TREC originated in France, but is now gaining popularity throughout Europe, and many competitions are run in the UK, from beginner to international levels. TREC is designed to increase the knowledge, awareness and enjoyment of the countryside of a diverse range of people.
First timers are very welcome, it’s a really friendly sport. Most of the competition comprises challenges you would meet out riding in the countryside and TREC is designed to be manageable for every rider, no matter what level of ability.The emphasis is on fun!
The competition involves the skills and hazards you might encounter out hacking including map reading, mounting and dismounting, going through water, under low hanging trees, opening gates, crossing bridges and jumping over fallen logs. The winner is determined by points gained over the three phases of the competition. Most competitions run a pairs class so you can go with a friend for moral support. Events are usually run over either one or two days, and there is often a social event included with a 2-day competition.
TREC is a fun riding competition usually comprising three phases – orienteering (POR), control of paces (MA) and obstacles (PTV).
Orienteering on horseback might sound scary, but at levels 1 and 2 the navigation is very basic and most people are pleasantly surprised. The route will be between 10 and 20 kms (roughly 6-12 miles) in length, designed to be completed mostly in walk and trot. You will often find yourself amidst glorious scenery, and on tracks where horses usually aren’t allowed.
The control of paces is a simple test of how slowly your horse can canter and how quickly it can walk, without breaking into trot from either pace. It is measured through a corridor of up to 150m in length, and between 2 and 2.20m in width.
The PTV is a course of 16 optional obstacles, each with a maximum score of 10 points given for style and effectiveness. There is a large range of obstacles, but they are all designed to test things that would normally be encountered out hacking in the British countryside, and you will not be eliminated if there’s something that you can’t do. Each obstacle is only 2% of the overall score, so just not being able to jump/mount from the ground is not going to stop you scoring well.
In October 2014 TREC GB took over from the BHS as the governing body for TREC in the UK. You do not have to be a member of TREC GB to compete, but members receive discounts on competition entries and are eligible to qualify for the British TREC Championships. The red tier membership also provides members with 24/7 third party liability cover. Non-members must prove that they hold third party liability insurance with their entry.
The latest edition of the rulebook is available for free online at http://www.trecgb.com/Rulebook.html
If you’d like to find out more in a practical session, please see our calendar – we run training sessions throughout the season, but please feel free to come along to spectate or help out at an event to find out more!