards in time for this event. We are looking to reschedule sometime in April. Sorry for any inconvenience. Also, entry numbers were very low to date, and we were not even sure enough would come in before the deadline. Many expressed that they have not been able to drive their horses, due to weather/heat. 


Next event will be Black Canyon City. Entry available soon. Those who paid online will be credited the amount you would have been refunded, and should pay only any additional amount owed if you enter the next ADT. Those paying with a check will have your check destroyed.


Listed as available. Course maps 1 week prior.

       Safety Check Sheet


      Obstacle Maps (Hazards)

      Cones Course


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ADT #4 & #5 OF THE 2021 SERIES

Ranch pic.jpg

BLACK CANYON CITY ADT #4 and #5  Entry is Now Open     Quick Link to Entry Form

Or scroll down to find everything. All the information and downloads for this event are on this page. Cones and Obstacle maps are available below one week prior to event. 


Event Date: ADT #4 at BCC is October 16 and ADT #5 is Oct. 17, 2021. Back to Back events are planned and are dependent on having enough entries both days. Interest to date seems sufficient, so Entry is now open. Deadline to have your Entry arrive is Oct. 6.


Deep Canyon Ranch

18181 E Deep Canyon Trail 

Black Canyon City, AZ 85324.   Facebook: Deep Canyon Ranch

Anyone planning to enter this venue needs to submit this form, unless it was already signed on an entry form.

  General Event Release/Waiver Form      


Driving Directions From Phoenix: From I-17, take exit 244 and turn Left, and go to the second stop sign and turn left onto Old Black Canyon Rd.  Turn right at 1st drive, Deep Canyon Trail -stay on this all the way down to site. Look for signs.

Coming From the North of exit 244: take exit 244 and turn right onto Deep Canyon Trail, stay on this all the way down to site.


Event Organizer: Rita Self    Use this link to E-mail Rita (may not work for all)


Want to Volunteer? Approximately 15 volunteers are needed to help run this event each day.  

Use this contact link to volunteer or ask for more information about volunteering.


Food on Site: Available on site for Sat. and Sunday Breakfast (various breakfast burritos), and Lunch both days - hot dogs or hamburgers. Bring $ for any purchase. We are not pre-ordering on the Entry Form. Lunch (price is around $7.00) includes chips and a drink. Lunch will be provided for scheduled volunteers.

On Site Stabling: 20 stalls are available, first come, first served. Preference will be given to those overnighting, so availability of a day only stall remains to be seen. You may bring your own portable stall.


Start Time/Schedule: 1st Dressage Test is tentatively set for 8:30 am, but could change to 8:00 am depending on number of entries; Check in with TD for Safety Check at least 15 min. prior to test time and bring your completed Safety Check List (required for each day). Report to Cones Course after dressage test. Obstacles begins after the lunch break. 


Dressage Judge for ADT #4 Saturday: Vivian Creigh, Tucson. FEI Driver and experienced judge.

Dressage Judge for ADT #5 Sunday: Lois Whittington, ridden dressage judge and trainer and experienced with our events.


Cones Judge: Peggy Jaeger


Technical Delegate: Rita Self


Dressage Tests for this event: ADS Tests: New Arena Driving Trial Tests-A at all levels.

Horses and Pony Ring size is close to 40 X 80 meters. Enter into the ring and drive around until whistle sounds to begin your test. There is no room to drive around the outside of the ring. VSE ring size will be 30 X 60 meters, inside the larger ring-follow test directions. 

Download pdf files of Tests: 

Training Level: Diagram from Driver's view -  AT Training A; Written Directives Only.

Preliminary Level: Diagram from Driver's view -  AT Preliminary A; Written Directives Only.

Intermediate Level: Diagram from Driver's view -  AT Intermediate A; Written Directives Only.

For your information, for all test levels, the "Turnout" collective mark will not be used. All other collective marks are 0-10 points;

the one individual movement with a 2 X coefficient is listed here for each Test:

  • Training, movement 7

  • Preliminary, movement 11

  • Intermediate, movement 10

These tests have you leave the arena at a walk. We are changing that to leave at a trot to save time.

Entry Form: Download the PDF Entry Form

                   Link to Online Enter/Pay Form


Close of Entries: Entries must be received by Oct. 6. Julie Mitchell will be accepting the entries. If mailing an entry, mail soon enough to allow for slower mail delivery these days. The address will be on the entry form.

Fees if paying by check: Entry fee for each ADT is $60. Barn Stall fee is $30 for 1 night and/or day use (this includes bedding). If staying two nights, the fee for stabling is $40. You MAY NOT bring your own shavings/the stalls will be pre-bedded.


Dry camping fee (no electrical available) is $20 for one night, or $30 if staying both Friday and Saturday nights.


If you do not get a stall and do not dry camp, there is a show from trailer fee of $10 per trailer per day. Or if you dry camp and bring your own pen, pay instead $20 for one night, and $30 for two nights and do not also pay the show from trailer fee.  

If you Enter Online, you must also Pay online. There will be additional fees included in the prices on the online form to cover the processing and transaction fees we are charged for online payment processing by PayPal. These fees are not refundable, even if you cancel before close of entry. Your Entry is not considered as received until payment is also verified. Some folks seem to have problems with the Online payments. The entry form is submitted, but they are never redirected to PayPay to process payment. If you do not receive a receipt notification from PayPal, no payment was made. Check your browser and unblock pop-ups, then try again. If still no luck, please email Peggy for other options for the payment.

Junior Driver Information for this Event, per Organizer:

Junior Driver 10 or under require a knowledgeable adult horseman in the cart at all times while on site. 11, 12, and 13 year olds require a knowledgeable adult horseman in the cart at all times while on site, except during the Dressage test, if driving a single VSE entry, and driver is capable. For 14-18 year olds, the requirement for a knowledgeable adult horseman in the cart is at the organizer‘s discretion, and will be decided on an individual basis after consulting with the parent or trainer of the entry and knowledge of the equine. Be sure to ask at the event if you do not know your specific requirement. The TD should be consulted on whether navigators are being required for 14-18 aged juniors driving a VSE or small pony in obstacles, as this is optional for adult drivers with that size equine. (Competition age is the age that will be reached in 2021.)


ADCS Refund Policy for This Event: This Venue has several fees for use of the facility that are higher than we usually pay at some other venues. Because of this, if you scratch after Close of Entries, it is at the discretion of the organizer if fees may be refunded and if they are,  it would be minus $20 and any online processing fees associated with the entry. Only exception would be if we have a waiting list to fill your spot, or you find someone. "No Shows" day of the event will receive no refund. Cancelation before the close of entries, will get a full refund less the online processing fees if you paid Online.



      Safety Check Sheet


      Obstacle Maps (Hazards) - one week prior

      Cones Course - one week prior

Just some reminders about downloads/printing copies. The browser you use, and the device, affects how these files appear and the quality. With some, when you click on the file, only a screen view will appear, which may not be the best quality. Better quality results from actually downloading the file to your computer before printing. Again, the browser may determine how you get the file to your computer. Some have a small window with a download icon that will appear if you hover over the bottom of the screen view with your cursor. Others require going to the FILE menu at the top of your computer screen and using the "export as pdf" under that drop down menu. Some browsers may download the file to your computer just by clicking on the file and to view the file you will have to open it on your computer. This requires knowing the destination of your downloads on your computer, which can usually be set through your browser's preferences.

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