TREC is an equestrian discipline which was originally developed in France in the 1970’s to improve the skills and competency of trekking guides and horses. It grew from there and is now a sport enjoyed by thousands of riders throughout Europe, America, Canada and more recently Japan and has an international governing body FITE (Federation Internationale de Tourisme Equestre). The first World Championships were held in 1997 and a team representing Ireland competed at the European TREC Championships in 2006. Members of this team are now working as trainers with TREC Ireland.
Competitions and Scoring
There are three phases to the competition and they are run at Levels 1 to 4. The phases are: Orienteering, Control of Paces and Obstacles, and competitions are usually run over two days at the higher levels, but the format can be changed to suit the event. Adults and children can compete together and there is no height restriction on horses and ponies.
- Phase 1: Orienteering
The first phase of the competition is the orienteering phase. The route length varies from 10 to 45 kilometres, depending on the level of competition. Competitors take down the route from a master copy and are given a speed at which to ride the route. Along the route are manned checkpoints (locations unknown to riders) where riders take a mandatory rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Upon setting off they are given a new speed. Points are calculated against an optimum time and are out of a total of 240 points.
- Phase 2: Control of Paces
The Control of Paces is where riders canter and walk along a corridor that is 150m long. The aim is to not break the pace and to canter as slowly as possible, and to walk as fast as possible. Maximum points are 30 for canter and 30 for walk.
- Phase 3: Obstacles
The obstacle course consists of 16 obstacles over a set course to be completed in a maximum time. Courses can take place in arenas, fields, woods etc. and can be up to 3kms long. There are at present 32 FITE approved obstacles to choose from but each national organisation may approve additional obstacles for use in non international events.
The sport is administered in Ireland by TREC Ireland.
- What are they?
A TREC Group is made up of individuals with an appointed secretary who have registered with TREC Ireland (see below) for the purpose of holding TREC events. These groups may use TREC Ireland insurance to cover their events, (with prior approval from the TREC Ireland Secretary). Such events include training and competitions for all or any of the phases of sport.
- What does TREC Ireland do?
TREC Ireland was formed in 2007 to encourage, support and promote the sport of TREC in Ireland. Tourism Related Equestrian Competitions Ireland Ltd. is a company limited by guarantee and provides training and support throughout Ireland. Trec Ireland also runs TREC competitions and training for competitors, judges, traceurs and event organisers and provides insurance cover for approved TREC events run by its affiliated TREC Groups. The organisation is endeavouring to make the sport accessible to everyone so you do not need to be a member of to take part in an event, and non members simply pay an 8Euro insurance fee on the day.
How can I get involved?
To find out more about a group in your area or if you are interested in setting up a Group, contact TREC Ireland.