Sunny Scotland welcomed riders from all over the UK to contest the British Horse Society TREC Championships of Great Britain – the highlight in the TREC calendar.
Held at Hilton of Beath Farm in Kelty, Fife, the championships featured a testing orienteering route (POR) and challenging obstacle course (PTV) designed by Karen Waite and Robert Oliver respectively.
Rising – and riding – to the challenge for the second year running was Hilary Barnard from Bristol, who defended her level four title. She finished on a score of 362 points, and eight points ahead of Anna Weston in second place.
Clare Reynolds and Joy Taylor from Kent also retained their titles, winning the level three pairs. While in the individual competition Leigh Nixon from Northamptonshire was named the level three champion, beating Sarah Thurnell into second place by just one point. His ride for the competition was a Welsh cross, called Galaxy.
In the level two individual class, Bob Cripps certainly made the long trip from Surrey worthwhile. He put in a great performance with the consistent Jupiter’s Gold to finish a full 60 points ahead of Nicky Bunting and her coloured horse Samson.
“Jupiter is always good on the pace and control and the PTV – it’s normally me that lets him down on orienteering, but this time I didn’t make any mistakes,” Bob told H&C. “So we were two points ahead after the orienteering on Saturday, and then we had a really good second day.
“Last year we came fourth, so this year I was hoping for a top ten, but thought a top five would be ideal, so to win was a bit special.”
Bob bred Jupiter’s Gold himself, out of a Dutch warmblood sire and Welsh x Thoroughbred mare. He’s 18 now, and the pair has breen TRECing together for nearly a decade.
“I bred him to event, but he got a neck problem when he was around nine, so my wife suggested I try TREC with him,” said Bob. “He’s intelligent – sometimes too much for his own good, but it means he learns quickly. He’s also very fast and he’s not the typical TREC horse as he is quite lively. That said, there is a whole cross section of horses competing in this sport.”
Further proof that any horse or pony of any breed can take part in TREC was provided by the level two pairs championship, won by Rachael Wilmot from Nottinghamshire on a Fell pony, and Jan Oldham from Derbyshire, who was riding an Arab.
Rachael and Jan were also on the overall winning team, along with Alex Wells from South Yorkshire and Lianne Bourne from East Ayrshire. Lianne also took the Anne Williamson Memorial Trophy, which was awarded to the Scot with the highest second day score. Lianne scored an impressive 169 for her PTV and control of paces.
Other prizes were awarded to Hilary Barnard who won the Walbro Lucky Jim Trophy for the highest PTV score, winning 140 marks out of an available 160. The Jane Goldbart Memorial Trophy went to Chasing the Tiger, ridden by Di Skippon from East Sussex, for being in the best condition throughout the competition, while Woodrow Snips and Colleen Macrae from Fife, were judged to be the best presented.