Senior Riders – Jo McCormac



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.

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