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CIAT Ksiaz

CIAT KSIAZ 2018 Debrief

  Kszias Castle, formerly called Fürstenstein was the residence of Hans Heinrich XV Prince Pless and his wife Daisy, Princess Pless. It is situated on a gigantic rock, hence its name, and overlooks almost the whole of Lower Silesia, the prince’s fiefdom. As the top of the rock offers hardly more space than that taken up by the castle and its gardens, it is always somewhat difficult to design a drive for the turnouts taking part in the CIAT.

The solution the organizers found for the last few events in Kszias was a circular drive repeatedly using the same roads and lanes. In order to escape the predicament this year they designed a route leading from the castle grounds to Swiebodzice, a small town nearby. It is a charming route in the shadow of the deciduous forest belonging to the park. There were however, two problems. The first being that the route through the forest was quite steep, demanding that the horses constantly had to hold back when walking down to the town, which in turn demanded a strenuous pull up all the way back. The drivers had to calculate a slower speed on these sections of the route. The second problem was the general motor traffic on the town’s streets. This needed to be taken into account, too. The routier’s PCs were situated in these streets and the show ring near the castle, nevertheless, the horses and drivers, managed these problems well.

The presentation took place in the show ring again (pos. 1, judge Claudia Bunn (GB)), in the park (pos. 2, judge Hartmuth Huber (D) and in the formal garden in front of the castle (pos. 3, judge Enzo Calvi (I)).

The judges were very pleased to see that the level of turnout has risen yet again compared to the last few years. The organizers were also happy to welcome six drivers from Germany who had made the long trip to Kszias Castle, a sure indication of the attractiveness of the event.

There were also a few newcomers among the Polish drivers, a fact that pleased those who want to make private driving popular.

There were nice country turnouts, modestly presented but typical of their type. There were beginners who tried their best but made serious mistakes. The judges were glad to see that both critique and advice was readily accepted. Even if it is their task to improve the quality of the turnouts it was with a heavy heart that they had to mark down a fancy turnout that was a mixture of various parts and which had not taken into account the historic style and purpose, which should determine the character of every turnout. However, many other fine park and town turnouts set the benchmark for the turnouts presented in this event and were much appreciated by the public who clapped enthusiastically at the sight.

The Polish turnouts were characterized by impressive, well-trained horses and experienced drivers. Sad to say, there are hardly any carriages left that had been built in Poland during the era of horse-drawn carriages. It is difficult to understand why this should be so. The most comprehensible explanation is that most carriages in Poland were destroyed or confiscated during WWII and afterwards by Russian troops. It is a pity whatever the reason. However, the Polish drivers are very proud of the fine carriages they have found made by Schustala, a famous factory trading in the era of the K. u. K. Monarchie, (Imperial and Royal Monarchy)which, however, was situated in Bohemia, now the Czech Republic. Most of the fine carriages presented in this event were built by coach makers in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Sweden, where their proud owners had purchased them.

The cone driving was held again in the show ring near the park gate. Compared to previous years the course was less ambitious but agreeable. There were no sharp bends and no confusing sequence of cones. When the turnouts had been given their prizes in the late afternoon and driven several laps of honour, the sun had nearly set and its rays shone down producing a dramatic light like spotlights on a stage. As impressive as actors grown grey honourably, the turnouts presented themselves on a stage formed by the show ring playing the role of old Hamlet’s ghost appearing on stage as a witness to truth, i.e. the beauty of European horse-drawn traffic in days gone by.

Debrief CIAT KSIAZ 2017





There was a very nice competition again from 14th to 16th July 2017at Ksiaz !

The event went well, with 15 driverss with a better and better level of preparation of the participants, as highlighted by Enzo Calvi, the main judge of the contest.

The weather was excellent and the crowds of the public arrived as always in Ksiaz.

There were 2 singles, 10 pairs, 2 tandems and team of Irek Kozlowski, who won presentation and general.
Second was Krzysztof Idzikowski, who was a winner in pairs.
Tandems won Urbain Van der Voorde.
Total results can be seen on www.ois-wyniki.pl .

Congratulations the the organizing committee and to the volunteers for a well deserved success in this prestigious place !


Debriefing 4th CIAT KSIAZ 2016


IV. CIAT in Ksiaz Castle, Poland, July 23rd – 24th, 2016

in memory of Princess Daisy von Pless

Entering the vast yard of the national stud near Ksiaz Castle you are impressed by the beauty and quality of these actually functional buildings erected in the end of the 19th century, comprising well designed stables, coach houses and a wonderful riding school. They are but a foretaste of the beauty and grandeur of Ksiaz Castle itself, situated nearby on top of a large rock amidst a beautiful and well kept park. This scenery, stud and park, forms the location of the 4th CIAT held in Kziaz Castle.

This year 15 stylish turnouts, 4 singles, 9 pairs, 1 tree abreast and 1 team had enlisted for this event. There were a few turnouts which had taken part in previous events here. To the joy of the organizers of the event as well as the numerous spectators several newcomers presented their beautiful horses, harnesses and carriages. Most of them came from the western parts of Poland. Three turnouts had made their way from the north and the west of Germany to this beautiful place.

This year the weather was much more favourable to the participants and their horses compared to the weather last year. The temperature was mild and a gentle breeze was welcome for the drivers and their passengers in the carriages wearing mostly formal dresses. Last year the heat had made them perspire and their horses sweat.

Fine turnouts were presented to the judges ( Enzo Calvi, Italy, Guiseppe Del Grande, Italy, Hartmuth Huber, Germany) in the show ring of the stud (1st position). They approached the second position in the shadow of the trees in the park near a pond and then drove on along the avenue leading right to the foreyard of the castle (3rd position). The avenue and the foreyard were lined with enthusiastic spectators who clapped their hands to every turnout passing by. Especially the ladies’ stylish, often flamboyant, dresses added much to the elegance of the whole event.

This year the road and track competition on Sunday morning was designed like last year, whereas the parcours of the cone driving contest in the afternoon turned out to be extremely difficult, not very pleasant to negotiate.

Nevertheless every driver was happy in the end and the prize giving ceremony offered a beautiful scenery to the spectators filling the terraces, 15 fine turnouts lining up and the drivers receiving their well-deserved cups, the horses their cockades.

The beauty and elegance of horses, harnesses, carriages and clothes reminded everybody of the days of horse drawn traffic, the wealth and style of the belle epoque, the days of Princess Daisy von Pless, the former owner of Ksiaz Castle, to the memory of who this extraordinary event was held.