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The 2023 Arizona Driving Trial Series 

This page contains information on what our AZ Driving Trail entails, as well as specific information about 2023  scheduled events. Scroll down or use the links below to take you to a specific event.


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




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 2023 ADT #1 & #2 AT Apache Junction Rodeo Grounds. RESULTS
Event Date: ADT #1  Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023  and ADT #2  Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

Results are now posted on the

2023 Event Results Page




Rodeo Park Event Center
1590 E. Lost Dutchman Blvd.
Aerial photo     Get Directions    General Park Rules    
Grounds Map (see files below )
  Quick Link to Files    

Link to Release/Waiver Form for Volunteers, navigators, or anyone in a competitor's party who DID NOT sign the waiver on the entry form.


Dressage Judge for ADT #1 (Sat.):  

Krista Peek, local Dressage Trainer, (Peek Dressage) has earned her USDF Bronze and Silver medals, USDF L  Education Grad.                                           

Dressage Judge for ADT #2 (Sun.):  

Molly Martin, local Dressage Trainer, (Martin Dressage Training) has earned the USDF Bronze, Silver, Gold Medals and Bars                            Cones Judge: Lyle Brown

Technical Delegate: Rita Self

Organizer: Peggy Jaeger

Dressage Tests for this event: ADS Test A at all Levels - Training A w/ Diagram; Preliminary A w/ Digram; Intermediate A w/Diagram. These are the regular tests, not the AT tests. Score Sheets and scoring have been adjusted so Presentation will not be judged.  Diagrams (on page 2) are the judge's view from C. ADS members can download the diagram view from A from the ADS website page with dressage tests. The scoresheets we will use are linked here, so any new folks can see all that is judged, and not just the movements. Directives alone can be found on the ADS site.

Arena Size: Horses and Ponies will use a 40 X 80 meter arena. VSE will use a 30 X 60 meter arena. 



Rest rooms on site. No vendors. Lunch/water provided for volunteers.

Dressage, Cones and Obstacles do not have separate fencing around them, but entire event area is fenced. Gate to main parking area is left open. Parking area is a large area and rigs should keep extra distance between them due to Covid. 



Stock pens available for approximately 20 horses to overnight on Friday and Saturday. No guarantee of day use only pens available. Cost per night is $5 per pen. No covers on pens.

RV Overnighting on site is available at no charge. Dry camping only. 

Junior Driver Information: 10 and under drivers must have a knowledgeable adult horseman in the cart with them at all times, on the grounds and in the rings.

11-13 year olds must also have a knowledgeable adult horseman in the cart with them at all times, on the grounds and in the rings.

There is no exception at this venue for single VSE with a capable driver in dressage and cones, as those rings are not fenced in.

For 14-18 year olds, the requirement for an 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.  Juniors this age need to ask at

the competition (see TD) if they require an adult with them.

Note: Single VSE and Small Ponies do not require a navigator in obstacles (hazards), but this may not apply to all junior drivers over

13 (Organizer’s discretion). Ask the TD at the event to see if your over 13 Jr. driving a VSE needs a navigator.


FILES FOR ADT #1& #2: (added as available - course maps 1 week prior)

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


Safety Check Sheet:  One needed each day. Turn in at your Safety Check which is prior to your dressage time.

Cones Course pdf   Obstacle 1   Obstacle 2   Obstacle 3   Obstacle 4   Updated Grounds for 2023

Just some reminders about downloads/printing copies. The browser you use, and the device, affects how files appear and the quality. With some, when you click on the file link, 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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Files ADT 1
ADT 3&4

ADT #3 & #4 OF THE 2023 SERIES

Ranch pic.jpg

BLACK CANYON CITY 2023 ADT #3 and #4      Quick Link to Files                     RESULTS

Event Dates:  March 4 and March 5, 2023  



Dressage Judge: 

Cones Judge


Organizer: Rita Self 


Deep Canyon Ranch

18181 E Deep Canyon Trail 

Black Canyon City, AZ 85324.    Driving Directions

Entry Forms: Under construction, please check back. Should be available the first week in Feb. 


Dressage Tests for this event: Since these are not the AT tests we usually do at this venue, we think we will have you enter the ring and drive around as soon as the previous driver exits, and when the whistle blows, exit the arena and re-enter to start your test.

Training Level: regular ADS Training Test A   (under construction, check back)

Preliminary Level: regular ADS Preliminary Test B

Intermediate Level: regular ADS Intermediate Test B (under construction, check back)

Score Sheets and scoring have been adjusted so Presentation will not be judged.  Diagrams (on page 2 of the above files) are the judge's view from C. ADS members can download the diagram view from A from the ADS website page with dressage tests. The scoresheets we will use are linked here, so any new folks can see all that is judged, and not just the movements. Directives alone can be found on the ADS site

FILES FOR THIS EVENT: Posted as available, maps posted one week prior. (If underlined, file is available.)



Safety Check Sheet:  One needed each day. Turn in at your Safety Check which is prior to your dressage time.


       Obstacle Maps.pdf 

       Cones Course - 


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Information for 2023 ADT #5 At Atonna's in Paulden


2023 ADT #5 At Atonna's in Paulden.    See the Results HERE


Dates: Saturday, September 30, 2023

Location: Atonna's in Paulden.        Directions will be emailed to all participants.

Dressage Judge: 

Technical Delegate: 

Overnighting on site: Limited number of stalls available first come. $10 ? per night. Dry camping welcome at no charge..

Lunches: Lunches available @$12? per lunch. May be ordered on the entry form. (2023 fees for overnight and lunch not yet known.)

Dressage Tests: 

Links to copies of the tests:

 NOTE: All dressage tests for all equine sizes will be in a 40 X 80 meter arena.


Cones Map and Obstacle Diagrams (added as available, usually 1 week prior)

Course Maps for this Event-Cones and Obstacles

Safety Check Sheet:  One needed each day. Turn in at your Safety Check which is prior to your dressage time.

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