Category: International Riders

International Rider’s Qualification Period 2019-20

International Rider’s Qualification Period 2019-20

Confirmation of the end of the International Rider’s Qualification period 2019-2020

 The current Selection Criteria document indicates that the qualifying period provisionally runs from 01/03/2019 to 30/06/2020. 

Previously, a competition running the weekend after the end of June has been included within the qualification period, provided that the date still allowed time for confirmation of selected riders and receipt by FITE of required paperwork. It is anticipated that the date this year will be around the 20th July.

The Welsh Championships take place on the 4th and 5th July 2020 and I can now confirm that the qualification period will close after the completion of this competition.

Liz Davison & Dot Still compete in China

Liz Davison & Dot Still compete in China

International TREC GB riders in China 2018

At the 2018 European TREC Championships in Italy, one of the two Chinese representatives, Mr Wu Gang Fang from the China institute for Horse Culture, Sport and Tourism, who headed the equestrian section of the Beijing Olympics, issued an invitation to all FITE member countries to send two riders and their presidents to participate in the Wiefang Equestrian Festival taking place just three weeks later!

China joined FITE in 2017 and held their first ever TREC competition last year.

The Presidents were invited to present at the World Equestrian Tourism Summit on Equine Tourism in their countries and riders were invited to take part in China’s second ever TREC competition.

We met up with fellow ‘Treccies’ from France, Netherlands, Denmark, Russia, Ireland, Spain, Italy, USA, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, and we all got to ride endurance horses or Mongolian ponies who had never experienced a TREC competition before!

The POR went along the beach, through dunes and fields and along quiet tracks. Our Presidents helped to judge the competition and to train the Chinese judges.

The PTV took place on the beach and even into the Yellow Sea for one obstacle. There were loads of spectators as the event fell during ‘Golden Week’ the longest public holiday in China.

It was a lot of fun plus the huge challenge of riding an unknown horse in an entirely new environment and introducing the audience to the TREC way of competing and having fun on horses.

The Festival was a real extravaganza of various equestrian displays and included endurance, horse racing, archery and kite flying on horseback competitions with traditionally dressed Mongolian riders. There were fireworks, hot air balloons, music and grand opening and closing ceremonies.

Some of the riders and presidents were able to stay on for a VIP sight seeing tour after the festival. We visited The Great Wall of China, rode Mongolian ponies in the Manchurian Hills through the first snows of the season and visited Tiananmen Square, the outskirts of the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.

We had brilliant hosts who looked after us so well and made us feel very welcome.

It has been an amazing adventure and an experience of a lifetime with a great group of like minded folk – we had a lot of fun and made many new TREC buddies.

What a great sport bringing people together with a shared love of horses from all ages, abilities, backgrounds and nationalities from all different corners of the world.

Mr Wu Gang Fang extended invitations to us all to visit again next year – hopefully more TREC GB members will be able to take up the invitation and experience the wonderful Chinese hospitality.

HAPPA Print Raffle Winner

HAPPA Print Raffle Winner

Claire Mitchell a member of Bowland TREC.

The Raffle for the HAPPA picture kindly donated by Peter and Paula Bean sold 333 tickets and so raised £333 towards helping to fund our International Riders at the European Championships in Italy this summer. Additionally there were a couple of donations amounting to £56 making a grand total of £389.

Attendees at the TREC GB Ball bought 107 tickets.

South East TREC sold 110 tickets.

WHTG sold 41 tickets

Bowland TREC sold 35 tickets and donated a further £16.

Wessex TREC sold 25 tickets

TSW sold 15 tickets.

TRAC donated £40

Each person was allocated a number between 1-333 for each £1 paid towards the raffle.

The winning ticket number was generated using a random number generator.

The winning number was 103 that had been allocated to Claire Mitchell a member of Bowland TREC.

Well done Claire.

On behalf of the International Riders I would like to thank TREC clubs and their members for their generosity.

Thanks

Dave Rogerson

Chair International Riders Working Group.

Team GB Bag Bronze at European Championships

Team GB Bag Bronze at European Championships

The GB TREC Young Rider Team has returned from the TREC Young Riders European Championships 2017 with a Team Bronze medal!

The Championships were held at the Parc Equestre Fédéral in Lamotte-Beuvron, France from 31 August to 2 September 2017.

43 riders from 12 European nations took part in the competition.

Caitlin Crossley and her Dales pony Adamfield Flashlight, Alex Robinson and her Welsh Section D Trefnant Royal Warrior and Jo McCormac and her Irish pony Apache held onto their team ranking of third throughout a tough competition – their achievement even more impressive as they did not have the luxury of a 4th team member and a discard score that could be dropped for the Team rankings.

The horses and riders arrived at the impressive Parc Equestre Fédéral in Lamotte-Beuvron on Monday the 28th August after a long and hot journey through France. The 2 days in the run up to the start of the competition were spent familiarising themselves and their horses with the extensive, flat areas of woodland around the Parc under the watchful eyes of Chef d’equipes Julia Knight-Jones and Anthea Kendrick.

The competition kicked off on Thursday the 31st of August with vettings, equipment checks and the official opening ceremony.

POR day on Friday 1st September was set to be hot! The riders and horses all successfully negotiated the route in around 5 hours and all horses vetted sound and healthy afterwards. Caitlin had a fantastic POR and came home with 213 points – only one of very few riders who managed to correctly ride all 6 tickets en route, and coming out with a 4th individual position at the end of Day 1. Alex managed to hold onto 168 points giving her individual 15th and Jo ended her day 1 on 107 points with an individual placing of 35th – extremely impressive considering this was Jo and Apache’s international debut.

Team Rankings at the end of Day 1:
1st Spain 615 points
2nd France 574 points
3rd Great Britain 487 points
4th Portugal 439 points
5th Germany 435 points
6th Italy 359 points
7th Belgium 274 points

All horses vetted sound at the start of day 2 and the MA and PTV looked set to be tough but fair tests. Caitlin and Flash pulled a solid 39 points from phase 2. An unfortunate break for Jo and Apache gave them 16 points and a very unfortunate foot on the line reduced Alex and Warrior’s score to 6.

The PTV course was fairly straight forward obstacle wise, with a number of up to height logs but the obstacle positioning ensured a range of associated difficulties for the riders to negotiate.

Everyone agreed that the Judge’s marking was very hard, but to be expected at Championship level. Caitlin and Flash bagged 118 points, Alex and Warrior 74 points and Jo and Apache 83 points.

The competition closed on Saturday the 2nd of September with prize giving and the obligatory celebrations on the Saturday evening.

Individual Results:
Caitlin Crossley & Adamfield Flashlight 4th with 370 points
Alex Robinson & Trefnant Royal Warrior 27th with 248 points
Jo McCormac & Apache 35th with 206 points


Team Rankings:
1ST France with 1122 points
2nd Spain with 1041 points
3rd Great Britain with 831 points
4th Italy with 827 points
5th Portugal with 785 points
6th Germany 702 points
7th Belgium 520 points

A delighted Team GB safely returned from the competition after another long journey on Sunday the 3rd September.
The Riders, horses and their support crew would like to sincerely thank everyone who has supported them in their efforts in getting to the competition.

We would particularly like to thank White Horse TREC Group and the Central TREC Group for their financial contributions towards the rider’s expenses for this trip. We would also like to sincerely thank Just Chaps, Performance Equestrian, and NAF for their continued support with uniforms and equipment and also to Laura of Handwoven Browbands for her generous gifts.

We are already looking forward to the 2018 Championships, which are being held near Rome in Italy.

GB TREC YR Team 2017 (l to r) Anthea Kendrick, Julia Knight-Jones, Caitlin Crossley & Adamfield Flashlight, Jo McCormac, Alex Robinson
A jubilant GB Young Rider TREC Team – Prize Giving 2017
Weekley Training weekend 21/22 May

Weekley Training weekend 21/22 May

7 International riders took advantage of the facilities at Weekley where Central TREC Group kindly allowed us to tag on  to a L1/L2 competition. On the Saturday whilst the L2 competitors were out on their POR we had a morning training on the MA and PTV courses and used the opportunity to have some of this videoed to help us determine where and how we can iimprove.  On the Sunday  senior Chef d`Equipe Dave Rogerson  cleverly added variations to the L2 route which provided us with a good mix of navigational challenges which kept our brains occupied from start to finish.  An excellent weekend with the added bonus of decent weather!

Le Seul Brit en France by Dot Still European Cup competition in Franche Comte

Le Seul Brit en France by Dot Still European Cup competition in Franche Comte

Thursday 19th May

J’arrive a Basel en Suisse via Easy Jet, got my hire car and drove over the border into France. One hour later I am at the venue Mathay for the French round of the Le Trec Euro Cup.

Jean Bernard was waiting for me so that he could introduce me to my hired horse for the weekend.

Umprevu, a 16hh grey gelding, 9 years old, last competed in Trec 3 years ago with Lynn Davies at a very appropriately named horsey place in France called DUNG!!!

JB arranged for me to join in with a lesson at the stables that evening to get to know my horse. Olivier, the owner of the riding school and a French National event rider was taking the lesson and did not speak a word of English, mixed with my lack of French……. I couldn’t wait!

In the meantime, I went for a drive around to get my bearings and have a general look at the area. I checked into my hotel and headed back up to the stables.

I joined in with 5 others for the jumping lesson. Should I have been worried? 2 had on French regional team saddle squares?

Not a bit, Umprevu was a star and was the only one to pop through the 1m grids, without stopping or touching a pole. The language barrier did not pose a problem at all. Lots of gesturing though!!The lesson finished at 8.30pm and I was invited to supper of bolognaise. Yum, I had forgotten I hadn’t eaten since the morning.

Off back to hotel for some ZZZzzzzz.

Friday 20th May

Up to the stables for 9am, tacked up and went for a  reccy ride with Umprevu, map and compass. (you daren’t go anywhere in France without your map and compass) Lovely 2 hour ride in the woods trying to find tracks that are on the map but not easy to find on the ground. Back to stables and had an hour in the school trying some PTV moves and to measure his walk and trot. Little did I know how important this would be.

Lunch again at the stables,( they really did look after me well) cleaned my tack, packed my saddle bags and went for more reccying in the car.

It is a beautiful region with hills ( they call them mountains) up to about 550m and forestry as far as the eye can see.

For those not familiar with a Euro Cup competition, meals from Friday night to Sunday lunch are included in your entry, so… pizza and salad for all on Friday night and a good opportunity to meet everyone. All very social.

There are new French rules which mean that a Friday night and Saturday vetting are no longer required, only on the Sunday morning are the horses vetted. Also new in French rules for this year, you no longer have to carry any equipment except your Id and a copy of the horses passport. It was explained that it was up to the rider what they carried and if they chose nothing and your horse lost a shoe and you had no hoof boot or shoe to put on, he would probably fail the vet the next day. Me being fairly risk averse, tool the whole lot ( by UK standards) of equipment.

Back to the hotel for 10.30pm. Set alarm for 6.30am

The fire alarm in the hotel went off at 11.30pm. No blooming fire but I still had to get up and check what was going on. A member off staff had blown out a candle under the smoke detector.

Saturday 21st May.

I awoke before my alarm, unusual for me!!! I don’t normally wake before the alarm. QUELLE HORROR!!!! It was 8.19am. My phone had decided to do an automatic update through the night and had switched off my alarm.

My map room time was 9.30am, I was a 3km drive from the yard.

I threw my clothes on, jumped into car and arrived at stables at 8.40am. Was I glad I had got all my equipment ready the day before? Missed breakfast but made it to the tack or ID paperwork check with 3 mins to spare. AND BREATH…… AND FOCUS……..AND INTO THE MAP ROOM.

Every time I have competed in France ( this is my 4th time) they give you the whole OS sheet, all neatly folded up, not a nice A3 or A4 printed map of the area, so the first task is to locate yourself on the huge sheet. The map was a complicated draw with lots of off piste and little “offs” or wiggles with most of the route being in the woods. There was a large gap about ¾ of the way round??

Got it all down and about 20km marked up and off we went minus my lunch pack which I forgot to lift. ( remember I had no breakfast)

The first ticket or difficulty was within 200m of the start and was a test of whether or not you were paying attention from the get go. Apparently I was as I got it right. YAY. This gave me a huge boost as it had been a bit of a fraught morning.

A km further on, my right rein clip broke and I had no steering. Oh Oh!

I jumped off, put it back on, only for it to become detached another 300m up the track. I undid my lead rope and used that as a rein. It wasn’t a nice soft, synthetic lead rope it was an old fashioned jute rope. I continued for the rest of the day with rein and rope in hand.

The rest of the day went amazingly well without any more dramas. The gap in my map arrived. It was grids. French grids are not the same as our nice 8 figure references. They have 13 figure references. A challenge as I had never done French grids before. We had to sit in the back of a van at a table and chair, very civilized, please take note British organisers!! I tried to plot, but they didn’t make any sense. They were all over the place. They had given the end grid which was at the end of the gap, marked by two lines. I managed to work this out and the rest were fairly simple after that.

All plotted with 2 mins to spare and off I continued. We had 30 mins to get to the finish of the grid section. I arrived at the end in 29 mins and 50 seconds to find a car but Non Personne!!!!! I shouted Moi ici, J’arrive etc and got some funny looks from some cyclists. Turns out you just continue on your route in France. Only wasted a minute or so and thought, take a note of the time and move on.

The next checkpoint was quite near the end and as soon as you arrived they took your map off you. Bearings! In French of course, no translation for Le Seul Brit!!

13 instructions. All went well and I was one of only a few to come in the right way. This was the finish.

Back to the stables, very happy, thought I might have missed only one ticket at a very tricky bit. Had found 11 tickets ( all manned!!)

Washed down Umprevu, who had turned out to be very strong, remember the rope rein. I hadn’t really noticed during the ride, but I was now a couple of layers of skin short on some of my fingers!! Found some ice  which helped, found my lunch pack which helped and someone found me a glass of wine, which definitely helped. Sat in the sun for an hour. Ahhhhhh.

Checked on Umprevu, he was very fine, munching his hay in his stable then off to dinner, a very tasty local sausage and potato rosti. Results out. Scored 170, 8th place, only missed that one ticket and had the 5th best score of the day. (4 riders were on equal scores just above me)Not bad out of 39 elite riders. Only 4 got all the tickets.

What a full on day.

Back to hotel, showered and fell into bed. I woke every hour in fear of the alarm not going off.

Sunday 22nd May

Alarm did go off at 6.30am.

Made it up to stables in time for bacon and eggs, juice and tea. This was a much better start to the day.

The vetting was at 8am and the MA started at 9. The MA was a straight line, over the brow of a hill. Very narrow, about 1m30 and lined with spectators, dogs and judges.

Umprevu does not really possess a slow canter but you have to try. 17 points gained. His walk was quite good but apparently he stepped out.

After the MA, everyone has lunch. Fish and Chips with salad. The PTV started at 1.30pm. I was not on till 3 so took the opportunity of watching the first few and timing some of them. The time of 9 mins was going to be very tight. Nearly all of the 18 obstacles had an associated difficulty to contend with.

I warmed Umprevu up and headed to the start. Number one was a ridden corridor,  along the top of a bank but with a barrel jump immediately in front and at the end. It had caused a lot of problems. Not for Imprevu. Did it perfectly for a 10. The jumps were all between a metre and a metre 10, the incline and decline were very steep with a moving (gravel) surface, the branches had a jump immediately before and after etc etc etc. It was a totally thrilling PTV and we loved every bit of it. Came in at 8 mins and 45 secs.

The scores came out very quickly. 134 for us. Nobody queried anything and the prize giving took place within 30 mins of results, followed by some cheese and wine. No wonder they all stayed for the prizegiving.

I ended up 16th overall and was delighted with how the weekend ended up.

During the chat afterwards, a person who liveries at the yard was curious as to why I was riding in a snaffle bit. I replied, “ it was the bridle I was given for him”, they replied oh, ok, he is usually ridden in a gag!! This would perhaps explain why I had such a strong horse over the weekend. Hey Ho!!

A fabulous weekend, with lots learned and with some fantastic memories and a couple of blistered fingers to take home. More new Trec friends have been made and I would thoroughly encourage anyone to make the journey to compete abroad. The standard is high ( In France you are competing against World and European Champions) but you come away having learnt a lot.

Huge thanks to all in France, especially Jean Bernard and the staff at the stables who made it such a fun and enjoyable weekend. I will be back.

Some Pearls of Wisdom

  1. Take a second alarm clock.
  2. Always be super organized.
  3. Try to take as much of your own trusted tack as you can.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, most people are more than happy to help
  5. Take your own snacks for the POR in case you either forget to lift or don’t like the local offerings
  6. Count every step of the way and when your map says … go through those thick prickly bushes….. GO!!!!!!

Some Stats

POR 170

MA 17

PTV 134

Total 321

Kms ridden POR 34km

Kms walked about 30km

Kms driven 320km

Kms flown who knows

Tack cleaned 4 times

Nationalities present- French, Swiss, Spanish, Austrian and un seul Brit

Au Revoir et Jusqu’a la prochaine fois

The Master Map
Eersel Report by Claire Pollard

Eersel Report by Claire Pollard

A group of us went to Eersel over the weekend of 23/24 April 2016 to compete in a TREC. There were 3 of us competing in the Eurpean Cup competition – Hilary Barnard, Kate Gillam who was competing on a friend’s horse and myself. Amanda Marfleet and Vicki Glynn competed at the equivalent of Level 2.

There are quite a few hoops to be jumped through to take your horse abroad. You have to obtain an Export Licence and have a health check for the horses. The form for the application for a health check is about 8 pages long and quite confusing. The same form appears to be used for exporting all animals, live or dead, and even semen. In the end after trying to work out how I could be both the Consignor and the Consignee, I gave up and called DEFRA, who were extremely helpful and I managed to email the form to them.

The plan was to stay over at Amanda Marfleet’s on the Wednesday night and get the horses vetted there at the same time. This all went without a hitch, and we were ready to leave earlyish on the Thursday morning to catch a ferry. Amanda and Vicki’s horses travelled in Amanda’s lorry and my horse, 2B, and Hilary’s pony Harvey travelled in my trailer. I have never transported a horse on a ferry before and after driving the trailer onto the ferry you have to leave it and go onto the passenger decks. I admit I did not like leaving my horse for about 90 minutes, but all was ok. I am sure she was helped by the calming influence of the far more experienced Harvey.

We then had about a further 4 hours to drive, after leaving Calais, before reaching the venue. This was nearly all on motorways and the horses travelled very well. We arrived there early afternoon on Thursday and put the horses in stables. After a bit of a break for us all we took them out for a nice leg stretch, which also had the benefit of helping us get familiar with the maps. On the Friday I moved 2B into a corral where she was happier than being in a stable and we just spent a pretty lazy day.

Our tack check was on the Friday evening, which went quite well. The POR was held on the Saturday with the map room being in an indoor school. The POR was nearly all on sandy tracks through the forest which made the orienteering interesting, and the riding was lovely. Unfortunately I had twisted my ankle during the week, so I was rather slow and picked up tons of time faults, but my orienteering wasn’t too bad. The weather was rather cold with a few wintery showers. I think it is the first time I have done TREC in snow. The Sunday was equally cold and stormy, but the people were all really friendly, and the judges were well huddled up under huge umbrellas and lots of layers. I did feel very grateful to them for enabling us to compete. The MA was quite interesting, it was along one of the sandy tracks, which was lined with umbrellas. I expected 2B to spook at the umbrellas, but these were no problem. Unfortunately she did break when a dog in the hedge jumped up, no excuse for this, I didn’t expect her to be bothered by this, I ride out with dogs quite often. However, 2B did a lovely walk and scored 17. The PTV was quite interesting and used the features of the venue well. Because of my bad ankle I did not do the remount or the led obstacles, I was not in contention in any case. But the other obstacles were interesting and we scored quite well. Congratulations to Hilary who got the best PTV score.

Hilary and I decided to travel back to the ferry on the Sunday evening, to split the journey for our horses. This all went without a hitch and we caught a ferry just before midnight, arriving back at Amanda’s at about 1.30. There were lovely stables ready for the horses, which was very welcoming. Poor 2B was very tired and didn’t know whether to eat drink or pee first, but she settled very quickly and was fine in the morning.

Overall Hilary came 3rd, I was 16th and Kate was 17th. Vicki was 5th and Amanda 7th. Rather different for Vicki and Amanda as they rode as a pair but were placed as individuals. Huge thanks to Amanda, for the hospitality at her house, to “Nurse” Vicki for the treatments to my ankle which I am sure enabled me to ride at all and also to Hilary and Harvey for looking after me and 2B on our first foreign excursion.