The Concours International d'Attelage de Tradition (CIAT) competition format was developed around 30 years ago in France when on a visit to the UK, it was observed that there was still a strong interest in traditional carriages with the popularity of Private Driving at British shows, that was a contrary experience in the rest of Europe. Traditional vehicles were rapidly becoming out of favour with modern sports competitors whilst their existence was being threatened with demise and destruction.
Unless something was done soon, a major part of our social history would be consigned to the history books.
Inspired by the British enthusiasm, it was decided to regenerate interest in traditional driving in France and adapt to a new format to share the virtues of traditional carriage driving with the sporting prowess and technical accuracy of modern driving trials. Baron Christian de Langlade established the new competition format at Chateau de Cuts and latterly at Cuts à Compiègne now the home of the 'Trophée des Nations’ where they have around 90 turnouts from 14 nations and an enviable spectator count of around 20,000 visitors! With the combination of a dynamic new competition format and the popular social cordiality, the event has become a roaring success and the resultant newly gained interest in original vehicles.
With this burgeoning interest across Europe, a governing body was established to maintain the principles and objectives of the competition formatthe. The same regulations are shared in all competitions allowing competitors from across the world conformity and clarity. The Association d’Internationale d’Attelage de Tradition (AIAT) was duly formed with national representatives promoting and maintaining the competition format. Richard James was one of the original founders of the association and acts as the head of AIAT GB, our national representative for the United Kingdom. Member nations meet once a year to discuss the progress of the competition, announce dates for the following season and advise the technical delegates, event organisers and judges on the latest issues.