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Latest News - Traditional Driving

CIAT Cuts 2013





Saturday 25th and Sunday26th of May 2013


The CUTS 16th International Traditional Driving Competition will take place in the park of the Château and in the beautiful surrounding countryside. This well-known event attracts numerous competitors and publicbetween 10 000 to 15 000spectators each yearcoming from all over Europe.


The aim of the organizers of this amicable competition is to provide an enjoyable week-end for drivers from near and far as well as a memorable show with a unique simple, family and very elegant atmosphere altogether !


The public is very keen of this form of competition mixing tradition, beauty and elegance with performance as the turnouts must cover a 16 km track.

The competition is open to drivers of horses, ponies and heavy horses … sometimes donkeys with their original carriages and presentation harness.


It consists of three phases :

A.    Standing Presentation: Saturday 25th of May : 1st part (1 pm – 5 pm)

  Sunday 26th of May : 2ndpart (9 am – 1 pm)

B.     Road track (16km) incorporating five simple controlled passages on the track

C.    Cone driving


More than sixty competitorsfrom all Europe take part to the event, driving beautifully kept carriages – mostly over 100 years old ! … called buggy, phaeton, cocking-cart, road coach, berline, hunting break … They come out of more than ten nations : Austria, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Swiss, Spain, Portugal and France.


It is a living memory and an unique show !


Free access and parking – Restaurants - Stands


INFORMATION :     Antoinette de Langlade–  La Vallée    F. 60400 CUTS

Tél : +33 (0)3 44 09 71 23    Fax : +33 (0)3 44 09 77 79   antoinette.de.langlade@gmail.com


www.afa-attelage.org               www.attelage-cuts.com               www.aiat-driving.net

Praterfahrt in Vienna


Carriage procession on the Prater in Vienna on  May, 1st ,1886

Original drawing by W. Gause

Praterfahrt in Vienna on May, 1st


The festive trotting of horses, by which the people of Vienna welcome the beginning May, has a lot of historical background. Even in the days of the dukes the beautiful place on the Danube celebrated the Festival of  Violets, in which even the sovereign took part. That custom has disappeared, as so many other things, but it was replaced by the tradition of wandering to the Prater on May, 1st, that vast park in that cheerful imperial city.

The drawing on top of this article shows a snapshot of this year’s Praterfahrt. Carriages and gentlemen on horseback and pedestrians romping about the avenue, the very center of the scenery being the imperial state carriage. The most ditinguished persons walk next to working class people, you can see an army officer undisturbed by the private next to him, a lady of fashion and a pauper; even the Strizzi, the typical Viennese character with a cigar in his mouth and a misshapen cap on his head is there.

In the old days the scenery was brighter. The Austrian aristocracy took pride in parading with the most stylish carriages, horses, footmen and – we should have mentioned it first – the most fashionable ladies’ apparel.

Runners went ahead of the carriages. Sad to say, their jobs were abolished in the year 1848. Famous horsemen, as Count Sandor, performed their feats. The fact, that the whole imperial court app


eared there, formed the main attraction for the public. The emperor, the empress, all archdukes and archduchesses of Austria took part in the Praterfahrt. The emperor’s father, archduke Franz Karl, who died eight years ago, was wont to parade there in a chariot and six with outriders. In the Kaisergarten, an area of the Prater reserved for the imperial court, he used to give a dinner for the whole of the imperial family on May, 1st.

Still today May, 1st, offers an attractive, colourful spectacle, which gives evidence of the fact, that Vienna has everything necessary fo such a cheerful drive into springtime: the beautiful ladies, the merry people, who are in raptures and “don’t permit sad feelings...” - as the folk-song goes – whatever their fate may be.



This article is taken fromDie Gartenlaube (1853-1944) (The Garden Bower). It was a magazine, very popular with the middle class in German speaking countries. It’s articles dealt with everything: geography and industry, society and technology, poetry and gossip. Even the best selling novels by Hedwig Courts-Mahler and Eugenie Marlitt were published first in Die Gartenlaube. The 20th century looked at the most successful magazine in a very condescending way for its good liberalism and philistine views.


CIAT of Lissago - The best of Italian Tradition


Sunday October 7, 2012, the sun shown non-stop for the « Concours International d’Attelage de Tradition » which took place at the Mustonate Equestrian Center at Lissago (Varese – Italy).


The marvellous hills framing the village, opposite the lake of Varese, the presence of so many quality carriages and enthusiastic onlookers made the event one of the most important ever organized in Italy.


The « Gruppo Italiano Attacchi » ( the Italian Driving Group or GIA), which organized the event, managed to enlist troups of volunteers to help with parking, controlling obstacles, and generally assisting to oversee the Road Track and the Cone-driving … and, last but not least,  the Prize Giving Ceremony, the most complicated challenge of all driving competitions !


Always at the ready, « Distillerie Rossi d’Angera », which so generously offers prizes and products, was once again ever-present : notably with the IV Rossi d’Angera Trophy.


Giuseppe Del Grande directed the operations with efficacity, panache and keeping to the strict regulations of the AIAT rule book. He was assisted by a jury presided by Christian Mettler (CH) and including Erhard Schneider (CH) and Reinhold Trapp (F).


For its second edition, the international competition at Lissago has confirmed its position in the official calendar. One is already planning the 2013 event, as the organizers are beeing eagerly sollicited by all the participants.


Some results :


With their Heavy Horses, Patrick Lamadieu (F) takes the first place, followed by Marco Caprioli (I). In the Pony Class, Giovanni Pietro Presti (I) and Stephano Paschera (I) are first and second,  Heiner Staub (CH) wins the Single Horse Class, followed by Camillo Cusaro (I) and Ivo Fibioli (CH). Bruno Cotic (I) wins the

Horse Pairs, followed by Carlo Mascheroni and Viviana Matteja (I) and in the Four-in-Hand Category, Guiseppe Ravanelle (I) takes the first place, in front of Loris Dortu’ (I) and Francesco Mattavelli (I).


The event was the ideal moment to congratulate other winning members of the GIA who had had the best results in national categories as follow :


Single horse class : Fiorenzo Erri

Horse Pair Class : Bruno Cotic

Four horses class : Giuseppe Ravanelli




Convention of AIAT Judges, Vienna (A),November 3-4, 2012


International judges, representing 9 countries, were present at a seminar organized for the Association Internationale d’Attelage altde Tradition, by « Dokumentationszentrum für Altösterreichische Pferderasse », namely Dr Georg Kugler, Mr Heinz Gawlik and Mr Peter Höpler. Five charming British ladies(photo), 6 Italians, 3 Germans, 3 Swiss, one Spaniard, a Portugese and a Polish judge, plus numerous French and Austrians.

They were welcomed warmly as of Friday evening, at a typical Vienese restaurant near the hotel, after which Gerhard Kainz improvised a fascinating visit to a carriage stable in mid-town (photo) where horses seemed relaxed in their boxes, after a hard day’s work, and the carriages were impeccable.

Next morning,confirmed judges as well as candidates for judges and alt

technical-delegates, left by bus for Schloss Hof ...a superbly restored chateau, about an hour’s drive away.

After a brisk exterior visit , the serious meeting began in a large hall, heated by a huge glazed stove , and directed by Christian de Langlade , in three language groups which quickly and unanimously resolved the few contested points. Afterwards, the participants boosted their energy with the help of a varied and abundant buffet.

Five carriages were brought to Schloss Hof so that, during the afternoon, the judges and candidates could synchronize their criteria. Of course we were all most grateful and hereby thank everyone concerned for their whole-hearted collaboration. As everyone seemed to agree, you can imagine that the director and participants were pleased and relieved.


Sunday morning we all marvelled at the Spanish Riding School spectacle, and revelled at Sacher’s, the world-famous Viennese restaurant  where we had lunch. It’s easy to understand why traditional driving rhymes with exceptional experiences.

Led by Dr.Kugler, we then had an exceptional visit to theWagenburg at Schonbrun (photo) during which he explained each carriage and carrosse in detail, terminating by the royal catafalque which last served at the funeral of Empress Zita in 1989.
Everyone left with a feeling of great satisfaction because of the excellent organization of our Austrian friends, the interest of the meeting and the exceptional ambiance. We all loo
altk forward to the next reunion in Berne, in March.







The Hansom Cab as explained by Richard JAMES


In London, in the 17thand 18thcenturies, anyone who could afford the fare, haled a Hackney Coach to get around town. The Hackney Coach….with its four heavy wheels, drawn by a pair of horses, could accomodate several passengers. Normally these were old coaches which had seen better days….when they belonged to private and priveleged owners.


These shabby busses carried on until the 19th century, when the question was raised in the « London Magazine »…”Should a real gentleman be seen in a Hackney Coach?”  It’s true that most of them were dirty, with broken windows, frayed cushions, and smelled horribly because of recent trips to hospitals and other inhospitable places.

altThey had certainly been very useful since1654, when Parliament limited their number to 300, in Central London.  But time had come to improve the situation.


The French had changed from these heavy vehicles, in 1805, to lighter two wheeled carriages drawn by one horse, which were less cumbersome in traffic jams, and less expensive, called “cabriolet de place”. Mr. David Davies, the London carriage maker, introduced them as « cabs », a term considered undignified by purists.  And they soon caught on.


Only one problem persisted, and that was that the syndicate of Hackney Coach owners had the monopoly on public transport in Central London within an area called "The Area of the Bill of Mortality", referring to the great plague which killed off thousands of people in 1665. They were determined to hang on to it…as established in that time. Needless to say they weren’t about to encourage dangerous rivals.


Luckily, two gentlemen, Bradshaw and Rotch an MP, managed to obtain licenses for 9 cabs on condition that they keep clear of the Mortality zone. Then, in April 1823, 12 cabs were in operation.  David Davies modified the silhouette so that there could be two passengers, and the cabby had a strange seat  between the right wheel and the body itself. A hood was installed to protect passengers against rain and wind, giving the impression of a hearse. Which is how it came to be called the « coffin cab ».


The tariff was reasonable and Londoners were quick to respond…despite (or perhaps because of) the  heavy-handed driving of the Hackey Coaches (and private ones as well).  The cabs delighted in passing their rivals at dangerous speeds, sometimes provoking spectacular accidents on the cobbled streets. Older or less daring passengers stuck to the heavy reassuring coaches, while younger « dandies » and tradespeople bragged about their adventures among friends or in their pubs. ….


Despite the fights between the interested parties, the cabbies managed to get 150 licenses in  1831, while in Paris, there were already 2,500 at the same date.  Finally, in 1832, restrictions were lifted, and cabs had won the day.



A new model was designed by Mr William Boulnois , completely closed, which could transport two passengers face to face, mounting from the rear of the vehicle.  The inconvenience proved to be that the passengers could escape without paying as the poor cabby struggled to climb down from his rooftop perch. Some other system had to be found. XXXXX


In 1834 Mr Joseph Hansom, architect at the city hall in Birmingham, came up with his first version. The structure was almost square, the cabby was still perched on a little seat in front, but passengers had to mount in front. Lots of ideas and innovations were tried, but it wan’t until John Chapman and Mr. Gillett arrived on the scene that the vehicle was really improved.  The coachman’s seat was installed at the back, the door had a big window, the carriage itself could slide back and forth to balance its weight. Various details improved the comfort of passengers,  like a little trap-door behind their heads to pay the cabby who collected the money without having to dismount the cab, and a system for blocking the doors so unwilling clients couldn’t escape without paying !


Mr Hansom got little profit from all this except that his Hansom Cab has carried on !

It was copied by other carriage builders in England, notably Forder and Co. and adapted for private as well as public use.


And for more than 80 years, in all the big cities of the world, this taxi was a necessity. Pierre de Chézelles, with his reknowned humor, explains with his unbeatable but also untranslatable humor: « Le Hansom Cab est la seule voiture où le postérieur de l’inférieur qui est à l’extérieur est supérieur au postérieur du supérieur qui est à l’intérieur » !


Hailed by Sherlock Holmes to solve some strange enigmas, the Hansom cab has given vast pleasure and service to thousands of clients in a rush for business reasons, or not…in Hyde Park, the Bois de Boulogne, Unter den Linden in Berlin….and the Retiro in Madrid. …


AG-2012 Londres-The Royal Mews-Buckingham Palace


Cavalry and Guards Club

The Royal Mews – Buckingham Palace

London – February 19,2012



It has become customary to change AIAT ‘s annual meeting to a different country each year which provides the added attraction of getting more familiar with another place.


This time, England was the host and the assembly. With 14 represented countries, it took place at the Cavalry and Guards Club, the weekend of February 18-19.

Bill Ginns, President of the Coaching Club, and Richard James, Editor of Carriage Driving Magazine, had organized that we all were housed in neighboring clubs. Other than the Cavalry and Guards Club, the Royal Air Force Club and Caledonian Club were particularly welcoming.  Their respective Secretaries made sure we felt at home in these majestic private institutions.


Sixty members representing the following countries made the trip : Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Interested observers included Denmark, Poland and Slovakia.


Saturday, Richard James had organized a full day at the Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace, where we were graciously received by the Crown Equerry,  Colonel Toby Browne LVO.

Richard James started the program by a fascinating commentary on the Hansom Cab, the original London taxi, full of anecdotes and amusing details….which will soon be published. This was followed by a demonstration in the courtyard of the Royal Mews.  Harnessing, then positioning the reins on top of the carriage….then placing the horse and putting the reins to the bit …« hop »  the « taxi driver » climbs aboard.  Not so simple as it seems!


Steve and Liz Jarman  showed us the problems of driving with a postillon.  It consists in driving a pair without a coachman, but rather with a postillon mounted on the horse to the left, guiding the horse on his right  with the help of its reins and the pressure of his whip on the neck. Liz, our postillion drove a few rounds in the courtyard of the Mews then Steve and her decided  to take a little stroll before putting the horses back into the horsebox.  The lucky passenger was the author of this report, invited for a drive on the Mall and neighboring streets and avenues amidst the busy traffic.  It was a great experience,  and what a privelege, under these circumstances, to return to our point of departure with Buckingham Palace in the distance


We then had a very detailed visit of the Royal stables, conducted by the Head Coachman. Jack Hargreaves showed us the splendid Royal coaches….from the Gold State Coach (1762) used for all coronations, royal marriages, and the last Jubilee of the Queen….to the air-conditioned Australian State Coach…offered by Australia in 1988…not to mention the Rolls-Royces and Bentleys.

The tack rooms were filled with impeccable harness, saddles and bridles and the stables inhabited by several handsome horses ready to be used at a moment’s notice for the Queen, ambassadors or important personalities.The over-all_impression was of serene activity….awaiting the intensifying preparations for the June 4th ceremonies. However, one sensed the imminent excitement at the Royal Mews as driving horses begin to fill the boxes….. mainly Cleveland Bays and Windsor Greys.


An excellent lunch was followed by various interesting exposés. For instance , Mrs Lizzy Jamieson’s  description of carriages and coaches maintained by the National Trust ; Dr. Alex Naylor’s explanation of an ambitious project to reconstitute, in 2015, the Dépêche de Waterloo :

and a fascinating history of the Royal Mews by Colin Henderson, who was a former Crown Equerry.


After returning to our respective clubs to change, we rejoined for a charming and agreeable dinner at the Cavalry and Guards Club, complete with toasts, jokes and “Hear,Hears”!


Everyone was reunited Sunday morning for the serious General Assembly. Christian de Langlade (F) thanked the experts and participants for their years of contribution to AIAT; José Juan Morales (E) read the financial report, and Linda Depaepe (B) announced the upcoming events.


Bert De Mooij (NL) proposed that we create the AIAT Cup to be awarded annually to the winning team overall if the CIAT’s.


Guy Wagner (L) revived the persistent problem of judging carriages and it was suggested that competitors who, knowingly, gave falsified information…would not be reinvited ; Sylvie Grenet (F),of the French Ministry of Culture, described the successive steps necessary to acquire acceptance of Traditionnel Driving by UNESCO ;  Heiner Staub (CH) offered to host the General Assembly next year, in Berne, and, on behalf of Portugal, José Folque (P) proposed to follow up in 2014 when the inauguration of the the new Coach Museum will take place in Lisbon.  Peter Hopler (A) invited the judge to meet for a clinic in Vienna next November and those present agreed to his proposition.


After lunch, the delegations dispersed  …filled with souvenirs, ideas and excitement after such an interesting experience in London….anticipating new adventures in the same domain.





Flandres Horse Expo 2012




From Friday 2nd March to Sunday 4th March 


The BAT – Belgian Association for « Attelage de Tradition » will be present at the F. H. E in Gent (B) to promote this  very elegant way of carriage-driving..

You can find  Koen et Linda Depaepe and their team at their stand n° 3219 in Hall 3. They will be very to welcome you there.

Traditional carriage-driving  demonstrations will take place during the 3 days of the exhibition, not to be missed by a more and more interested public !