If you are renewing or joining TREC GB, as a Red or Blue member this month, please remember to nominate WHTG as your chosen TREC Club. That way you will receive a £10 rebate on your WHTG club membership which will be due on 1 November. Our fees are frozen again at £22 per person (so it will only cost you £12 for a whole year of WHTG membership!) We really appreciate your continued support.
CLEVELAND BAY AWARENESS DAY – TREC TASTER SESSION (by Liz Payne)
A bright day dawned on Sunday 11th September, as Cleveland Bay enthusiasts made their way to the Northern Racing College, near Doncaster. There were celebrations going on as part of Cleveland Bay awareness weekend, a world-wide weekend to celebrate and raise awareness of this wonderful, but no.1 critically endangered breed of horse.
Andy and Dave Chappell, Mick and I went along and set up an MA and some PTV obstacles on the lovely grassy area in the middle of the gallops, at the Northern Racing College. The weather couldn’t have been kinder and it was fantastic to see such majestic horses and their owners having fun. As well as the TREC taster, there was a parade to start things off, along with show-jumping and a chance to try out the gallops.
There was lots of interest in the TREC, so we’’re hoping to see some lovely Cleveland Bays turning up at some winter and summer events soon. I’m converted, so I hope they are too!
The winners were Sarah Appleby & Jo Fisher, 2nd Kirsty Collinson (highest MA & PTV) & Charlotte Crowther, 3rd Isla & Lizzie Murdoch, 4th Carol Connelly & Shirley Leonard and 5th Richard & Debbie Milner. For a change from rosettes, Ruth baked some buns which went down a treat, along with polos for the horses!
The first ever Trec GB level 1 Champs took place at Lincomb Equestrian centre in Worcestershire at the end of August, and several WHTG members took part. Thanks to Rachel, Kirsty & Fiona for their reports and photos!
The venue was superb with the choice of several nice looking x country courses to get hot headed ponies, who should know better, very excited.
And now a very thorough report from Fiona Newboult and Prince, who did the individual class, sit down with a cuppa and enjoy…
Driving down on Saturday afternoon through the rather impressive thunderstorm (so impressive the planned vetting was postponed to the following morning!) I wasn’t really sure what to expect having never qualified for anything before, ever. Part of the reason for this is that Prince spent quite a while being plagued with soundness issues due to his rather rubbish feet. It was eventually decided that the most appropriate thing would be barefoot rehabilitation started off by the
amazing Rockley Farm. Although it has definitely worked in that it has returned him to soundness it has not been a quick fix and as we also only recently got our own wheels this is the first year that we’ve been able to consistently get out and about competing (And in our one previous full TREC competition we had a partner who was a better map reader than me!) Promptly got drenched upon arrival constructing a coral for the pony, all the while cursing my decision not to book a stable. (he of course was nice a dry inside the lorry, not that he was happy about being shut in and of course he let the world know this!)
Luckily the weather did brighten up a bit for POR day and the rain was intermittent rather than torrential! We had quite a late setting off time so actually had time to have a leisurely breakfast and read a book for a bit in the morning before tack check time. Nearly had a disaster here when both my head torch and spare head torch turned out to have flat batteries (note to self: check equipment in between competitions!) but the little wind up one that lives in the lorry cab (as the internal light in there is broken!) came to the rescue!
Further evidence that we were not having one of our better days came in the map room where the twisty route was rather fiddly to draw and I needed extra time (never have been a fast copier!) Had a brief moment of actually knowing where we were going for once before reaching the XC fields and realising this would all be so much easier if the jumps appeared on the map. Prince chose this moment to be decidedly unhelpful by ignoring all requests (polite and otherwise) to stand still so I could try and work out where we were. Luckily we did eventually run into some other also lost people and their similarly annoyed horses (all of whom probably wished the humans would just make their minds up about where they were going!) along with the river to orientate ourselves and eventually the first checkpoint (only about 40 minutes late!) The rest of the POR went reasonably well (apart from a few hairy moments climbing up a rather steep and muddy bridlepath) until the bit between the final two checkpoints where I had a moment of madness and convinced myself we were going the wrong way when we weren’t and then refused to believe that a really obvious gap in the hedge and footpath were in the right place so rode past, realised that it MUST have been right as there was nowhere else we could go and basically wasted about another half an hour! All this mucking about racked us rather a lot of penalty points up and sat us nicely in last place! (Although I think that we deserved some bonus points for totally failing to notice the pigs the other side of the hedge until I heard them oinking after we’d passed them, especially given that my pony is terrified to death of other farmyard animals such as cows!)
POR day was followed by a lovely BBQ in actual nice, warm sunshine after the rain finally gave up and went home. (Catering was fab all weekend actually, really nice that there was food available all weekend as I don’t have any facilities in my lorry).
The PTV course was set around one of the beautifully well maintained XC fields and made use of a few of the existing obstacles. Overall things went ok apart from pony being unimpressed by the path crossing, loss of balance / break to trot and general destruction in the bending, not standing still after the remount and a bit of an argument about who was in charge of speed control on the bank (Prince won that one!). He also didn’t fancy standing still on top of the mound (brilliant obstacle idea by the way!) for the immobility as all the grass had been eaten by then! We did however manage to redeem ourselves with the “minion” jump, went straight through the water, did a good reinback and did the shamrock in canter for the first time ever!
The MA had been inventively laid out so that it went through the middle of two “scary” jumps and was very long! This actually worked to our advantage as meant the pony couldn’t really spook at either one and gave me time to push him on through the timing gates and hold him back In between. Managed full marks for canter and a walk score in the double figures which is as good as it gets with him. Due to a few people not having the best of second days we managed to claw our way into 2nd place. We also came 1st in the team competition with the “far and wide” team of total strangers from erm far and wide! Not bad for a pony who I couldn’t hack alone without temper tantrums and napping at every opportunity when I first got him, who spooks at every rustle in everyday life and a human who still fails at map reading!