Many amateur driver clubs against age restrictions

by Dave Briggs

In response to a letter in our Aug. 27 issue (2017-08-27 Feedback) stating concerns that the GSY amateur driving club may be entertaining age restrictions, a number of other clubs reached out to Harness Racing Update this week to say they are against placing age restrictions on their races.

Here are a few responses:

NAADA (North American Amateur Drivers Association) has categorically rejected any rule aimed at writing out any driver. We predicted a long time ago, when the GSY started, that it would hurt the amateur movement. Unfortunately, it appears that that prediction is coming true. It is surprising to me that the Meadowlands would put this on the condition sheet as it is still state-owned property. Anyone who has amateur status is welcome in NAADA and will continue to be. All our rules and conditions apply equally regardless of age or talent. I believe that the Billings, NAADA and most of the amateur clubs will continue to accept all who qualify. NAADA named Hannah Miller to represent the USA in the last World Cup and she had the best showing for the U.S. ever. Directing this at her, Joe Lee and other young individuals is just wrong, plain and simple.

— Joe Faraldo / president NAADA

To all concerned:

We are very proud of the amateur movement and the way it has welcomed new drivers, young and old.

In no way do I, as president of the Florida Amateur Driving Club, promote or condone discrimination of any kind. We pride ourselves in that we bring in new racing blood along with the support of numerous charities. Our club alone has generated nearly $200,000 to charities. Additionally, two of our country’s top professional drivers started with our club — Matt Kakaley and Anthony Napolitano.

We look forward to having Hannah Miller, Joe Lee or any other driver that may not fit any age restrictive series. Come to Florida. See you at Pompano Park.

Our charities count on it!

— Dein Spriggs, president FADC