TREC is a challenging and enjoyable equestrian sport based on the skills required for hacking - navigational competence, control of horse’s paces and the ability to tackle a variety of obstacles. These skills are tested over three phases – orienteering on horseback (POR), control of paces (CoP) and cross-country/obstacle course (PTV).
How the sport began TREC was first developed in France in response to demand from the equestrian tourist industry as a way to test the expertise of equestrian guides. The sport quickly grew to accommodate all levels of rider, and spread internationally under its French name Technique de Randonee Equestre de Competition (T.R.E.C). The British Horse Society introduced the sport to the UK in 1998 and TREC was born.
Phases of BHS TREC A full blown Trec competition is conducted across three phases:
Phase One: Parcours d'Orientation et de Regularite (POR). This phase is orienteering on horseback. Riders trace a preset route onto a map which they must then follow.
Phase Two: Matrisse des Allures or Control of Paces (CoP). The Control of Paces (CoP) is designed to demonstrate that the rider can exercise a high degree of influence over the horse first in canter, then in walk following a marked course of up to 150 metres long and between two to four metres wide. The aim of the exercise is for the horse to canter along the marked corridor as slowly as possible without breaking its gait. The rider then turns around and walks back along the corridor as quickly as possible, again without a change of gait.
Phase Three: Parcours en Terrain Varie (PTV). The PTV course comprises of up to 16 natural or simulated obstacles, including steps, water, jumps, ditches and includes some tasks which must be undertaken while dismounted. There are up to 10 points available for each obstacle.
Versatile Trec consists of 3 Phases: Phases 2 & 3 (CoP & Obstacles) however, Phase 1 is replaced by an obedience test, to be performed in a 20m x 40m dressage arena and marked on accuracy and obedience of transitions rather than paces and way of going.
It is a fun event, friendly event; most competitors are happy hackers and are just enjoying a day out. Highly recommended for those first timers new to Trec.
Bramble Hill Events runs their Versatile Trec under BHS rules. For greater detail we strongly recommend you consult the BHS TREC Rulebook, which is available is from the BHS bookshop.