The world’s best para-equestrian carriage drivers will be competing atKronenberg, the Netherlands for the FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships from August 28 – September 20.  
US Equestrian (USE) has recently nominated the four athletes who will represent the United States as team and individual competitors:  


Tracy Bowman
Robert Giles
Diane Kastama
Theresa Leal
STAFF – The following individuals will serve as staff:
Chef d’Equipe – Marcie Quist
Coach – Sara Schmitt·
Veterinarian – Dr. Hildegard Skowronek (GER)
Tracy Bowman, Martinez, Ca
Tracy, a certified Instructor with the British Horse Society, began her thriving three-day eventing competition business in 1984 in California. Tracy has produced multiple riders to the CCI4* level and mentors many young professionals. She began competing in combined driving 8 years ago, and with her partner of the last 7 years, Taylormore Laurabelle, Tracy this year won the advanced intermediate division at Clay Station. She also won the Shady Oaks CDE Advanced Single Pony division in 2017, came in 2nd in the 2016 Shady Oaks CDE Intermediate Single Pony division and won the 2015 Sargent CDE Intermediate Single Pony division.
Robert Giles, Morriston, FL
Bob was a member of the 2014 United States team that competed in the Federation Equestre Internationale World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships at the Royal Estate in Sandringham, England, where driving a leased pony he came home with Individual Silver Grade 2 and a team Bronze Medal.
Bob grew up in the foster care system where he discovered a passion for horses. Later he joined the Marines and served our country in Vietnam.  He is the recipient of three purple hearts for his service.  He was wounded by mortar, rocket and grenade and has overcome his injuries to train and work with drivers and driving horses at his Winter Hill Driving Center in Morriston, FL.
Diane Kastama, Arroyo Grande, Ca
In 1991 Diane became paralyzed from a car accident and found carriage driving in 1994.  It is a sport that has welcomed her and fed her competitive spirit.  Diane has been to 6 World Championships for Para Drivers as a Grade 1 Driver she has come home with Individual Gold, Individual Silver and Individual Bronze, alone with Team Silver and 2 Team Bronze Medals.  She has competed with her own horses Jasper and Rupert and also leased horses.  Diane has been awarded the Becky Grant Hart Pegasus Award, FEI Silver Medal of honor, Chronical of the Horse Driver of the Year and been named to the USEF Elite Drivers.
Diane also serves as President of United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc.where she spends countless hours bringing carriage driving to the disabled community.  She strongly believes that carriage driving is an equalizing sport.
Theresa Leal, Auburn, Ca
Ginny has, been driving with a disability for about 8 years and have done serious competitive driving for 7 years. She had polio when she was 5 years old in San Francisco. She is a school counselor/LCSW and am semi-retired. She has had some experience in grant writing and enjoys actively recruiting new para drivers into the competitive arena graciously loaning her own pony and carriage. She drives two Haflingers, Mr. Maurice & Dancer. She went to the 2012 World Para-Driving competition as an alternate. She will be competing with Zoobie a lovely Fjord and she cannot thank her trainer Leslie Berndl and Zoobie’s owner Teressa Kandianis enough for this wonderful opportunity.

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2017 Para-Equestrian Driving Clinics

by USDFD on December 20, 2016

Competitive Focus:

Come improve your driving skills, learn about local, regional and international competition opportunities for the Para-Equestrian.  Driving is a great equalizing sport.  Come see and feel the freedom of being behind the reins in a carriage.  Everyone is welcome to attend and audit.    Lessons will be adapted to the skill level of each driver.  Bring your own horse and carriage or let us know if you need to borrow a horse and equipment.  Clinician: Sara Schmitt

Contact Marcie Quist

February 25-26 (CT competition on 26th): Southern Pines, NC

April 1-2: Wilton, CA at Claystation Horse Park

August 19-20: Fitchburg, WI at Hickory Knoll Farm

Introductory/Beginner Focus:

  • Clinic for Spinal Cord Injuries in conjunction with Triumph Foundation. Open to all who are interested regardless of type of disability. Basic instruction on driving with accessible carriages available. Multiple Clinicians.

Contact Diane Kastama,  805-343-6026

February 4-5: Moorpark, CA


  • Beginning Carriage Driving Clinic: Learn about carriages and harnesses, how to ground drive, harness and hitch, experience driving a horse, and safety. Open to everyone ages 10 years and older with or without a disability.  11 am to 3 pm.  $150.00  Clinician: Melissa Yarbrough

Contact Melissa K Yarbrough, at

February 18: Clearwater, Florida

All Levels Driving/Instructor Focus:

  • Four day instructor clinic geared toward PATH Therapeutic Driving Instructor Certification or any driving instructor who would like to learn more about teaching drivers with disabilities. Dinner and presentation on driving safety will take place on Monday evening. Drivers will then attend a clinic with both mounted and unmounted lectures and lessons beginning on Tuesday morning May 9th through Thursday May 11th (4PM).  Variety of practice turnouts – ponies, horses, carriages – 2 and 4 wheeled.  May stay to attend 12th – 13th  clinic below.

Contact Boo Martin, 603-654-6308

May 8-11: Temple, NH -Touchstone Farm


  • Driving Clinic and ADT competition coaching all levels. Individual lessons with your own turnout or accessible turnouts available to use (horse and carriage).  Arena Driving Trial to be held on May 13 with special division for first timers.  Accessible lodging available on site.  Clinicians: Boo Martin, Scott Monroe

Contact Boo Martin, 603-654-6308

May 12-13 (ADT Competition on 13th): Temple, NH -Touchstone Farm



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USDFD/Triumph Foundation Para-Driving Clinic

February 4, 2016

On January 23rd and 24th USDFD and the Triumph Foundation ( introduced twenty two individuals with spinal cord injuries to the exciting sport of carriage driving at the Cutler’s Oak Run Farm in Moorpark, CA. Hardy Zantke and Diane Kastama kicked off the clinic with explanations of the sport, adaptive equipment, and Q&A sessions. The […]

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Para-Driver Stefanie Putnam Triumphs Big Time at Shady Oaks CDE

October 19, 2015

Lodi, CA – October 16, 2015 – Para-Equestrian Driver Stefanie Putnam and her horse Bethesda After Dark (Shadow), brought home a big win from Shady Oaks Combined Driving Event (CDE) in Lodi, California. This prestigious three day CDE took place September 18- 20, 2015. Putnam drove over three days competing in the driven dressage test, […]

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Clinic – Newcastle, CA – August 31, 2015

August 17, 2015

For Actively Competing Para-Equestrian Drivers Newcastle, CA – August 31, 2015- The United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. (USEF) is pleased to present a one day Para Equestrian Driving Clinic featuring clinician Olof Larsson at Whispering Oaks Performance Horses in Newcastle, California. The high performance clinic is geared to currently competing para-equestrian drivers who are members […]

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Two Day USEF High Performance Para Clinic

June 29, 2015

Para-Equestrian drivers, as well as riders, attended the clinic hosted by USEF at the Rancho Murieta Equestrian Center in California. In attendance were six of our drivers working with cllnicians Hardy Zantke and Diane Kastama to whom we owe a heartfelt thank you. There were joint sessions and lunches with the para dressage riders, coaches, […]

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May 30th – Para Driving clinic at Carlisle Academy in Lyman Maine

May 8, 2015

Upcoming Clinics for Para-Equestrian Drivers Clinician: Para Equestrian World Champion Diane KastamaContact Sarah Armentroutat or 207-985-0374

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Carriage Dog Photo Contest

April 17, 2015

Here are the results of the Carriage Dog Photo Contest that ADS recently held on their facebook site – both Diane with her GoldenDoodle and Stef with her Yellow Lab finished in the top 10 out of 65 entries.  I think it is a testimony to the broad marketing appeal and publicity that our disabled drivers can […]

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Equestrienne Equal

March 23, 2015 Article was written by the gal who had interviewed Diane Kastama and wrote the article for a local newspaper, she then re-wrote it and submitted it to the National Magazine Sports and Spokes.

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VIP Diane Kastama Rides Again & Helps Team USA Win Bronze

January 23, 2015

On a recent Friday at her home on the Nipomo Mesa, Grand Meadows Sponsored FEI World Carriage Driver, Diane Kastama, took her horse Rupert out for a drive. Although she was in an automobile accident that left her paralyzed, Diane still drives carriages competitively. In late June, she helped Team USA take bronze at the […]

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