Category: Hall of Fame Horses

Brilyn Bashful Barney

owned by Sarah Thurnell

Barney has shown throughout his twenty year TREC career that small ponies with adults can compete with (and beat!) the full sized horses. His character and soundness have carried him to GB Championship wins and successfully from Level 2 through to Level 4. He is a great ambassador for tough native ponies ridden by adults enjoying TREC.

Barney joined the Thurnell family in 2001 as an extremely nervous seven year old Welsh Section C. He competed at Level 2 and 3 initially in pairs classes, gaining confidence from his much larger horse pair. At only 13 hands and ridden by adult Sarah, he was expected to do everything the big horses did despite his small size.

Barney continued to grow in experience and confidence and won, and competed at, numerous GB Championships from 2002 onwards, including Level 4 individual and night sections. He was placed 5th in the Level 2a class at the 2019 National Championships, his most recent competition aged 25. He has covered more than 1000km in TREC events and only retired once, after losing a shoe in a boggy river. A cheeky legend in his own lifetime, he is often the smallest pony at the vetting. He knows all the PTV obstacles and most of the judges personally.

Burgundy Boy (Bugsy)

Owned by Anne Hand

Burgundy Boy (known to everyone as Bugsy) came into my life as a just backed 4 year old off Exmoor. His TREC career started in 2004 as the guinea pig for a TREC judges course, my introduction to TREC, and his first competition.  From there we sped up the levels and competed at Level 4 from 2006 until 2014 and thereafter at Level 3. Living on the edges of Exmoor until 2013 meant that we had wonderful TREC training country. The highlights of his career were a top five placing in the Level 4 National Championships in Pembrokeshire in 2007 and reserve Level 3 champion on home territory at Treborough in 2018. Other than TREC, he was a fixture on many riding club dressage, show jumping and eventing teams, and had a presentable collection of British Dressage novice and elementary points. He loved his work but was happiest bowling along on a loose rein on a POR. He always knew the way back to his trailer wherever it was parked, which was useful on the occasions when I had lost the plot with my map.

His breeding was a mystery on his dam’s side, although his sire was a full thoroughbred racehorse from whom he inherited his weak and flat front feet.  There was definitely naughty pony and a bit of Arab in his mix. His TREC career would have been more illustrious if only he could have been kept sound more consistently. It says a lot for his big heart and cheeky character that he was still enjoying dressage, jumping and fun rides (albeit on good going) almost to his 25th birthday. We did not quite make a combined age of 100 but he gave me 21 years of fun and companionship and always tried so hard to do his best at everything.

Cape Clear Casey

owned by Mary Weston

Casey is Mary’s 3rd TREC horse and this speedy pony has finally retired from TREC in the autumn 2022 at the grand age of 28. Casey and Mary were always fearsome competitors with amazing speed and dexterity, with their career highlight being winning the 2022 National Championships Level 2A individual class with a combined age of 103!

Hermas Nazim (Blackie)

owned by Dani Glaister

Blackie has enabled so many people to enjoy TREC. Whilst not an International Champion, he is always there and happy to provide a mount for many Red Kite TREC Group members who would otherwise have found themselves unable to ride. In 2022 alone, he competed at Level 1, Level 2 and Level 2A, with several different riders, and is happy on his own or part of a pair, when they need support. Blackie has a high regard for Health and Safety and is happier in a rural, rather than an urban environment – and he excels at PTV obstacles. Never sick or sorry, he will go and do whatever is asked of him, for whoever asks.

Jake

owned by Anthea Kendrick & Polly Lloyd Owen

Anthea bought Jake (aka The Wing Commander – because of his moustache and his herd management in the field) in the spring of 2004 – immensely fat and incredibly unfit but very willing.

His first competition was the Welsh Champs near Oswestry in June – already much fitter and with a waistline, he still wasn’t ‘fit’, so Anthea walked/ran every speed that began with a S (6, 6.5, 7 or 7.5) to help keep him in one piece, they finished the POR in one piece and surprised a lot of selectors (some of whom had been very vocal about their disapproval of her purchase) by getting a 30 point canter, and a respectable PTV score – even if his jumping was not very stylish.

In the remainder of 2004, they scored respectably in the English and Scottish Champs as well, and then missed the British at Oasby as Jake contracted harvest mites and lost a load of hair from his legs and saddle patch (Anthea competed on Katie Morgan’s ex-endurance mare, Cass). Still, they made the cut for the FITE Champs at Zweibrucken in Germany, and that was where they discovered his fear of flag-bearing and love of dancing to Brass bands (no joke when in a public square with unfenced spectators!). Competed as non-team rider.

2006 they competed at the FITE Champs that was held on Exmoor – again as a non-team rider – Jake and Anthea were placed in the top ten. At Exmoor they discovered he really hated a camera flash and ended up reversing quietly out of most squad photos while all the other horses pricked up their ears.

2008 saw them at the FITE Champs in Lamotte Beuvron, France as part of the actual team. Still mad about brass bands and military music, he danced throughout the whole opening ceremony – so much that a Spanish spectator thought he had Spanish blood and was very disconcerted to find a round Irish Cob in our stables rather than the fire-breathing circus horse he’d seen in the main arena. Jake and Anthea retired from International competition/selection after that competition.

They did compete at all major competitions in 2005 & 2007 won at least one major UK Championships near Salisbury.

Jake and Anteha enjoyed doing unaffiliated dressage up to Medium level in the winters as well as Indoor TREC competitions – but while they were great fun, they were rarely placed as Anthea was usually judging other classes first and frequently had 5 minutes or less to warm up.

In 2009 they competed in the inaugural Pro-Am Trec Challenge at the Royal Windsor Horse Show – Jake blotted his copy book by jumping out of his stable (the tented kind) to try to join a Military procession 3 times – his hatred of camera flashes blew their score in the bending and the sound of a massed bagpipe band ruined his chances in the s-bend – but Martin Clunes fondled his moustache and theye had great fun making idiots of themselves (through gritted teeth!). Polly bought Jake from Anthea at the end of 2009.

Jupiter’s Gold (Moley)

owned by Bob Cripps

Moley is 28 years young and is now fully retired.

In his TREC career he won the English L2 individual Championship in 2005 in Wiltshire, followed by a couple of years off recovering from a significant wound. We gradually built back his strength and in 2012 he won the L2 individual British Championship in Scotland. This was followed two years later in 2014 where we paired with Katie Holmes and the wonderful Fenn, to win the L2 pairs at the British Championship in Oxfordshire. Moley is such a kind and gentle soul, he adored TREC and was “renowned” for his ability to gallop the low branches and a super-fast PTV. In 2008 we were invited to participate in a TREC demonstration at Windsor Horse Show where he regaled the crowd with his fun loving antics.

Lily Langtree

owned by Kate Gillam

Lily has been a great TREC partner to owner, Kate Gillam for many years, with highlights including competing in the European Championships in Italy in 2018 where they tackled the fearsome1.40m brush jump in the photo with an invisible 1 stride landing before heading down a steep hill, made even more difficult as it was the first obstacle on the PTV. Kate’s most memorable moment from the trip however was during a practice orienteering ride earlier in the week when she rode to the top of an Italian mountain:

“The shimmering, silvery view was breathless, spreading out over the mountains to the glistening sea in the distance far below. I was moved by both the splendour of vision and as I reflected upon the pretty horse that had travelled so far with me and who had become so much a part of my life.”

With retirement coming earlier than expected, Lily will be remembered as a horse that always scored very well in PTV & MA, as well as being an excellent POR horse at top level. She has often been the only horse to jump a large or tricky obstacle at an event.

Millicent Millie

owned by Kathryn Rollinson

Millie was an amazing horse, owner Kathryn Rollinson hadn’t owned her a year when she competed with her on the GB Young Rider team in Switzerland in 2007. This was such an achievement as she certainly wasn’t a ready-made horse and was very green. Millie also represented GB in Austria on the senior team, a competition they were very proud to complete and an experience they will never forget.

 Millie went on to compete at TREC up to level 4 where she won every title possible, she has been Welsh level 4 champ, Scottish level 4 champ, English level 4 champ and GB level 4 champ and she has also been on the winning Nations Cup team. Millie has also won these titles at lower level, her last competition being the Scottish champs in 2018 at level 3 where she won the title.

Millie was a character, often seen dragging her ‘holder’ around the venue whilst waiting for Kathryn to come out of the map room to then stand angelically whilst Kathryn mounted. She always made us laugh, she was a horse that knew her job.

She loved day 2 and always came out full of beans.

Millie was retired in 2019 after an unexplained injury was found that was an untreatable. Millie lived out her days in the field overlooking the sea, she will always be loved and forever missed.

Portia

owned by Marie Spillane

Portia was the horse who got owner Marie Spillane started with competing in TREC in 2003. 

Portia was an ex-racehorse who was a true all-rounder representing Pony Club and Riding Club at arena qualifiers and national championships in Eventing at novice level. Portia & Marie had a go at TREC after retiring her from Eventing. She took to the sport very easily and enjoyed several years competing at TREC before old age sadly caught up with her. She was super consistent at MA scoring full marks for canter and 15 plus for walk nearly every time. She often got one of the highest PTV scores too. She was a regular winner of winter series competitions. Portia & Marie’s best season was in 2008 where the pair won the Welsh, Scottish and British Championships as a level 2 individual. They followed this up with a win in the English level 2 individual championships in 2011 when she had to stand in at the last minute after Marie’s other horse went lame. 

Second Edition (Rusty)

owned by Dave & Sheila Rogerson

Rusty has just completed his 20th year in TREC. He went straight in at level 3 as his owner’s believed him to be 7 years old and it took until 2013 for him to become British Champion and he was then Level 3 pairs champion for 4/5 years. He’s always been good on the POR knowing when to be steady and calm though if not tied up properly he has gone off on his own. His PTV scores have been a strength averaging over 120 with strong MA points too. Sheila and Dave have shared competing on him since 2017 although he is now not doing the distance of L3s.

Recently he has been the best veteran at the last 3 British championships and in 2022 was ridden as a last minute replacement still showing he loves to compete and being crowned L2A pairs champion.

Photo creditL Krist Clay, Topgear Photos