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)