CIAT Picton, Carriages at the Castle is the UK’s premier carriage driving event held on 27-28 June 2015 at Picton Castle in Pembrokeshire. The 12th Century ancestral home of the Royal Portrait painters, the Philipps family.

The event is based on the increasingly popular European Attelage de Tradition format that has seen entries soar in recent years. The event is solely created to encourage the use of traditional carriages and promote traditional driving. Over the last four years of our competition, we have identified a marked change in participants attitude, and as a direct consequence, this competition has encouraged a number of returning competitors to invest in better quality original vehicles as well as much needed renovation and maintenance supporting traditional artisan skills such as coachbuilders, upholsterers, wheelwrights, painters, whiphmakers, milliners, tailors, harness and collar makers.

CIAT Picton is affiliated to the AIAT (Association d'International d'Attelage de Tradition) and consequently follows a common pan European competition format. The AIAT is the governing body for this popular European competition and is based at Cuts, France, the strict three phase format of Presentation. Marathon+ difficulties and Cones driving is fast gaining huge interest across Europe, South America and Australasia where original carriage turnouts of all kinds are being increasingly used to widespread popular acclaim.

The main CIAT Picton competition is a three stage event held over two days.The first stage is a standing presentation where competitors are judged on their appearance, quality and refinement of their carriage. The second stage is a 15km marathon with 5 difficulties to test the drivers skill. The final stage is a main ring cones course to test the drivers skill and accuracy. We have competitors attending from all over the UK All the rules and regulations are outlined in detail in our schedule available here to download.

The itinerary includes:

Friday 26th           6.00pm Competitors Routier inspection motorcade

                              7.30pm Competitors welcome reception and BBQ

Saturday 27th        1.00pm Carriages Presentation inspection commence

                              6.30pm Chamnpagne Reception in Castle Grand Hall

                              7.30pm Gala Dinner in Castle Restaurant

Sunday 28th          10.00am Routier commences

                              2.00pm Driven Cones commences

                              5.00pm Grand Finale and awards ceremony

This is a very relaxed and friendly event with lots of socialising to do! To help competitors travelling from afar, we have available a limited number of on site temporasy stables issued on a first come first served basis. The cost of these stables has been heavily subsidised and are aviailable from Thursday to Monday inclusive. Bedding is not included but will be available to buy on site. We have access to fresh water and toilets, but no electric hook up or shower facilities. We are a close distance to Haverfordwest and Narberth for shopping, restaurants and of course the spoils of the Pembrokeshire National park and Coast.

If you have any enquireies, please do not hesitate to contact us.

2015 CIAT Picton, Concours d'International d'Attelage de Tradition


2015 Attelage Results...

Judges:Claudia Bunn (AIAT) & Heather Noad (BDS)


Supreme Champion & Best Gentleman  Whip

Wally Binder

Best Lady Whip

Elizabeth Cartwright-Hignett

Single Horse:

1st Wally Binder

2nd Ellie Stevens

Horse Pairs

1st Elizabeth Cartwright-Hignett

2nd Tabe Annema

3rd Roger Derryman

Pony Pairs

1st Rosemary Neale


1st Paul Mander (DCC member)

2nd Julie Wedgbury

Attelage Moderne

1st Hazel Knight (DCC member)

2nd Sally Weale (DCC member)

Press Release: CIAT Picton, Carriages at the Castle

From: Lester Dagge, Event Director

Date: 3 July 2015


Carriages at the Castle, it’s a triumph of teamwork!

The fourth ‘Attelage de Tradition’ run by the members of the Dyfed Carriage Club has just been completed at the fabulous Picton Castle Estate in Pembrokeshire to outstanding acclaim. The CIAT Picton, Carriages at the Castle event is a 3 phase carriage driving event for traditional carriages that includes a detailed carriage turnout inspection, a 15km ‘marathon drive’ with difficulties and a final cones competition in the grand arena. Competitors traveled from all over the United Kingdom to take part at this prestigious venue and celebrated in style with a Gala Champagne reception and dinner in the Castle on Saturday night. With a traditional Welsh Harpist serenading the guests, Elizabeth Cartwright-Hignett was announced as the highest placed competitor in the Presentation stage.  The final award for the various categories were only declared at the very last minute on Sunday afternoon when show secretary and Chief Scrutineer Victoria Parr pressed the button on the complex scoring system. This year Wally Binder with his wife Eunice took the Supreme Champion title as well as Best Gentleman Whip and Best Single Horse. Last years winner Elizabeth Cartwright-Hignett won Best Lady Whip and Best Horse Pairs, whilst Rosemary Neal won Best Pony Pairs and Paul Mander took the Best Multiples. In association with the CIAT Picton event, the Attelage Moderne was run for club members to an exercise vehicle and first timer Hazel Knight with her grandson Welly went home with the silver!

Alongside the carriage event, the Carriages at the Castle ran their popular Sidesaddle Association classes as well as the new Horse show with specialist classes for Rare & Foreign breeds, Natives, Coloureds and veteran horses. As this was a new departure for the event, entries were encouraging in their high quality with positive plans for expansion next year. Whilst classes were being prepared, the members also staged some fun classes including a Hobbyhorse champagne challenge from the Sidesaddle Association members and a hilarious wheelbarrow race on the Sunday. The highlight of the entertainment classes was the Electric Car Scurry challenge where event sponsors Silverstone Energy pitched their all electric Renault Twizzy against the incredible ‘Flying Hamsters aka Julie Wedgbury and her team of Shetlands. Although the car pipped Julie to the post with a winning round, there was only 1 second difference in time!

The main Attelage de Tradition event drew a high standard of competitors with a few newcomers to the realms of ‘Attelage’. “It was wonderful to see the  original carriages being used for the purpose they were designed, as modes of transport, rather than locked up unwanted in a dusty museum” states Event Director Lester Dagge. “Our oldest vehicle , a Varnished Shetland Pony Wagonette was nearly 185 year old and  a testament to it’s past and current owners that the carriage is in such good condition, the carriage maker did a good job, I wonder how many modern cars will be still around in usable condition in 2200!”

It was encouraging to see a substantially increased gate attendance with spectators this year who were kept enthralled with all the activities going on around the Castle grounds. The event is in gratitude to the Picton Castle Trust, its tenant farmers and hardworking staff who have collaborated to make this unique event so successful. The event is run on a very tight budget and carefully selected team of hard working volunteers that proved to be a triumph of teamworkl. The principle judges, Claudia Bunn and Heather Noad worked tirelessly all weekend with the presentation stage, difficulties and horse show classes. They were ably assisted with support from Jim Noad as a commentator and principle Horse show steward as well as the popular Ring Guard and Coach Horn Blower Robert Elliot from Cornwall to add to the prestige of the event. The event was also thrilled to receive Madam Chairman of the British Driving Society Angela Sixsmith along as an observer, but true to form, Mr Dagge commandeered her expert skills as commentator and judge when she provided an informative commentary for the presentation stage to the public.  Angela was also invited to help judge the Champagne difficulty on Sunday morning and exclaimed how such a simple task provided such an enormous challenge to the competitors! Newly retired to Wales residents, FEI carriage driving stalwarts, Derrick and Cynthia Whiting also came along and offered their much valued support and generous contributions. 

“Carriages at the Castle is a huge undertaking to stage but it’s down to the hard work and dedication of the members of Dyfed Carriage Club with their close camaraderie that help make it such a phenomenal success. The value of the event is the promotion of traditional driving skills. With such a prominent event, it allows local drivers to see first hand the scope for best practice carriage driving, and even better when they can compete on an equal playing field with the best in the country”.

With falling entries at shows across the country, the future of private driving is firmly in the hands of Attelage de Tradition. Fortunately there is a now a second UK Attelage de Tradition event at CIAT Euston, Carriages in the Park in Suffolk later this August. Attelage de Tradition reawakens the interest in traditional driving, offers a fair playing field for competitors and welcomes a strong sense of camaraderie amongst participants. It is not a simple 30 miniute show, but a full weekend break in glorious surroundings.  Although the event is a costly competition to stage due to the need for temporary onsite stabling, but with huge fund raising efforts by the club members and a number of exceptionally generous benefactors including Zilco Europe and Silverstone Energy, the event is secure in its foundations for another promising next year. Further details can be seen online at the club’s website

Photographs by Glyn Evans Ffotoimage and Dave Hamley-Richards