Obit­u­ary – Charly Cus­tard’s Fa­ther

Trial Magazine - - NEWS -

Claude Coutard, bet­ter known as Charles Coutard’s fa­ther, was the last pi­o­neer of tri­als in France and the founder of a dy­nasty that can only be com­pared to the Lamp­kins. He passed away last month aged 89.

In­volved in the or­gan­i­sa­tion of the St-Cu­cufa in­ter­na­tional trial in the early 50s, Claude was also a keen rider. In 1961 he gained in­ter­na­tional sta­tus on his JLO-en­gined bitza. In 1968 aged 40 he was sec­ond to an un­beat­able Chris­tian Rayer on a Bul­taco, a brand he was the first to im­port into France with his friend Claude Peu­geot, be­com­ing friends with Senor Bulto in the process. In 1981, af­ter 10 years of a suc­cess­ful Bul­taco deal­er­ship in Lyon, coach­ing his son’s ca­reer – Charles was eight times French cham­pion and spent eight years in the WTC top ten – and win­ning the French side­car cham­pi­onship in 1975 he moved to Rochep­aule, Ardeche where, with wife Josette, he opened a tri­als school that lasted 20 years, with top riders of the time be­com­ing teach­ers for thou­sands of young and not-soy­oung en­thu­si­asts.

He also cre­ated his famed and of­ten copied ‘Vieilles Tiges’ event, wel­com­ing hun­dreds of riders over 40 or twins hock­mounted from all over Europe. Claude was also in­flu­en­tial in the de­vel­op­ment of clas­sic tri­als in France and un­til re­cently a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to Trial Mag­a­zine. He will be sadly missed by our com­mu­nity world­wide – Jean Cail­lou.

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