90 participants from 14 nations met from the 5th to 7th February 2016, for a wonderful weekend in Seville for the General Assembly of the Association International d ’Attelage de Tradition (AIAT).
Seville is the delightful city home of José Juan Morales, Ramon Moreno, Raimundo Coral and many of our Spanish friends, we were to visit remarkable local collections of carriages, participate in a very interesting judges’ conference thanks to the multiplicity of turnouts we were privileged to inspect. Everything ensuring that all delegates took home a dazzling memory of this stay in beautiful Andalusia.
After a warm reunion on Friday night at the Hotel Inglaterra, we set out on Saturday morning for a busy visit to the very important collection of D. Gregorio Aranda Alcantara. What a surprise it was to see upon our arrival at Monte Lirio an array teams warming up in a huge courtyard, preparing to test the AIAT judges! But first we toured the collection and we were impressed by the number and quality of carriages and exhibits - quite unique.
Then came the exceptional opportunity for judges to test their skills. 16 turnouts in English or Calecera harness put to a single horse, a pair, in tandem, then four and five-in-hands came forward in turn before the official judges and candidates-judges. This allowing everyone to establish a standard and then compare opinions under the leadership of Christian de Langlade. This was also an opportunity for delegates to meet and discuss the practical traditional aspects of the competition.
Our gratitude and thanks was enormous to all the owners of these wonderful teams, the coachman and their grooms, for all their efforts in presenting such an outstanding collection.
After a great lunch enjoyed seated in the middle of the collection, we warmly thanked the three generations of Aranda family for their hospitality, quite matchless, before our return to Seville.
On Saturday evening, we socialized and enjoyed dinner at the Museo dos Carruajes of Seville, the base of the Real Club de Enganches de Andalucía. The former monastery makes a perfect setting for such an occasion. Before the meal we enjoyed our aperitifs in the reception area surrounded by carriages before taking our place at table - sunset in Spanish time!
The next day, we set off for Salteras in Miguel Ángel Gutiérrez Camarillo, where we again found a friendly welcome and a collection of high quality types of carriages, before returning to the Museum in Seville for the AIAT Annual General Meeting.
Denmark, under the chairmanship of Henrik Koïer Andersen, generously offered to host our 2017 AGM. Henrik’s proposal was accepted with enthusiasm.