Germany


Here are some of the pairs of horses from the Celle CIAT …

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Representing the United Kingdom, Elizabeth Cartwright-Hignett drove her pair to a four-wheeled Ralli Car:

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Dr. Florian Geyer, representing Austria, drove a Siamese Phaeton built c. 1910:

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Siegfried Kusel, representing Germany, drove his pair to a vehicle built c. 1900:

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Heinrich Lindemann, representing Germany, drove a Demi-mail Phaeton, built in 1893:

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Also representing Germany, Jürgen Matthies had his pair hitched to a Dog-cart, built c. 1900:

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Dutch driver Bert de Mooÿ drove an Omnibus, c. 1890:

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Hans-Jürgen Niemeyer, representing Germany, had his Friesians hitched to a Demi-mail Phaeton, c. 1890 (which, if I remember the announcer’s information correctly, was built in nearby Bremen, Germany):

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Bruno Retzlaff (Germany) drove a German Jagdwagon, or Hunting Wagon, built c. 1900:

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One of the walking sticks on display with Thomas Schlimgen’s Dos a Dos, c. 1900, has a dog’s head … and it’s sticking its tongue out:

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Heinrich Schumacher, representing the local Landgestüt Celle, drove a pair of the stud farm’s Hannoverian stallions:

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Günter Stolle, representing Germany, drove an Oppenheimer Phaeton, c. 1910. And, at the announcer’s urging and with a spectator’s help, he demonstrated how the vehicle switches easily from one to two seats:

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The final pair of the day was the one owned by Belgian harness maker Henk van der Wiel, hitched to a Sporting Break, built c. 1900:

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CIATs, which I mentioned in yesterday’s post, consist of three phases: standing presentation in front of three separate judges, a drive with several “tests” of the drivers’ skill, and a cones competition. This year’s Celle CIAT featured nearly forty competitors in several divisions: ponies, single horses, horse pairs, tandems, horse teams, and a lone five-in-hand of horses. Like the CAA’s own Sporting Day of Tradtional Driving, this type of event celebrates traditional driving and (mostly) antique vehicles.

To my mind, one distinct advantage of this type of competition over CDEs is that there’s a wide variety of vehicle types, sizes, and styles on display … which makes the event both interesting and educational for spectators. And speaking of these, there were quite a lot of people on the grounds of Celle’s palace, watching Saturday’s presentation competition:

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A.J. and I stationed ourselves in different spots, and we both had fun photographing the various turnouts as they stood in front of the palace to be reviewed by two judges: first by Christian de Langlade (France) and then by Raimundo Coral Rubiales (Spain). The third review, in front of judge Reiner Wannenwetsch (Germany), took place in the main arena at the Landgestüt Celle. Here are some of our favorite photos from among the pony and single-horse divisions.

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Consuelo de Grunne, representing Belgium, drove her pair of Highland Ponies to a Siamese Phaeton, c. 1890:

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Hugo Livens, also representing Belgium, drove a Ralli Car built in 1890:

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Representing Germany, Carsten Ringe drove a Shooting Break, c. 1880;

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The first of the single-horse competitors, Rolf Bette, representing Germany, drove an American-made vehicle from 1900:

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the man standing at the right is the event’s organizer, Count von der Schulenburg

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Cornillie Idès, representing Belgium, drove a Ralli Car built in 1924:

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Dutch driver Ruud Korst drove his Friesian to a Spider Phaeton built in 1900:

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Barbara Löschenkohl, of Germany, drove her horse to a Dog Cart, c. 1900.

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unfortunately, Barbara’s horse looks rather too tall for this carriage

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The final competitor in the single-horse division, Eberhardt Stripling (representing Germany), drove a Danish-built Wagonette, c. 1905:

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I’m busily working on the October issue of the magazine, so I’m going to streeeetch our vacation photos out throught the rest of the week! Stay tuned for more presentation (pairs of horses tomorrow, then tandems, teams, and the five-in-hand on Thursday), to be followed by photos from the drive on Friday, the cones competition on Saturday, and the awards ceremony (in the pouring rain!) on Sunday.

This time last week, A.J. and I were making our way back to the U.S., through a variety of cities and airports. But for the three-and-a-half days before that, we’d been in lovely Celle, Germany. Our main goal in being there was to watch the Concours International d’Attelage de Tradition (CIAT, or International Traditional Driving Event), but we also had fun exploring the old city.

The city of Celle has a remarkably well-preserved and vibrant city center, filled with hundreds of buildings built between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. It may be difficult to see in some of these photos where I’ve used a wide-angle lens and skewed the perspective, but a lot of these buildings are really uneven — with door frames, floors, and window frames at odd angles to each other — after several centuries of settling.

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see the dates on the right-hand building (“erbaut Anno Domini 1629” and “umgebaut im Jahre 1980”)? this building was built in 1629 and renovated in 1980

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Saturday morning featured a farmers’ market that filled the squares in front of and beside the old Rathaus:

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Also on Saturday, we watched the presentation portion of the CIAT (which I’ll post photos of tomorrow). Two of the three judging stations were in front of Celle’s palace, which we wandered around in the morning to photograph.

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this path goes all the way around the castle, next to what used to be the moat

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… The third judging station for presentation, the final test during Sunday morning’s drive, and the cones competition were held at the nearby Landgestüt Celle (the state stud farm of Lower Saxony). The world-famous Hannoverian breed calls this lovely farm home, and this statue on the palace grounds commemorates the Hannoverian stallions and their trainers.

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Friday night at the World Four-in-Hand Championship featured a three-hour spectacle in the arena, with vaulters, trick riders, Spanish horses being ridden, Friesians being driven, the World Championship dressage awards ceremony, foxhounds from a local hunt, Pony Club riders, birds of prey, and more, including a huge display of local heavy-horse breeds. Some of these wonderful draft horses were hitched to carriages and wagons; some demonstrated old and newer horse-drawn farming equipment; and some of the various breed champions — stallions, broodmares, and foals — were shown in hand. 

Here are a few video clips I shot, featuring the heavy horses:

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If the embedded videos won’t work on your computer, you can see them on the CAA’s YouTube channel.

Even though we’re now practically two weeks after the fact, I wanted to wrap up the blog coverage of the recent World Four-in-Hand Championship with the awards ceremony. It was quite a spectacle.

First, all the competitors paraded into the arena and lined up in two long rows (medal winners in the front, and everyone else behind them). Then there were two medal ceremonies: one for the individual winners (gold: Boyd Exell, silver: Chester Weber, and bronze: Ysbrand Chardon) and then a second for the medal-winning teams (gold: the Netherlands, silver: Germany, and bronze: the USA). Finally, there was a huge “carousel” of teams driving around the arena and out, followed by a couple of victory laps by the winners. Throughout the entire spectacle, the crowd applauded in unison, cheered, and waved flags.

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