18 May 2020

Dear Members

Federal Council has been asked several questions following its announcement on 16 May 2020 that Club Rallies can re-commence. In responding, Federal Council also directs you to the announcements on 18 May 2020 with the Risk Guidelines post COVID-19. The following are the questions and the responses:

Question 28th May is not a Saturday.
Response It is from 12.01am Saturday 30 May 2020.

Question Can only members of club running rally day attend or any ACDS member?
Response Members of that Club only. You should also be guided by what your State is saying. In many cases it is only those who need to be at the rally – i.e. the member driving, a groom if necessary and those necessary to run the rally. In most cases, the government/health body and many other equestrian bodies are stating “no visitors’. Also, most bodies are recommending “arrive, compete, leave policy. In the case of a rally, it should be drive, instead of compete.

Question Presumably One Day Activity cannot be used?
Response No, as it is only members who can drive at a rally.

Question Presumably social distancing would mean only 1 person per vehicle?
Response Yes unless they are immediate family living in the same household.

Peter Lee
Federal President

Club Rallies Q&A 18-05-2020


As the Federal Government and State Governments commence to relax restrictions on social gatherings, Federal Council have set out the following rules for all ACDS activities, including organised driving activities and rallies, i.e. any activity that requires a Club to minute an activity.
The purpose of the rules is to ensure that the activities are conducted within government guidelines and to ensure the health and safety of members and any other persons at ACDS activities. In preparing the risk management rules, Federal Council is conscious that the age demographic of the ACDS means that many members are in the high risk area.
It is the responsibility of State Branches, Clubs and organising committees to enforce these rules.

Members are required to conduct themselves (and request their grooms) to not only uphold the rules, but also the spirit of the rules, to ensure the health and safety of all participants and volunteers.
The rules are as follows:

  1. Social gathering limitations are to be observed as pronounced in your State from time to time. It is important to be aware of the different limitations for indoor and outdoor activities. It is the responsibility of the organising committee to ensure that the total number of drivers, grooms and officials at the activity location do not exceed the relevant social gathering limitations. For this purpose, event organisers should
    require attendee’s to register (including the number of grooms attending) to attend the activity. The event organisers should adopt an “arrive, compete, leave” approach for the activity.
  2. Social distancing, as set out in commentary from governments and medical authorities advising governments, must be observed. This will include social distancing on a carriage which means in most cases, a carriage will not be able to include both a driver and groom. The only exception is family members on a carriage.
  3. Notices of social distancing are to be clearly displayed on activity schedules and around the location of the activity.
  4. Clubs and members should check with the operators of the venue such as Local Shire, Local Council, government department, management committee’ to ensure the venue is open for activities. This should include other user groups to ensure social gathering limitations are observed by all.
    Risk Management Guidelines Post Covid-19 For All ACDS Activities – Version 1.0 – 17 May 2020
  5. All persons at the activity must complete the Bio-Security Form. The form should be attached to an activity schedule (or sent to participants prior to the activity) in order for participants to be familiar with the requirement to complete the form. If the participant does not complete the form, they are to be requested to leave the location immediately. For the purpose of this form, participants are defined as
    activity organisers and officials, drivers and grooms. This form is to be retained by the Event Organiser.
  6. The ACDS recommends that all persons attending an activity download the COVID-19 App so that in the event that another person attending the activity is subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19, medical authorities can contact other attendees.
  7. No canteens or similar are allowed at activities.
  8. Clubrooms should not be open during activities.
  9. Organising committees are to ensure that toilet blocks are cleaned pre and post activity and during the activity if necessary. Appropriate signage in relation to the washing of hands should be displayed.
  10. No overnight stays.
  11. No indoor events are to be run.

Risk management re COVID-19

Restrictions on driving will be eased

16 May 2020

Dear Members
On behalf of Federal Council, I would like to advise that restrictions on driving will be eased to allow Clubs to hold Club rallies, effective Saturday 28 May 2020.
Federal Council will distribute to States, for forwarding to Clubs and members, two documents which are fundamental to the easing of restrictions, namely

  1. Risk management rules to follow for all Club rallies (and in time, other activities). Please note that this means that only Club members can drive at the rallies; and
  2. Bio-security form for completion by all persons at a rally.
    In preparing the risk management rules, Federal Council is conscious that the age demographic of the ACDS means that many members are in the high risk area. Our main purpose in preparing these rules and the form is to ensure that the Club rallies are conducted within government guidelines and to ensure the health and safety of members and any other persons at Club rallies.

Yours faithfully
Federal President

Club rallies announcement 16-05-2020


13 May 2020

Dear Members
Federal Council would like to take this opportunity to update members on several matters that have been affected due to COVID-19 cessation period.

  1. Federal Conference
    As a result of the current cessation period based on Federal and State government laws, Federal Council has made the decision to cancel the Federal Conference for The Federal Conference takes several months to organise and given the uncertainty with the period of social distancing and ban on gatherings, it is not possible to plan and hold a Conference at the current time.
  2. Federal Annual General Meeting
    The Federal Rules state that the annual general meeting must be held in June or July each year. The ACT Associations Incorporation Act requires an association to hold its AGM within 5 months of the end of the financial year (in the case of the ACDS, this means by 30 September). The Rules require a quorum of 20 members present in person. Furthermore, both our Rules and the Act, together with the model rules for associations in the ACT, do not allow the ACDS to use technology to hold the AGM.
    All members are entitled to attend the AGM and at the current time, a number of the borders within Australia are still closed which means all members cannot attend the meeting (whether they wish to do so or not).
    Accordingly, Federal Council believes it cannot hold the AGM under current laws relating to COVID-19 restrictions and has decided to hold over the AGM until the law allows it to legally convene the meeting.
    Once all restrictions on holding the AGM are lifted, Federal Council will convene the meeting.
  1. Annual Financial statements
    The annual financial statements have been prepared and are being sent to the
    auditors. Once the audit report is completed, the statements will be available to
  2. Nominations For Office Bearer Positions For The 2020-2021 Year
    In accordance with Rule 16.1 of the ACDS Rules and Regulations, at the close of
    nominations for candidates for election as office bearers on 15 April 2020,
    nominations for the following positions had been received by the Federal Secretary:
    Federal President Peter Lee
    Federal Vice President Kate Wholagan
    Federal Treasurer Leonie Hartshorne.
    In accordance with Rule 16.3, as there is only one nomination for each of these
    positions, those nominees shall be deemed to be elected.
    Subsequent to the closing date of nominations and prior to the date of this
    notification, a nomination for the position of Federal Secretary has been received
    from Tom Dowling.

Federal President

members update 13-05-2020

ACDS Policy on return from COVID-19 Cessation

11 May 2020

Dear Members
ACDS Policy on return from COVID-19 Cessation
Federal Council discussed last Wednesday night, on its regular Zoom meetings that have been instigated since the advent of COVID-19 cessation of driving activities, the return to driving activities.

A number of members from different States have contacted the Federal Executive to ask about a return to driving activities.

The Federal Executive has prepared some rules to observe at ACDS activities when driving can commence. These have been forwarded to Federal Council for approval and will be discussed on Wednesday night at our next meeting to be held via Zoom.

Our emphasis is to ensure the health and safety of our members.

In the meantime, I would ask that people check the rules in your State by reading official announcements from your State Government and State Medical Authorities as this is what our rules will be based upon. Many State directives on social gathering limitations and distancing are different.

Social gathering limitations and social distancing will be a key part of our rules.

Yours faithfully
Federal President

ACDS policy on return from COVID-19 Cessation

May Online Photo Show

The May online show is now taking entries.

The Classes are new and this month it is open to everyone not just ACDS members.
Entries will be judged by someone not affiliated with the ACDS.
The new judging rings are;

Fun for all
Under 18
Heavy horses
Oz Trec

Please ensure you read the conditions of entry and abide by them.
ACDS online photo show May 2020 entry



ACDS Online Photo Show

FaceBook Photo Show open to all ACDS Members to enter and anyone can vote. 

Download the entry form with full details, collect your photos and enter one class or several

Getting plenty of views on the ACDS Online show but not many votes! (Likes). 
Entries close on 24th April.
Voting will be open until 30th April.
Get in on the fun, it’s Free!!

Re – Accreditation of Officials

3 April 2020
Dear Members

Federal Executive wishes to advise that any member who was due to re-accredit as a dressage judge ((novice or advanced), a technical delegate (novice or advanced), course designer or cones judge, between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2021, will have their relevant qualification recognized until 30 June 2021.
Once the ACDS members can re-commence driving, further clinics will be organized for new members wishing to accredit and existing officials to re-accredit.

Federal President

Extension of accreditation 03-04-2020

COVID-19 Cessation of Carriage Driving Activities in Australia – update

2 April 2020
Dear Members

On 15 March 2020, Federal Council announced the cessation of all carriage driving activities in Australia until 30 April 2020. At the time, we advised that Federal Council will monitor developments of COVID-19 over the next few weeks including advice from the Department of Health and the Government and will provide further advice before 30 April 2020.
Since that time, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to develop and the advice from the Department of Health and the Governments is clear to all about social distancing and stay at home other than in certain cases.
As such, Federal Council wishes to advise that the cessation of carriage driving activities in Australia will be extended indefinitely.
As previously advice, this relates to all activities including CDEs, dressage days, shows, pleasure and endurance drives, fun days, rallies, meetings and any other activities organised by Clubs or State Branches. Please note that it does not relate to use of technology for meetings however we recommend that any State Branches and Clubs wishing to use technology refer to the announcement on 26 March 2020 for guidelines.

Federal President

COVID-19 update 02-04-2020