CIAT Beamish 2022
- Elspeth Ross -
After a whole summer of anticipation CIAT Beamish certainly didn’t disappoint. We’ve been waiting a long time for an Attelage in the north of England and Beamish was promised as an attelage like no other ! After months of meticulous long distance planning by Gordon Marks, Elspeth Ross and Paul Mills it finally happened on the weekend of 16/18 th September and it was such a resounding success.
Beamish Museum saw over 2,500 visitors each day of our competition and many paid to visit especially to see the competitors. The main field for two of the stages, Presentation and maniabilities had the lovely backdrop of the 1900’s fairground and a ringside with possibly more spectators than any other British attelage. And it was all thanks to Chris Thompson and Paul Foster from Beamish who worked so hard alongside the team to make it all happen. A huge thank you to our wonderful judges Elizabeth Cartwright-Hignett from England, Ad Van Der Pluijm who came all the way from the Netherlands and of course Paul Mills who had to step in at the last moment relinquishing his role as technical delegate as Be Bekkering from Holland was unwell so could not attend. Wally Binder stood in as TD
Beamish welcomed 22 competitors including some of the usual stalwarts from all around the country as well as a pair of Clydesdales from Gawin Holmes who is local to Besmish, he now has the bug and is hoping to attend Glamis as well as Beamish next year. We also had a donkey from Morven Meston and a Shetland from Laura Chaffe who won the Small Ponies and Donkey section and 5 horses borrowed from John Stephenson to compete. One competitor from Beamish museum Chris Thompson won the Best Newcomer Challenge clock donated by Ian Grahem who was also a winner of the Newcomer Bursary. A huge thanks must go to the many sponsors of this event who made it all happen including the Stephenson family from the North East for their extreme generosity in supporting the event and to Garners Wheelwrights. Also to Caroline and Andrew Tilley for their excellent scoring, not forgetting the wonderful and willing stewards who gave up their time for our enjoyment. It’s no mean feat negotiating tram lines, cobbled streets, hoards of people and pushchairs and open top buses all while competing.
The 11km routier was a little different to our usual drive out being a much slower pace due to hills, roads and of course the possibility of being held up by the fascinated and captivated public, Trams or Buses. The difficulties caught out a few of the stalwart competitors especially the Champagne challenge which must have been the most interesting difficulty to be a spectator at after listening to the stories on return. Along with the putting away, the rail, the one handed circle and the stop which was in the town on the cobbled street there was some amusing entertainment for the crowd.
The cones on Sunday looked flowing and enticing but caught out many and was immediately followed by another trip around the Beamish cobbled streets to keep the public entertained. Sunday afternoon's presentation of prizes was The Waldburg Equine Services Challenge trophy, a silver rose bowl for the Best Presentation score awarded to Gilly Chippendale with her Welsh section B Bunbury Sandringham who was competing in his second season and his 5th attelage with a 1910 stick back gig. Winner of the single horse class and Overall champion was Kimberley Titmus with her lovely black part bred cob The Outlaw and reserve went to single pony class winner Jessie Dudley Apicella with her fabulous Hackney pony Aghaderg Stand & Deliver. The heavy horse class winner was Gawin Holmes while small pony winner was Laura Chaffe and horse pair went to Jimmy Jeffery. Pony pairs was won by Rosemary Neale who also took Best vintage vehicle with her beautiful varnished 1896 Yerbury of Frome dog cart.
A truly special finale was the Last Post and salute with a two minutes silence for our late queen HRH Queen Elizabeth ll. Also on offer over the weekend was a Voyage of Discovery which was a two day experience into how Attelage works and everything you need to know to compete which was led by the talented Chris van Reen. Our Friday evening meal was 1950s fish and chips in the welfare hall and the following evening saw most people make the effort to dress in 1940’s attire for pre dinner drinks by the bandstand followed by a lovely informal dinner in the tea rooms while the Beamish swing band played to us. A prize for Best dressed of the evening went to Kymbery Titmus. A very successful auction and raffle saw everyone dig deep which included some very generous donations.
All in all it was a most exciting and unique attelage event which is to be repeated again from 15th to 17th September 2023