Newsletter – August 2015
Once again it’s Newsletter time, the season is rushing by this year and there have been some outstanding competitions run throughout the country, with more to come before the Winter Series starts in October.
Blue Chip National Championships
The Championships this year were hosted by TREC Scotland. This was the first to be run under the TREC GB banner. The whole weekend ran very smoothly and took place from August 14th-16th at Temple Farm Stables. The venue is 15 miles south of Edinburgh and we were hosted by kind permission of the delightful Mike and Ginny Cochran. Special thanks go to all of the wonderful sponsors, both local and national. Mike was unfailingly good humoured, even when filling the muddy gateway with stone, pulling stuck lorries into the corralling field, or doing the water and haylage run at 7am in the morning!
Unfortunately heavy rain overnight on Thursday and Friday morning meant a slightly soggy start to the festivities, but the weather cleared by lunchtime and all was good for the vetting in the stable yard by 4 pm. The rider briefing was held in the indoor school at 7.30 and was conducted by Master of Ceremonies, Mark Kendrick, with good humour and patience when answering queries from competitors with regard to clarifying several rules, in particular the “concussion” rule for Scottish sports.
An early start was the order of the day for Saturday with the map room (hay barn) busy from just past 7am with several tables on the go at once. Horses were tied up in a secure outdoor school and a very high mounting block was provided for the old and infirm to get on!
The surrounding area was very picturesque, with routes at all levels taking riders round the Knights Templar’s countryside. Legend has it that treasure of the Knights Templar was removed secretly
from Paris, to be hidden in Temple. A local legend states: “Twixt the Oak
and the Elm
tree you will find buried the millions free”, however there were no reports of any competitors coming back from the POR with pockets stuffed full of any treasure. Many came back with penalties galore from a tricky route devised by the traceur. The routes at first glance looked deceptively easy with quite a lot of roadwork, but this was interspersed with “jinks” into manned ticket points and checkpoints which required careful map copying skills and a clear “follow the map” strategy. It was especially true that if you spotted a person sitting in a deckchair it was not the best idea just to ride straight towards them!
The evening meal and social was held in the indoor school and enabled everyone to compare notes of the right and wrong ways round the POR, and provisional scores were put up in a timely fashion for checking.
Another early start on Sunday for the second vetting, this time slightly nearer for everyone at the top end of the large corralling field, and then onto the MA, held in the show jumping field around the jumps in a large curve.
Most people had a break (some longer than others) before the PTV, as pairs had their times split. This method is very common in Europe, and helps bonded pairs.
The PTV was measured at 4.2 kms and mostly ran round the headlands of Temple Farm. Some very fit competitors walked it 3 times, but most settled for just the once! 20-24 minutes was allowed for completion (depending on level) and most people finished inside the time. The course encouraged long stretches of canter between obstacles and it was a test of training and obedience with obstacles spread out around the course. A steep gully started the course with ride down, a non- obstacle water crossing, a dip and a bridge or judged water crossing, all in relatively quick succession. There was then a long stretch to the rein back, followed by the ridden S bend, and other individually sited obstacles. There was only one more “group” of obstacles, clover leaf followed by led log, led S bend, led low branches and a mount from the offside from a block. These were situated on the far side of the farm by the remaining ruins of the Knights Templar’s headquarters and it was lovely to be greeted by Steve Wall, official photographer for the Champs, clicking away taking spectacular action shots of all competitors.
Finally after the jump (an upright for level 2s and log piles for levels 3 and 4), the last obstacle was ridden immobility and then a short burst to the finish. The going was good to soft, after Friday’s rain, but held up well for all 94 competitors and then the anxious wait for results began.
Again, it was interesting to note that, although the course looked reasonably straightforward, scores were not high compared to other PTVs , and you had to have a horse or pony that could bowl on between obstacles and then totally refocus to the task in hand, which proved difficult for some. About half and hour allowed for PTV queries to be resolved, and competitors were given the chance to look at the original sheets in the case of an unexplained score.
Prize giving was underway just before 7pm and a good percentage of competitors attended. All the National Champions were duly crowned at their respective levels, and the Nations Cup, a very important part of the competition, was won by England after a hard fought contest.
Thanks are due to all the hard workers from stewards to scorers, traceurs to Technical delegates, to TREC Scotland and to all the competitors who made the journey from all parts of the UK and Ireland, including, for the first time, a group from the Isle of Man.
The overall feeling was that TREC GB had surpassed the expectations for their first National Championships, and all are reminded that qualifications have already started for 2016!
National Champions 2015
Level 2 individual – Sarah Addis
Level 2 pairs – Alex Sales and Rachael Wilmot
Level 3 individual – Sarah Thurnell (pictured, centre, with Caitlin Crossley, left, and Liz Davison)
Level 3 pairs – Bev Stevens and Steph Davis
Level 4 individual – Lynne Mabbitt (pictured, centre, with L-R Dot Still, Sheila Watson, Daniel Nolan and Lynn Davies)
Equisafety Team Class Winners Central Adventurers
Team members: Anna Weston, Bev Stevens and Steph Davis, Mary Weston and Helen Martin, Leigh Nixon, Alex Sales and Rachael Wilmot, Claire Pollard
Nations Cup Champions England (chef d’equipe Helen Wain)
Team members: Hilary Barnard, Anna Weston, Dave and Sheila Rogerson, Mary Weston and Helen Martin, Sarah Thurnell, Liz Davison, Vicki Glynn and Amanda Marfleet, Sarah Addis
Full results of all classes are available on the website.
First time at the National Championships – By two newbies
We, Judith Yarnold and Gillian Coffin, come from Kent and this is our first year of TREC competitions.
We started the season with Endurance to get the horses fit and then we were encouraged to enter our first Level 1 TREC competition at Torry Hill (organised by our friend Sarah Leggat). We were amazed to find that we won the Novice Level 1 and buoyed by our success we entered Berwick Farm, again all went well and we found ourselves in 2nd place. Thus far we had proved competent in the POR section, quite hopeless at the Control of Paces and erratic in our scoring in the PTV. We both loved the orienteering and decided to try a Level 2 competition… we thought that we would enjoy the longer and more challenging POR, and we did.
To be honest we had no idea that the PTV would be so different. The Level 2 PTV at Keysoe appeared to be so much more than one step up from the PTV we had experienced at Torry Hill and Berwick Farm. We thought we had moved up too quickly…we thought we had taken on too much. Luckily we met a great bunch of riders who encouraged us to give Level 2 another go. Much to our surprise we found out that, at Keysoe, we had qualified for the National Championships in Scotland.
Then the fun began. My horse, Zotti, gets travel sick. She is OK in my lorry, but the lorry is 23 years old and with a max speed of 45 miles an hour this lorry is not really up for a 900 mile round trip. So the solution was to ride Gillian’s second horse, however, then it developed a skin reaction, so we were on the verge of abandoning our trip. BUT thanks to the power of social media all was not lost… I wrote a post for the Endurance and TREC Facebook pages explaining our predicament and I asked for help. I asked if anyone knew where I could hire a horse in Scotland. My message was shared over and over again and numerous people made contact with me. The most heart warming message came from Scottish Endurance rider Delia Marriott who offered to lend me her stunning Icelandic mare Ro.
We drove up to Scotland arriving at the venue on Friday afternoon. We met Delia and I had a chance to try Ro who was a delight to ride.
The venue was Temple Farm in Midlothian and the parking and corralling was about 1/2 mile from the farm. The field was enormous and thus we did not really get a feel for the number of competitors attending.
At the vetting that evening we finally realised just how many competitors there were, almost 100 in total including 22 pairs in our class. Following the vetting we had a meeting/ briefing for all. Many competitors had numerous questions which helped us enormously. We realised that we were not the only ones who were learning about the sport.
On Saturday we gathered everything together and had our tack check before the POR. As newbies we kept checking our equipment over and over again. We passed the check only to realise that we did not have the stopwatch and Gill had to rush back to the lorry. We got some penalty points as I did not hear them call us whilst Gill was away. We have learnt that if only one of you is at the map room on time then that person needs to go in and get started. Thanks to our experience at Keysoe we were not worried by being given a map to transcribe that was on two separate bits of paper. We copied the map and set off.
As newbies we do not know our distances / times thoroughly. I was riding a 13.1 Icelandic instead of a 15.1 Arab and had no idea of her speeds. We set out using a piece of knotted string and a stopwatch. Our times were not as accurate as they have been in the past and we would love you experienced riders to give us some hints.
We got really lost in the woods by the river and the lesson we learnt is that when we get lost again we will retrace our steps to the last known point and then start again from there. The POR course was generally OK …it is probably our strongest element and we really enjoyed it. We finished the first day in an unbelievable 9th position in our first National Champs, but with the corralling, the lorries, and the course being spread out I am afraid there was a fair bit of going to and fro for forgotten items ….need to improve my list!!
The control of paces continued to be our worst section. We only scored 15 out of the 120 points available to us…clearly some winter practice is required (those 15 points came from little 13.1 Icelandic Ro and her fantastic walk) The PTV course was lovely 4.5 km track round fields with fabulous views across to the Firth of Forth. The hazards were well spread out and G’s horse Tara thought she was doing a cross country competition. The time allowed was 24 minutes and Ro incurred 30 penalty points for taking 26 minutes… bless her.
We were delighted to finish the competition in 16th place out of 22 pairs. This exceeded our hopes for our first year of TREC. At the end of the second day it was quite clear to us that we can improve. Winter practise of PTV obstacles and the Control of Paces will stand us in good stead for the 2016 season.
A very personal thank you – I had an awful year last year with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and massive surgery. I lost a whole year of riding, but thanks to my amazing family and friends we came through it all with a positive attitude. This year I wanted to have fun and seize every opportunity. I needed challenges and things to look forward to. When we found we had qualified our initial thought was that a 900 mile round trip was not possible. We said…..”Let’s go next year” However when I followed this up with “How do we know that there will be a next year?” we thought again! I would like to thank Gillian Coffin and Delia Marriot for making this weekend possible. Gillian for being the best friend you could ever ask for, for riding with me, supporting me through the past year and for driving the whole 900 miles. Delia, for lending her treasured Icelandic horse, Ro, to a total stranger, in order that I could achieve my dream. Thank you, Judith xx
For next year
Plans are afoot to instigate a stand alone Level 1 Championship for next year and a working group has been formed to organise this. Details and qualification criteria will follow as soon as possible.
The Board would like to wish our Young Rider Caitlin Crossley the best of luck in the European Young Riders championship to be held in Eersal, Netherlands from September 4th-6th.
SEIB Summer League
The league includes all affiliated competitions (full TRECs) and the League tables are up to date on the website, and the competition is hotting up! Please take a look to make sure your points are correct, 10 for a win, down to 1 for 10th place. In the event of a tie after 3 results, the POR placings for those competitions are looked at and the competitor/pair with the highest placings at those events after the POR takes precedence.
TREC GB is pleased to announce that their prestigious Winter Series will this year be sponsored by Masterson Method®. The series promises to be even bigger and better than in previous years with the introduction of a new league class, Newcomers Elite. This class is aimed at more experienced riders on novice horses but is also open to novice riders and sits alongside the traditional Newcomers (restricted to novice riders), Intermediate and Open league classes. Masterson Method will provide first to fourth placed rosettes for TREC GB members in every affiliated class across the country as well as top ten places in each league.
The Masterson Method® is an integrated, multi-modality method of equine massage and bodywork that allows the horse to release deep, accumulated pain and tension in muscles and connective tissue. Through the use of light touch and gentle movement in a relaxed state, and observation of a range of the horse’s responses (these visual and palpable responses tell you what the horse’s body is feeling), you will open doors to improved health and performance while enhancing communication and relationship with your horse.
• Make your horse more relaxed and comfortable.
• Enable your horse to overcome limitations and restrictions that stand in the way of reaching his full potential.
“Without a doubt, Jim Masterson’s work is AMAZING! It is gentle, effective and strengthens the bond and communication between you and your horse. His method directly complements what I do while training. For me, it’s the perfect combination of both ‘physical therapy’ from the ground and from the saddle.”
JANE SAVOIE Three-Time Olympic Coach, Speaker, Clinician, and US Dressage Team Alternate
A slight difference this year is that the sponsorship money that Masterson Method UK has generously given us has come directly out the pockets of their qualified, professional practitioners across the country. A list of all the participating members will be printed in the schedules so please do not hesitate to contact your local person to find out what Masterson Method can do for your horse. Alternatively, if you would like your local Masterson Method practitioner to attend your event or come and give your club a lecture /demo they would be delighted to hear from you. They are as keen to learn about us as we are about them.
Special awards this year will also be given to Best Riding for the Disabled Rider; Traditional (hairy) cob; Veteran Horse; Veteran Rider (only tell us your age if you want the chance of an extra rosette!; Young Rider and Best ex Racehorse.
So roll on October and good luck to all competing – exciting news!!!
The end of TREC GB’s first full year running British TREC is approaching so it is time to elect the Board for 2015-16. Elections will be held for all three countries, with one representative and a deputy being elected for each of the 7 English and 2 Welsh regions and 2 representatives (with deputies) being elected for Scotland.
Applications are now invited from any TREC GB member (Red or Blue tier or Supporter member) who wishes to represent their region/country, as detailed in the recent email to members. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
to request an application form and further information. Applications need to be returned via email by September 1st.
The regional/country representatives and their deputies are the backbone of TREC GB’s structure and provide the conduit for communication between our members and the management system for the sport. The Board’s business is conducted by email and conference call (using a normal phone number that costs the same as a landline call). The role of Board member is a busy one but is immensely rewarding, enabling a real feeling of achievement and involvement.
The elections themselves will run in the latter part of September and full details will be emailed to members in good time. Voting will be done via the website and the results will be checked by an independent verifier.
Well sat Madam!! (Llanthony PTV) In case you cannot identify the rider, it is Vicki Glynn (who rode in 6 competitions in 5 weeks and is now home again in NZ).
Please forward any pictures for inclusion to this prestigious section of the forthcoming newsletters to email@example.com
Everyone please keep looking at the TREC GB website, as there is lots happening at the moment, and the Board is busy working hard on many projects including the AGM and Summer League Prize giving to be held in the Autumn. Details will be on the homepage as soon as they have been finalised. Here’s to a great end to the summer season, and we are all looking forward to a sensational winter series.
for details of Winter Series competitions starting October onwards please see TREC GB website under Events