Category: Riders Profiles

Young Riders – Alex Robinson

Occupation.                                    School Pupil

Horse’s name ,age and breed.

Trefnant Royal Warrior  11 years old.  Welsh Sn D

Horses history, how did they end up being a superstar TREC horse!

Warrior was bought by mum from someone who’d brought him to bring on.  We don’t know what had happened to him in his previous life, but he was terrified of anyone getting on him and would try to back away, then be very tense once mounted.  He would relax as you started to ride him.  If you tried to check your girth up, unzip your coat a bit etc. then he would once again tense up terrified.  That all seems to be behind him now and he genuinely tries his best.  His jumping has improved, but he still needs a bit of confidence for those larger, scarier jumps.  He’s eager to please and thinks he’s human at times!

How did you get into the sport of TREC?

Mum was taking part in TREC and she entered me in an assisted class at Five Pits near Chesterfield on my old pony Pepsi.  After that I took part in a few pairs classes with mum both at L1 and L2, on Pepsi, then when we got our new horses we started to do L3 pairs classes until I was old enough to take part as an individual.

I enjoy helping out at TREC’s – judging for other classes, as well as taking part myself.

What do you love about the sport?

It is a good sport that tests all round abilities.  I like that any horse/pony can take part, no matter what breed, colour etc. as long as they are physically fit.

I also love the friendly (yet still competitive) nature of the events and competitors and that the more experienced are always ready to help less experienced out with advice.

What is your favourite Phase and why?

My favourite phrase is the POR, as I love the challenging orienteering, and the gorgeous views I often get to see.  It’s just you and your horse, and together you can have some fabulous rides.

What advice would you give some one wanting to get into the sport?

To someone wishing to start TREC, I would say start off at a Level 1 or2 then gradually build your way up to the higher levels if you wish to.  You could practise a little beforehand, so you have a basic knowledge of what to do, but don’t be too bothered about winning.  And finally, have fun!

And the one moment of TREC you will never forget!

I will never forget my first TREC, which was the Five Pits Trail TREC, when I was doing Level 1 assisted.  My pony, Pepsi, kept trying to follow all the other horses going the other way, so my mum, who had intended to cycle round with me, had to abandon her bike at the first checkpoint.  I was also really proud, as I came 5th out 6.

Senior Riders – Sheila Watson

Name:

Sheila Watson

Occupation:

Part time Architect`s secretary and B&B lady

Horse`s name age and breed:

Eldrick Redoubt aka Cricket dob 2003 Welsh D

Horse`s  history:

Bred by my neighbour, came to me as an entire 4yo to be broken, and stayed. He had to take over from my previous Welsh Cob TREC pony and had very smart shoes to fill.

How did you get into the sport of TREC?:

I`d heard of it but there was nothing at all locally so had to travel south for three hours to seek out our first training – and were hooked straight away.

What do you love about the sport?:

The camaraderie; the orienteering through countryside you wouldn`t usually get access to; the bonding with your pony; the whole weekend of competition.

What is your favourite phase and why?:

POR – we enjoy the “treasure hunt” of finding the correct route….

What advice would you give someone wanting to get in the sport?:

Give it a go, but find yourself a pair if you`re concerned about the POR.

And the moment of TREC you will never forget?:

Winning the GB level 4 championship with Cricket. (or Brigette greeting me with a whisky after I’d driven an unplanned five hours across Germany in an unknown vehicle, with an unknown trailer and pony, and a german speaking sat nav…)

Senior Riders – Dot Still

Occupation Livery Yard owner and taxi service for my boys.

Horse:  Wahiki aged 10 Irish Sport Horse, 15.2hh

Wahiki was bought as a 5 year old with the sole purpose of getting to Italy 2014 and beyond. He has a super temprement. He loves the obstacles and thinks it is all great fun. He will go all day on the POR with the minimum effort from me. He is non spooky  and a forward ride without being strong which all in all makes for the perfect TREC horse. He did qualify us for Italy but sadly I had an accident which meant I could not go. We persevered, we both became older and wiser and were selected to go to Spain in 2016 to the World Championships.

I was introduced to TREC by a friend who wanted to hire my outdoor school for a TREC training event. She suggested I have a go. I did and was totally hooked from that very day. I have competed in various equestrian disciplines and can honestly say TREC has given me the most fun on a horse.

I love the friendship it has given me, all over Europe. I love the bond it has created between Wahiki and myself, we are a team. I love the challenge of the maps and the terrain that we are sent across. I have ridden in some spectacular parts of the UK and indeed Europe. The peace away from my mobile for about 8 hours is just bliss!

The obstacles too are a lot of fun and although you practice at home, you just never know what might happen on the day. I enjoy the thrill of the PTV as it has a cross country element to it.

Finally I have met some lovely people and made some great friends both at home and abroad all with the same aims of enjoying their horses.

What is your favourite Phase and why?

Tricky one as I like them all for different reasons.

POR for the challenges

PTV for the excitement

COP for the chance to show that TREC horses have to be well schooled and obedient to gain good points ( the same could be said for the PTV too)

What advice would you give some one wanting to get into the sport?

Do it!!!!

It is a sport for all. Go to a local training event and give it a go. Look up TREC GB website to get more information.

And the one moment of TREC you will never forget!

Coming back from a back injury and coming 13th individually at the Worlds was a real high point and a great personal achievement.

Senior Riders – Liane Robinson

Occupation:

External Technical Auditor

Horse:

Carive Moon and the Stars 13 years old. TB cross.

Horses history, how did they end up being a superstar TREC horse!

Star was originally bought for my daughter Alex at the same time as we got Trefnant Royal Warrior for myself, but then we finished up swapping horses as she was a better match with Warrior. We’d lost my previous horse who I competed at TREC on and so both horses were initiated into TREC through L1 and L2 pairs competitions (Alex was too young to compete as an individual). They were great together on the POR, however, separation issues for the other phases certainly made interesting riding. Since we’ve been riding as individuals the separation issues have subsided significantly. Star initially had lameness problems through repeated abscesses and since the summer of 2017 has had no shoes and her feet have improved significantly and we use Scoot boots to protect her feet.

How did you get into the sport of TREC?

I got into TREC through our local Countyside Ranger back in 2000 – she’d heard of it through her sister and a talk was arranged through the BHS locally and Rob Jones came with a load of wonderful slides and stories of the foreign competitions. A local competition was organized and I took part on my 30 year old mare Cindy, who we unfortunately lost the following year. A few years later in 2006 I got the use of my sister’s horse, took part in a L2 at Garstang, then the Championships at Lowther and have been competing ever since.

What do you love about the sport?

The sport is wonderful, the camaraderie is second to none. Right from my first competitions I was amazed how helpful the other competitors were in giving advice about the many different aspects. It is also so inclusive to every type of horse (as long as it is fit and healthy for the standard at which it is competing) and rider. The sport also gives us the chance to ride in some fantastic areas, where the public do not always have permission to ride.

What is your favourite Phase and why?

The POR has to be my favourite discipline, getting to challenge not only my riding skills but also my brain power, whilst remembering to keep it nourished sufficiently so that it doesn’t switch off. Some of the places that we have ridden have been absolutely stunning and it is a wonderful feeling when you’ve come into that checkpoint or found that ticket point that was hidden away.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the sport?

Getting into the sport can be intimidating to some, however, there’s nothing to be frightened of at all. Ask yourselfa basic question – can you read a map? – yes – good, no, then find a map reading course – TREC groups run these but also other organisations, such as the local Countryside ranger service. Don’t be bothered too much about the speeds on the POR – it is far better to do it and be slow or fast than to miss or wrong route into a ticket or checkpoint. Don’t be afraid to ask.

And the one moment of TREC you will never forget!

Becoming the English L3 champion at Lincomb in 2014. We had a fantastic POR, even though we’d lost a shoe on an early section and had to replace it with a boot, – losing just 5 points in total on the last two sections and really just had to successful complete the 2nd day to win. I went over and over the PTV course in my head beforehand, then once it was complete went through it again double checking that I’d completed every obstacle. We even got 30 points for our canter on the MA. When I got home with the trophy, the first thing the family asked was ‘Were you the only one in that class’ – Certainly not, it was a good entry.

Senior Riders – Claire Pollard

Claire started competing in TREC in about 2001, initially riding in pairs with her daughter Sarah.

When Sarah wanted to “go it alone” Claire started competing as an individual, in about 2006.

Claire’s favourite part of the competition is the POR.

At present Claire’s horse 2B has taken a dislike to leaving others, not ideal for a TREC horse, so she is looking for a replacement. Hopefully, this won’t take too long and she will be up to full strength and will be competitive enough to represent GB in the future.

Claire is a Chartered Accountant and currently works with her husband in their own practice.

Senior Riders – Jo McCormac

Occupation.

Student/Groom


Horse’s name ,age and breed.

Dubh, 17yo TB cross.

Horses history, how did they end up being a superstar TREC horse!

Dubh got dragged into TREC when my pony was unable to go to the World YR Champs in Italy. She had 2 weeks to be introduced to the entirety of the discipline and prepare to compete abroad, with just one competition under her belt – a very rainy stint at the Welsh Champs. Dubh was a fit endurance horse, too mad to do TREC, so it was quite the
adjustment. Still very much a work in progress, she has great potential when we can contain her excitement, she did a fantastic job in Italy so we are going to keep plugging away at it, she has been out a fair bit attending the Winter Series and this has helped her hone her skills.

How did you get into the sport of TREC?

Honestly no idea! I remember always wanting to get into it but couldn’t do it on Dubh, the mad ex-racehorse, as she’s downright insane at the best of times. When I got Tia my old pony, I got into the sport quickly with her, entering straight in at 2A/3 and attending the Young Rider European Champs in our first year competing in TREC and first year together – when she was unable to attend the Italy Champs in 2018 Dubh got dragged in as a back up.

What do you love about the sport?

I love the camaraderie. It really is second to none. I have competed in many disciplines for both pleasure and work, and nothing is as friendly and supportive yet competitive as TREC – people are keen competitors but are still welcoming and friendly, a pretty unique combination! My closest friends are ‘Treccies’ and the support network you can gain through TREC is just incredible, proven to me when I got a nasty bout of appendicitis at the National Champs in 2018 and offers of help flood in from people I knew well, and even those I’d never met. You won’t find a nicer bunch of people!

What is your favourite Phase and why?

POR, it has to be. I have an obsession with all things map, so combining horses and maps and adventuring is heaven for me. Exploring new areas is so exciting and the terrain so varied, it’s different everywhere you go and you really never know what is round the next corner! I love how at its simplest, you are going for a varied interesting ride with your horse; and yet at its extremes it requires extreme physical and mental stamina, precision, accuracy, skill, and the ability to do all of the above while controlling a half tonne animal with their own free-will! The buzz you get from it is exhilarating, after a post-POR nap of course.


What advice would you give some one wanting to get into the sport?

Offer to help or attend events to watch – the Winter Series is a good way to understand the rules and meet people when there is less pressure around, and help is always appreciated. Everyone is approachable and wants to get more people involved in TREC – so just be brave and ask people questions.


And the one moment of TREC you will never forget!

Crossing the finish line in Italy at the World Young Rider Champs on my super special horse Dubh. Tears of joy and extreme pride. Competing for GB on an ex-racehorse that was bought for tuppence as a dangerous project, that was written off by vets in 2015 due to varying health issues, who I spent 2 years slowly rehabilitating to return to work to then be taken out to Italy with next to no preparation but still gave it her all and did it in style finishing 2nd highest Brit. That is a feeling that will stick in my head forever.

Senior Riders – Lynne Mabbitt

GB Trec 2015 shoot

Name  Lynne Mabbitt

Junior or senior Rider Senior

Occupation   Semi retired

Horse’s name, age and breed    Jigsaw 19 years Crossbred

Alaska 7 years Appaloosa cross

Horses history, how did they end up being a superstar TREC horse!

Jigsaw was taken into possession via the RSPCA as a 3 year old with a yearling foal at foot.  Neither her foal nor a 3rd horse taken at the same time survived. Jigsaw came to me as an unbroken 4 year old a year later and it was clear after the first couple of TRECs that I did with her that she had the potential to be a really good TREC horse. She`s generally very well behaved,  chilled, good at looking after herself (and me) and careful where she puts her feet

Alaska bought via Preloved as a 5 year old, still very much a work in progress!

How did you get into the sport of TREC?  Officiated at the English Championships local to me back in 2002 and amazed at the antics of the various competitors but impressed with how well behaved most of the horses were. Did one competition as a pair the following year and loved it so much signed up the following weekend for another.  I`ve been hooked ever since.

What do you love about the sport? That we get to go to some amazing places and ride some wonderful routes, combined with the technical challenge of getting the POR route correct.

What is your favourite phase and why? Has to be the POR, the more technical the better even if my score decimated as a result.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the sport? Go for it. It`s very addictive

And the one moment of TREC you will never forget!  Switching my brain off at the end of a European Cup Competition in Germany.  Consequently I failed to take a right turn and ended up wandering around a German town that was off the edge of my map,  leading my hired horse and  trying to find my route back to the venue!

Senior Riders – Kate Gillam

Occupation

Computer programming

Horse’s name, age and breed.

Lily Langtree, 13 Irish Draught Sports Horse

Horses history, how did they end up being a superstar TREC horse!

I went to see a locally bred thorough-bred horse for sale at a farm a couple of miles from home. It ditched me in less than 30 seconds with violent bucks (I heard later that it had an abscess in his hoof), meanwhile Lily was watching the episode, wide-eyed and innocently over the stable door. I loved her beautiful white spots set against dark steel grey, a little rocking horse that I thought I could never hope to own; 30 minutes later I was loading her into my horsebox and taking her on her first trip towards TREC. Actually, she was beyond my price range, so I had agreed with the farmer to ‘ride her on’ as she was 4 years old and had just returned from being backed. Several months later it was obvious I should buy her and soon took her to her first TREC competition; I was appalled by her silly behaviour, spooking at every coloured thing available and so I returned to riding club, dressage, show-jumping and eventing, but several years later when we both ‘grew-up ‘ a bit (not much), I decided to return to TREC and so here we are today, 7 or so, years later.

How did you get into the sport of TREC?

It was mentioned in Riding Club AGM as a new sport in UK and described as “games for grown-ups”, “you gallop flat out beneath low branches and there is bending”. I was awoken from my reverie, happy memories of riding as a child in the Prince Phillip Cup team in Pony Club, always trying for the elusive Wembley, came flooding back. Games, a new sport, I was already forming ideas of getting into the team and re-living childhood fun.

What do you love about the sport?

In actual fact, although the games are what appealed to my early imagination, it is the riding across new landscapes, the exploration and the journey that I most enjoy. I love the connection and dependency that is built between horse and rider and the long weekends away together.

What is your favourite Phase and why?

Orienteering, as stated above, I love riding across new landscapes and visiting new places around our beautiful country; plodding down ancient by-ways, fleeting across hillside and mountain, listening in silent old woodlands. On the ancient tracks I think about all the many people who have ridden or walked the route over the years, the many footsteps, how the rocks are worn and what their stories are.

And the one moment of TREC you will never forget!

The first weekend away with Lily, it was a warm night and I had slept in the horse box with the top flap above the side ramp open. In the morning I was able to walk out from my “bedroom” by simply pushing down the ramp into Lily’s coral. I shall never forget the look of total astonishment and wonder on Lily’s face, she just seemed so bowled over by the fact that I was in her ‘horsebox’ and so close at hand. She is such a sweetie.

Senior Riders – Liz Davison

Photo courtesy of Steve Wall

Occupation

Retired

Horse`s name, age and breed

Indy 18 years Welsh/TB

Horse`s history, how did they end up being a superstar TREC horse

We have tried lots of different riding disciplines. In 2009 we tried TREC and the rest is history!

How did you get into the sport of TREC?

Bowland TREC group`s “Cartmel Camp” great riding out, training and fun 2009

What do you love about the sport?

It`s a friendly sport

Riding and exploring lots of new places

“A weekend away” I love watching all the different types of horses that take part, it`s such an inclusive sport

What is your favourite phase and why?

Difficult to choose…  POR – spending a “few” hours riding and exploring

PTV – exciting stuff and interesting challenges

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the sport?

“Give it a go” – try a TREC camp or training day, help judge at a competition and watch what goes on.

And the one moment of TREC you will never forget?

Lots of great TREC moments – White Horse TREC Group Woodhouse Farm TREC 2015 competition – challenging POR with amazing views, great social and BBQ, challenging PTV and our first L4 competition

Senior Riders – Caitlin Crossley

Photo courtesy of Steve Wall

Occupation  Hospital Porter

Horse’s name, age and breed  Adamfield Flashlight, 10 y.o. Dales Pony

Horse`s history, how did they end up being a superstar TREC horse!
We bought Flash as a 4yo from his breeder, where he had been returned after becoming unmanageable in his previous home. He was my first proper pony as a 13 year old, and he has always needed a job to occupy his mind- TREC seems to be that perfect job! We entered our first TREC competition as a L1 pair with my riding instructor in 2010. We then competed 2 seasons as a Level 2 pair, and have been riding as an individual at level 3 and 4 for 4 years now. Flash is a very chilled out pony who takes everything in his stride, but there is nothing he loves more than exploring new places at speed!

How did you get into the sport of TREC?
My instructor has competed in TREC for many years and thought it would be a good education for both me and my young pony to enter a competition. It was especially helpful because I worked for her as an assistant ride leader and a lot of the skills learnt through TREC are transferrable to this. I was hooked on the sport from then on and haven’t missed a season since.

What do you love about the sport?
I think the independence of the sport is fantastic, it allows both you and your horse to show off ability across a wide range of skills, and demands a good partnership between horse and rider, something I have always been interested in. The people who compete in TREC are generally very friendly and encouraging, and the competitions become like a little holiday, where you meet the same people all over the country.

What is your favorite Phase and why?
My favourite phase is the POR because it allows you to ride in places around the country which you wouldn’t otherwise visit or be allowed to ride across. I prefer POR to the other two phases as it allows me to spend a lot of time on my pony, which I love, but also time to think through decisions without so much time pressure.

What advice would you give some one wanting to get into the sport?

Start riding TREC as a pair so that the POR and map reading isn’t daunting. I would also recommend arriving at the venue with time to take an OS map and go for a walk around the area to get your bearings, if you know where home is on the map its much more comforting when you are out on the POR!

And the one moment of TREC you will never forget!

When competing in the European Young Riders Championships in
Holland this year I was determined not to knock off any branches on the low branches…I therefore went very low down Flash’s neck…so low in fact that I ended up on the floor!

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