Meet Our Board Members

Executive Board of Trustees:

Diane Kastama, President
Six time FEI Para-Driving Medalist at the international level and USEF ParaEquestrian and Technical Committee Member, Diane has been paralyzed since 1991 and is an expert on adaptive equipment and carriages. Diane actively competes with both singles and pairs. She was awarded the 2006 Chronicle of the Horse Driver of the year and was recently awarded the 2014 Becky Grand Hart Trophy at the USEF’s Pegasus awards. Diane continues to mentor new drivers whether they are disabled or not. Diane strongly believes that carriage driving is a sport that brings everyone together, and continues to work tirelessly towards equality in the sport and opportunities for the disabled.
Sherry Davis, Vice President
Northern California
I acquired polio in August 1945 as a baby. This has currently affected my right leg, right hip, left back and left arm. As a child I couldn’t walk before the age of 3, so my parents put me on a pony!
-1963 BS in Chemistry, UCSB
-1965 MS in Chemistry, Cal Tech
Work: -Veterans Administration – Psychopharmacology and cancer research.
-State of Hawaii – water quality studies
-Davis Engineering – environmental studies, mine safety
-Self employed – training horses
-Case Management Director – Rite of Passage treatment center
-Retired – 2014
-Involved with horses since age 2, Onondarka Riders
-Judging – AQHA, APHA
-Showing – English, Western, Jumping, Driving.
Began Combined Driving competitively in 2015 and LOVE IT!!!!

Marcia Putnam, Secretary
With roots in New England through college, Marcia embarked on a 30 year corporate career in data processing that gave her the opportunity to experience many areas of the United States and Europe. One of the highlights of this experience was a 13 year residency in England which enabled her to live in the countryside on farms and indulge her life-long passion for horses. She has been in the saddle ever since. She is currently living in California and still riding (or trying to!) and is working hands-on with horses on a daily basis. Retirement from the computer business in 2008 has opened new vistas. She has been exposed to the world of disabilities through her daughter who suffered a high level spinal cord injury in 2009. This led to the amazing discovery of carriage driving and US Driving for the Disabled and the incredible people and opportunities involved in this sport.
Katie Twohy, Treasurer
Southern California
Katie Twohy is a licensed clinical psychologist, and she has used her Ph.D. in psychology in a variety of clinical areas. She continues to practice full time and has a busy professional schedule. She is also a lifelong equine lover and enthusiast who has “graduated” to carriage driving and enjoys Pleasure Shows, CDEs, Driving Derbies, Recreational Driving, and everything associated with driving.

Katie is a proud member of USDFD, and is thrilled that driving has allowed her to continue to be an active horsewoman in spite of her physical limitations. She is inspired by the accomplishments of other drivers, and grateful to all of the drivers who have helped her as she develops her own driving abilities.

Committee Chairs

Meghan Benge
Publicity Chair and Website Coordinator
South Carolina
Meghan is an active, competitive driver at the FEI level who has dwarfism. She has competed at two World Championships for Drivers with Disabilities. In 2008, she was the individual gold and team silver medalist at Greven, Germany. Currently, Meghan competes a pair of Welsh Ponies at the FEI level in shows up and down the East Coast. Meghan’s family runs an active Welsh Pony breeding farm. There are a number of ponies by their breeding stallion, Tylwyth Mystic Prince, competing in combined driving events and pleasure driving shows. Meghan is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in photography and graphic design. Meghan currently works freelance as an equine photographer, web and print designer for various clients.
Carol Bowersock, Oregon
Membership Committee Chair
Carol was born in Kansas City, MO, but grew up in Alexandria, VA, and spent most of her adult life in Middleburg, VA. Unwilling to spend another summer in the heat and humidity, she moved to Oregon in 2001 and has never regretted it. While living in Middleburg, she hunted with both Orange County and Middleburg Hunts. With her twin sister Frances, Carol helped run the Middleburg Spring Races and the old Middleburg Three Day Event as well as the Middleburg Orange County Pony Club activities. She was also Mayor of Middleburg. In Oregon, Carol has switched her interests to Combined Driving. She does not drive but she loves to navigate and help out in other ways. She serves as treasurer of the CDE at Inavale (where she helps her sister who is secretary).
Marcie Quist
Team Support/Competitive Driving Committee Chair
North Carolina
Marcie Quist found her start in the horse world in an unlikely location: at a pony barn in New York City. Through the years, she’s worked her way out of the city to horse lover’s heaven – Southern Pines, North Carolina. Today, she has her own barn, competes at Advanced level combined driving events, is an American Driving Society (ADS)-licensed judge and Technical Delegate, and if that weren’t enough, works full-time as a lawyer representing disabled veterans at the Department of the Army at Fort Bragg, NC.

“Needless to say, it is sometimes heartbreaking but very rewarding work to help those who have given so much for all of us,”

Quist is very active in the ADS because she said she believes it’s an important organization that needs support from members to make it the best it can be. “While I’d like to have some influence over how the sport grows and changes, I also want to just help do the work to make sure it is there for us,” Quist said. The ADS has provided her with opportunities to have fun and succeed with her horses, so she is giving back however she can.

“Carriage driving is a great sport with great people – I want to allow others to see that, too,” she said. Through everything she does, Quist tries to keep a balanced outlook on her activities, While competitions are a big part of her life, she gets tremendous joy out of training and getting her horses fit as well.

Melissa K. Yarbrough
Education/Outreach Committee Chair
West Coast Florida
Melissa Yarbrough, BCBA is the Founder and Executive Director of Inspire Equine Therapy Program, a PATH International Member center located in Clearwater, FL. She has been a PATH registered instructor since 2001. Her passion for horses started at the early age of five with riding lessons. This passion continued with her family owning racing thoroughbreds and her own hunter jumper show horse. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in 1997 in Animal Science from Purdue University specializing in Equine Reproduction and Behavior. She continued on in her education after seven years in the zoological/ animal training field, and acquired her Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of South Florida. She is currently a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

Melissa has been driving horses both personally and professionally since 1992. The first horses she drove were a 4 horse hitch of Clydesdales. Melissa loves her draft horses both big and small. She currently is a PATH International Level 2 Driving Instructor and member of the PATH Driving Subcommittee. She is working towards her PATH Driving Evaluator status. She is also the PATH International Region 5 State Representative for North Florida. She competes with her Haflinger Simon in Dressage, Cones, and Pleasure Classes. Melissa enjoys taking her students with disabilities to driving competitions where they can show off their hard work. Melissa is so proud to be a member of USDFD.

Board of Trustees

Nubby Errickson
Starting to ride at the age of 4 years old, getting her first horse at 5, Nubby has grown up and lived her life in the world of horses. Beginning her show career at the age of 13, in Albuquerque, NM, in a Western venue, she soon switched to Hunter/Jumpers. Her history with horses was always with the tough ones, the ones no one else wanted. Once they were made into dependable horses, they were sold and she started another. And so it went, throughout her life. Western riding, Hunter/Jumpers, Dressage, 3-Day Eventing, Fox Hunting with Juan Thomas Hounds, then Back to Dressage and as Trakehner Warmblood Breeder. When her physical self said “No more riding!” she found Combined Driving. Something she ironically had wanted to do, throughout her life.

Her profession was as a Certified (Registered) Nurse Operating Room. Now retired, her passion, other than horses, is as an Artist and Quilter. After moving to Oregon in 2004, she began to drive despite her physical challenges and became active in The Equestrian Institute Driving, acting as Entry Secretary for two years, occasionally as Show Secretary, and on as a Board of Directors “worker bee”. She is now on the Board of Western, Whips and Wheels – a very active driving association in Portland, Oregon.

Ginny Leal
Northern California
I have, been driving with a disability for about 8 years and have done serious competitive driving for about 5 years now. I had polio when I was 5 years old in San Francisco. I am a school counselor/LCSW and am semi-retired. I have had some experience in grant writing and enjoy actively recruiting new para drivers into the competitive arena using my horse and equipment.

I drive two Haflingers, Mr. Maurice & Dancer. I went last year to World Para-Driving competition as an alternate and got to meet and watch some great drivers, including our own competitors. What a great learning experience. I have been training with a top international level driver nearby for many years as well as a dressage trainer in the area.

Boo Martin
New Hampshire
Boo is a life-long horsewoman and avid driver. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Touchstone Farm. This organization is a not for profit which serves a wide variety of campers, students, families and veterans on her historic home in NH. Touchstone is the home of Pony Farm, a girls’ specialty horse camp, with daily riding and driving lessons for a ‘horse of your own” experience. The camp is fully accredited by the American Camping Association and is about to celebrate its 45th Anniversary. She also began Horse Power, a therapeutic riding and driving program, fully accredited by PATH, Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Riding, formerly NARHA). Horse Power serves people of all ages with cognitive, psychological, physical and learning challenges. Horse Power is in its 26th year of continuous operation. Operation Horse Power is about to begin its 10th year of service to veterans and their families.

Boo is a PATH certified Master Therapeutic Riding Instructor, PATH Therapeutic Driving Instructor Associate Evaluator and Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor. She is also a Level 1 Driver with the CAA Driver Proficiency Program and is expected to move to Level 2 or 3 in 2016. She has trained and driven singles, pairs and two four in hand teams. She is currently competing a pair at the Training Level and will move to Preliminary in 2016. She has served on a number of local and national boards, receiving numerous awards. In addition to teaching, she has authored several national articles and presented at numerous international conferences about therapeutic riding and driving. She is a member of the American Driving Society, Carriage Association of America, PATH, Intl., the Myopia Driving Club, and the Granite State Carriage Association. She is honored to serve on the board for Driving for the Disabled.

Hardy Zantke, Torrance, CA
Hardy Zantke learned to drive horses as a youngster with draft-teams at his grandfather’s drayage company in East Germany. He later had a formal riding education in the West German army. After immigrating to the U.S. with his wife Jutta and settling in Torrance, CA, they became one of the top competitors in Combined Driving in the USA in the 80’s and 90’s with their pairs of 17 hand bay Holsteiner geldings. They competed regularly throughout the entire U.S. and Canada and were first alternate of the U.S. team at the 1993 World Pair Driving Championship. They brought up two pairs from importing them as three year olds to being longlisted with the USET. They also competed with a four-in-hand and reached the USET List of Developing Drivers with the team. They retired from active competition in 2005. Hardy is a retired transportation executive. He is a licensed FEI International Driving Judge as well as FEI Para-Equestrian Driving International Judge and actively judges here and abroad. He is an Honorary Director of the American Driving Society and serves on various committees of USEF and ADS. He has served as Chef d’Equipe since 1996 for thirteen U.S. Teams which brought home five medals. Hardy writes for various driving magazines and his articles are published in Australia, Germany, Italy, Canada, and the USA. He received the ADS Presidents Award for his
contributions to driving.
John Freiburger, Fitchburg, WI
John Freiburger is a fourth generation driver who has been involved in various disciplines of professional showing and training since 1985. He owns Hickory Knoll Farm where he imports and breeds German Sport Ponies and sells marathon and custom pleasure carriages, is an ADS Judge as well as an experience ADS organizer and course designer. John is the President of the American Driving Society, is on the Board of the USEF, a member of the FEI Affiliates Working Group, the High Performance Committee and the USEF Driving Committee. He organized the ADS events at the World Equestrian Games, 2010, in Kentucky. John teaches and hosts many clinics each year, believing that good education and basic skills will bring new drivers into the sport in a successful manner.
Susan Guinan, Loxahatchee, FL
Susan Guinan grew up in Bucks County, PA, and South Florida. She attended Rutgers University, studying Agricultural Business and Marketing. She worked for Merrill Lync in NYC and London, where she lived for 17 years and where she raised her two boys. During her time in England she competed at Burghley, Windsor and Sandringham. Her passion for Driving for the Disabled began when she was an able-bodied whip for The Old Weston Driving for the Disabled Club, an affiliate of the Riding for the Disabled Association. She held driving shows and fundraisers for this organization at her home in England. Susan returned to Florida in 2004 and now combines her passion for both horses and business at Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center; she had been a part of the fundraising committee for many years and joined the staff in 2010. She is responsible for developing donors, sponsorship, and fundraising for the center and is currently developing a driving program there. She says, “I am passionate about all things equine and continually amazed at the kindness and encouragement our equine partners share without prejudice.
Jody Cutler
After my husband, Gregg, finished Vet School we moved to southern California and met a retired neighbor who restored carriages and drove a donkey named Ezra (he had come from the pound). It wasn’t long before we were both hooked on driving. I had found something we could both do with our one horse.

One horse turned into the eight Welsh Ponies we now drive and ride and a carriage collection of over 20 vehicles. Both of us drive and officiate in carriage driving competitions. I have served as President of ADS and on the Boards of Directors of the US Equestrian Federation and ADS. I currently serve on both the ADS and USEF Pleasure Driving Committees.

Our Welsh Ponies led to a friendship with Mickie Bowen and the late Sybil Dukehart. In the years when Sybil was USDFD I was able to visit her about 6 times a year due to a job that took me to Maryland. When she decided to sell her gray ponies because they just weren’t big enough for the wheelchair accessible carts or her coach, two of them came to us and were our wheelers for many years.

While judging the open carriage classes at a Morgan show in San Diego, I met Diane Kastama. While she was driving I did not realize she was a paraplegic. Our friendship has lasted many years and led to me going to Breda with her last year.

In addtion to the carriage driving, I have shown dogs and served as a 4H leader for 25 years for dogs, horses and sheep. I am active with Rotary International and serve as my club’s International Chair.

Honorary Trustees

-Mickie Bowen, Unionville, PA

Past Presidents

-Sybil Dukehart: Founder
-Mike Muir: President 2000-2003
-Mary Gray: President 2003-2005
-Debra Banfield: President 2005-2011
-Bev White: President 2011-2013
-Melissa Boyd: President 2013-2015