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Latest News - Traditional Driving

Annual General Meeting in Utrecht (NL)

After a three years interruption due to Covid, the Members of the Association Internationale d’Attelage de Tradition were very happy to be together again in Utrecht from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th February 2023, for their Annual General Meeting. One could feel the pleasure of the 83 participants all the time !

The Members of AIAT, Presidents of 12 National Associations, judges, technical delegates, collectionners and some interested people were there on the kind invitation of

Mr Ad van der Pluijm, President of AIAT-The Netherlands and Mr Nikolaas Conijn, who took a lot of trouble to organize the event from the beginning to the end !

It was, as usual, a good opportunity to discuss all sorts of questions, to harmonize the judgments and the scores and to work together on the problems which can occur during traditional driving competitions, generally technical problems, and the way to solve them in a friendly atmosphere.

Read more ! download the document

Debrief XIV CIAT GOLEGA 2022



On the 1st of October took place in the town of GOLEGÃ – PORTUGAL, the XIV International Driving Competition of Autumn Tradition.
24 competitors were present, 11 of Portuguese nationality and 13 of Spanish nationality. The competitors were divided into 6 classes, namely: 1 horse (3 Portuguese and 4 Spanish), pair (6 Portuguese and 7 Spanish), Unicorn (1 Spanish), 3 trunk (1 Spanish), 5 horses (1 Portuguese ) and 1 draft horse (1 Portuguese).

The 12.6 km route covered the main streets of the village and part of the agricultural field that surrounds the village.
In class 1 horse, 1nd place Manuel Valencia Robredo (ESP), 2nd place Maria Antónia Torres Delgado (ESP) and 3rd place Carlos Alberto Nunes Gomes (POR).
In pairs, Raúl Aragón Navarro (ESP) took 1st place, Juan André Quifes Garcia (ESP) 2nd place and José Varro Garrido (ESP) 3rd place.
In unicorn Lourdes Domecq (ESP), in 3 in torso Flory GutierrezReguera (ESP), in 5 horses Carlos Branco Apolinário (POR) and in draft horse (POR) Vítor Nunes Emídio.

The Iberian Cup trophy was also disputed, which contemplates the best participation of competitors in

the same classes, together, in the Seville and Golegã events of 2022.
The competition ended with an excellent dinner served at Quinta dos Álamos, during which trophies and small souvenirs were handed out.
Le trophée de la Coupe ibérique a également été disputé, qui envisage la meilleure participation des concurrents des mêmes classes, ensemble, aux épreuves de Séville et Golegã de 2022.
La compétition s'est terminée par un excellent dîner servi à Quinta dos Álamos, au cours duquel des trophées et de petits souvenirs ont été distribués.






















1st and 2nd october 2022


The CIAT Manor Hoeve, in Belgium, was a great success in the best possible conditions, thanks to an excellent organization.

The Huyghe family had offered its beautiful estate, all orientated towards the horse and tradition, including excellent infrastructures - and done everything to facilitate the job for the organizers and carriage drivers.

They also offered a beautiful exhibition of old motorcars, which was well adapted to the atmosphere of traditional driving.

In spite of all the efforts to promote the event, the number of participants was below the expectations, with fourteen turnouts, but of first class quality.

A great number of spectators could appreciate the beauty of the carriages, horses and the general harmony of the equipages.

The Presentation was judged by Ad van der Pluijm (NL), Reinhold Trapp (F) and Dirk Depaepe (B), as Matteo Bianco, who originally should have been the third judge, had just died in a tragic traffic accident, which was for all the AIAT world a terrible loss.

The judgment went very well, except for a divergence between the judges, which can happen in these events. The arguments of Mr Trapp were were quite understandable and convinced the other judges after a quiet discussion.

The Road Track went without any problem, with the following difficulties : the glass, the carpet, the on-handed loop, the stop and the rein-back.

In spite of the bad weather conditions on the Sunday, the Cone driving could take place in the large indoor arena, with a very interested public, which decided for the Prize of the Public to be offered during the general Prize giving ceremony, also in the indoor arena.

As a whole, the drivers were very happy and satisfied of the event, and will be the best ambassadors for its future ! The President of AIAT Belgium spoke about the next competition with the Huyghe family, and the organizers will to their best to welcome more foreign drivers next year. Anyway, it was a great international success and everybody was happy !

The Road Track went without any problem, with the following difficulties : the glass, the carpet, the on-handed loop, the stop and the rein-back.

In spite of the bad weather conditions on the Sunday, the Cone driving could take place in the large indoor arena, with a very interested public, which decided for the Prize of the Public to be offered during the general Prize giving ceremony, also in the indoor arena.

As a whole, the drivers were very happy and satisfied of the event, and will be the best ambassadors for its future ! The President of AIAT Belgium spoke about the next competition with the Huyghe family, and the organizers will to their best to welcome more foreign drivers next year. Anyway, it was a great international success and everybody was happy !


                                                                                              Dirk Depaepe







July 1st - 3rd  2022


The traditional ‘Evening of the Nations’, as well as the entire event, was organized with professional and loving skill by Dorothea von Eberhardt. This outside event, where the international participants bring along culinary specialties from their home areas, unfortunately had to be spontaneously transferred to the stud director’s office due to a lengthy downpour although the weather forecast had promised a dry evening. Ironically, because Mecklenburg was suffering from a longstanding drought the rain ought to have been most welcome. The participants, however, were not put off and partied till late. Therefore, some people were not quite as fit as they might otherwise have been before the reconnaissance drive on Saturday morning.

At noon, all 21 participants appeared in time for the presentation of the turnouts. The jury consisted of Baron Christian de Langlade (F), Tadeusz Kolacz (PL) and Hartmuth Huber (D). There were very many charming turnouts such as Irma Voorn van Sleewen´s (NL) hackney put to a
Liverpool gig, or Ebbo Schelten`s (NL) tandem of Welsh cobs to a morning cart. The competition also included correct rural turnouts such as Heinz Poll´s pair of coldbloods to a hunting carriage, and Peter Lange´s heavy warmbloods also to a hunting carriage. This year, Urbain van de Voorde (BEL) did not turn out tandem with his most successful Spanish horses but drove them as a pair to a most stylish spider phaeton by Kruck, Wiesbaden. Unfortunately, one of his horses had health problems thus forcing him to take part as an unofficial competitor. And despite damage to his four- wheel dogcart Prof. Paolo Fornara was still able to successfully drive the competition.

During the course of the afternoon ,Mrs Kirsten Stelljes introduced the Mecklenburg breed of horse to the public and following this, she introduced the CIAT turnouts with Anette Spitzenpfeil adding specific information. Immediately after the Presentation the participants - who were clothed most elegantly for the presentation anyway – were able to attend the BBC concert in the riding school. At dusk, many visitors to this popular event had gathered in the stud’s park and put up their picnic equipment in the shade of the trees of the spacious park in order to enjoy the parade of the horses and turnouts and to hear the interesting explanations. Eventually they struggled to their feet and also poured into the riding school for the concert. Afterwards, the temperature sunk to bearable level and many of them settled down beneath the trees with candle light and Rotkäppchen-Sekt till late for a lengthy chat.

Sunday’s Routier, (roads and tracks), turned out to be a pleasant drive. On the one hand the rain had provided roads without dust but, on the other hand, the horses had to pull over sandy tracks; a fact that the drivers had to include in their time calculation. A positive feature of the drive was that most of the track lead through the shadow of the forest, with the effect that it was cooler. The horse flies, however, were quite active. The PCs, (difficulties or skills), did not offer problems. First up was the ‘Circle’, next the ‘Drinking Glass’, third the ‘Greeting’, and the last the ‘Passage’
The drivers proved to be well acquainted with these tasks and only made a few mistakes. The ‘Drinking Glass’ and the ‘Passage’ were particular magnets for the public´s interest because they were laid out on the green in the village of Belsch, and the challenge of the this last was that the turnouts had to pass close by a live musical band, which played amusing tunes the whole afternoon, and together with the spontaneously arranged serving of beer produced the mood of a fair. Sad to say, the popular master driver Eckert Meinecke´s horse was injured in the first really harmless difficulty, causing this really experienced horseman to have to give up for the sake of his horses.

The Maniabilité, (cones), in the afternoon was given a more relaxed character by the comments of Anette Spitzenpfeil. However, it was still pretty strenuous for the horses and not because the course was so long or difficult but because the heat rose considerably during the afternoon and the horses had already completed the roads and tracks that morning.

Sad to say, the turnouts had to wait for the prize-giving ceremony for a while - although luckily under the shadowy trees of the Hofchaussee - due to every organiser’s nightmare, the breakdown of their computer. Perhaps it had heatstroke but the printer was not able to print the list of winners.
Hectically, nervosity, grumbling, but eventually, Thaddeusz Kolacz rushed – despite the heat – across the show ring with the list in his hand to give out the rosettes and cups to the carriage drivers who had lined up in a disciplined way.
Finally, the festive ceremony ended up in a few laps of honour accompanied by the traditional tune: “Good bye, my little officer of the Guard…”



The winners were as follow:

Pony singles
1. Regine Schwarzer (D)

Ponys tandems
1. Ebbo Scheltens (NL)

Coldblood singles
1. Klaus Baumeister (D)
2. Thomas Wöllenstein (D)

Coldblood pairs
1. Torsten Hess (D)
2. Heinz Poll (D)

Horse singles
1. André Szewczyk (D)
2. Irma Voorn-van Sleeuwen (NL)
3. Dagmar Wegner (D)

Horse pairs
1. Siegfried Kusel (D)
2. Prof. Paolo Fornara (D)
3. Tom Schicketanz (D)

Horse tyeams
1. Matthias Pfeifer (D)
2. M. Meloth (D)














Orbituary Matteo BIANCO



Matteo Bianco

A tragic accident near Torino caused the death of Matteo Bianco on 15th October, and left all of us extremely sad.

He had a real passion for carriage driving, was an excellent driver with a real sense of the discipline, was an appreciated judge since some years, always interested in learning more, when he knew a lot for his young age. He had been warmly welcomed amongst the college of AIAT judges. Only 26 years old, he was promised to a brilliant future as international judge.

Traditional Driving, particularly in Italy but internationally as well, has lost a brilliant young man, who will leave huge regrets and a deep sadness behind him.

I am thinking to his parents, whom I had met at different occasions, and in the name of all AIAT members, I send them my deepest condolences, as well as to my friends of the Gruppo Italiano Attacchi and to my judging colleagues. We all are mourning this charming and always smiling young man, really engaging personality.

At his memory, we shall create a Matteo Bianco Award.

                                                                                              Baron Christian de Langlade,

                                                                                                          Président de l’AIAT




Orbituary Marech DORUCH, AIAT POLAND


Marek Doruch was born on January 24, 1963. He loved horses since he was a child. As a boy, he spent all his holidays in the countryside with horses.

In high school, he trained in horse riding at the Horse Stud in Jaroszówka and won the title of the Champion of Poland in dressage.

He worked as a horse riding instructor and later he set up a driving stable.

In 1991, the Marek Doruch Carriage Production and Renovation Plant was established, specializing in the restoration of historic vehicles in accordance with their historical patterns. Many of these carriages competed in traditional competitions in Europe.

The company of Marek Doruch restored private vehicles and museum collections in Poland and in Europe.

Marek was the first Polish participant in International Traditional Driving Competitions. He has participated in over 20 competitions.

He was a precursor of traditional carriage driving in Poland and a co-organizer of competitions in Książ and Koszęcin. He has been a technical delegate of AIAT many times and judged traditional carriage driving competitions organized by AIAT.

Everything Marek did professionally, with passion and a smile. This is how we will remember him.

I am extremely sad to announce the passing away of marek Doruch, a charming Polish driver, always happy and smiling, a very influential member of the Polish Carriage Society and much appreciated in the Association Internationale d’Attelage de Tradition. He was one of the first to understand and appreciate traditional carriage driving in his country and to participate in many events, in and out of Poland.

In the name of the members of AIAT, I offer my deepest condolences to his wife and his sons, and to all our dear Polish driving friends.

With warmest regards,

                                                                                                  Baron Christian de Langlade,

                                                                                                            President of AIAT



Debrief 1st. CIAT NIEPOLOMICE 2022 EN


1st CIAT Niepolomice, June 30th - 31st 2022


Niepolomice is a small polish town near Krakow. It is located close to the A4 motorway, 540km from Dresden, Germany. The city also has a very good connection with the international airport in Krakow.

The magnificent castle in Niepołomice from the fourteenth century, belonged to the kings of Poland who resided in nearby Krakow, which was, in those days, the capital of Poland.

Currently, it is a museum, cultural center, there is also a hotel and restaurants. The hippodrome, stables and recreational areas are situated directly below the castle.

Niepolomice castle hosted traditional carriage driving competition for the first time this year on the 30th-31st of July. The initiators of this event were Czeslaw Trzos and Tadeusz Kolacz. Twenty two turnouts entered the competition, but finaly 18 came, including 4 debutants and 6 drivers taking part for the second time.

On the first day, the weather was nice during the presentation, while on the second day it rained from the first to the last minute. The bad weather significantly reduced the number of guests and the pleasure of participants. Despite that the conditions for organizing such competition in Niepolomnice are excellent: there is a large professional hippodrome with stands, equipped

offices with services, an air-conditioned container above the hippodrome with good sound system for judges. Next to the castle there is a large paved square for vehicles, beautiful park in the city center. The city authorities were very cooperating and involved, as well as all the organizers and numerous sponsors of the event.

The great atmosphere during the competition should be emphasized. Despite the very diff

icult weather conditions, it seems that all participants left the competition satisfied.

Ladies dominated the competition. The winner in the general classification was Justyna Przyborowska, driving the break de chasse in the winchester team. The competition of pairs was won by Martyna Bebłot, and the singles by experienced Jacek Jantoń. In 2023, the 2nd CIAT Niepolomice is scheduled for 27-27.05















































Debrief CIAT KSIAZ 2022 EN


 8th CIAT Ksiaz July 22nd-24th, 2022

Arriving at the front of Ksiaz Castle within sight of the grand and inspiring view of its facade and fine formal garden, one would expect Princess Daisy of Pless, the former inhabitant of this great Stately Home, to appear round the corner driving her Break de Chasse to her team of greys, dressed in a well-designed fine summer costume and flower hat and accompanied by a lady of her court, and grooms. This very picture is kept in the archives of the castle, as documentary proof of the Princess´ interest in the sport of driving. This very fact inspired the organizers of the 8th CIAT to run it in the ground of the castle, partly as a sign of loyalty to that still popular personality and partly to maintain the art of driving with traditional turnouts as in her day.

Were it not for the many thousands of tourists in their flip-flops and muscle-shirts one might believe oneself back in a time of master and servant, horse traffic and carriages, cobbled roads and dusty lanes, coach houses, stables, and smithies instead of garages. All these things are still alive there in the State Stud at Ksiaz, the former princely mews of Ksiaz Castle. A few minutes´ walk through the peaceful and refreshing atmosphere of the park leads one to the former mews. Entering its courtyard, the great show ring in the middle burns in the heat of the sun. Silence everywhere, now and then a sound of a horse or a stamp of a hoof in the stables surrounding the courtyard, and a groom shuffling to the muck heap with his wheelbarrow. No sound of a motor, no fast traffic, no concrete, only well-designed half-timbered buildings, and the full-timbered structure of the riding school in a corner of the yard. Living history...

This dream of a 19th century setting is the venue for the 8th CIAT in Ksiaz Castle. Eleven turnouts had entered and nine managed to come. Corona and other problems are still being felt. Nevertheless, those drivers who had come enjoyed the hospitality of the organizers, Andrzej Novak-Zemplinzki and Irek Kozlowski and their team, who tried hard to make the whole event a great success.

The first evening, Friday 22nd, saw the evening of the nations, the get together party, where the drivers brought along typical dishes from their homelands and, last but not least, typical drinks…

The following morning the drivers were able to sleep longer and then polish up their turnouts to the best of condition to impress the judges with perfection. The presentation began at noon and the judges, Eduardo Cruz (P), José Varo (E) and Hartmuth Huber (D) were pleased with the level of the quality of the turnouts, which had improved considerably (although, sad to say, perfection has not yet been reached).

The “routier” on the following morning had been laid out in the castle park this year. This meant the turnouts had to drive the same track three times. The PCs were; the rail, the rein back, the circle, the stop, and the drinking glass. The organizers were glad because there were several novices, but hese drivers not used to these kinds of challenges made mistakes. However, they all profited from the experience, and their comments were overall positive.

The cone driving in the afternoon was a difficult course. The technical delegate had laid out an intermediate FEI-parcours, which the drivers handled well, although historic carriages are somewhat more difficult to handle than FEI-vehicles. The numbers of balls down were about average. The horses and drivers were glad that the show ring where the cone driving was held is surrounded by trees which offered shade for the turnouts waiting for the prize giving ceremony which followed immediately after the last participant had finished the course. Those timing the competition were extremely fast and supplied the list of winners in no time at all. Mr Novak-Zemplinzki lead the VIPs to the winning turnouts to hand out the prizes that they had kindly donated. Every driver received a fine watercolour sketch of a tandem in front of Ksiaz Castle painted by Mr Novak Zemplinzky who is an artist of international reputation. At last, the drivers removed their hats to hear the national anthems played in honour of the winners – and afterwards they drove several laps of honour to the traditional tune: ‘Good bye, my little officer of the Guard…’


The winners were:


1st       Gary Rolans (AUS)

2nd      Mattias Pfeifer (D)

3rd      Jacek Soborski (POL)