AEFL Pty Ltd in partnership with Melton and District Adult Riding Club launches the first Australian TREC Competition.
We are very excited to be part of this inaugural competition and hope it will be the first of many in Australia. It is an entry level competition – there are now 4 levels of competition in Europe – so why not give it a go and try something new, exciting and fun with your equine partner!
The whole ethos of TREC fits well with other equine activities that AEFL is involved with and it will give many ordinary riders a chance to compete in an equestrian discipline who otherwise probably wouldn’t. It is open to children from 8 years of age upwards (provided they are paired with an adult), no special equipment or tack is required and no membership of any club is necessary.
The event will be on Sunday 11th November at the club grounds in Melton. Entry will be by pre-application only and numbers will be limited. Entry forms and rules will be available on this site shortly.
We are also looking for volunteers to staff the event and to help build an experienced team of people for future TREC events. Please e-mail us if you are interested.
The origins of TREC are not easy to determine but the sport appears to have developed from a variety of equestrian tourist events and the activities of professional equestrian tour guides in France. Over a period of time from about 1961 these activities and events developed into Trec.
The first national event involving the three phases of today’s TREC competitions took place at Fontainebleau in 1980 and in 1987 the title T.R.E.C. (Techinques de Randonnee Equestre de Competition) was adopted by the sport.
The first TREC World Championship was held in the French Alps in 1997 and did not really take hold in the UK until 1998 but has since gone from strength to strength with the backing and organisation of the British Horse Society. Events are now held all over Europe and different levels have evolved to maintain a balance of difficulty in the range of competitions from starter level (Level 1) to the more challenging and taxing Level 4. Riders can now undertake a sporting challenge that matches their competitive aspirations to a desire to develop a closer understanding and working relationship with their horses.
A TREC competition usually runs in three phases which at the lower levels can all take place on one day. There are currently 4 levels of competition with Level 1 being the easiest. The three phases are briefly summarised below.
POR – Parcours d’Orientation et de Regularite
Basically this is a navigational ride or orienteering on horseback. Competitors are required to ride anything from 7km to 45km depending on the level of competition whilst following a route marked on a map. Several checkpoints are included at undisclosed points on the route to check competitors’ times and that they are following the route. Set speeds are imposed by the organiser so competitors must try to complete each stage as near to the optimum time as possible whilst accurately following the route . Competitors must also carry a specified amount of equipment with them – this varies depending on the level of competition and at the higher levels an equine fitness inspection is included. Each competitor starts the course with a set number of points and penalties are then deducted for incorrect routes, falling outside the set speeds and not carrying correct equipment.
CP – Control of Paces or Gaits
This requires the rider to demonstrate an ability to influence the horses’ paces whilst first cantering and then walking along a marked corridor up to 150m in length. The objective is to canter slowly and walk quickly while maintaining the required gait. Points are calculated against a time chart
PTV – Parcours en Terrain Varie
This requires the rider to negotiate a number of obstacles (usually 16) over a course not exceeding 5km within an optimum time. The course is designed to test the competitor’s ability to deal with the type of obstacles that might be encountered during a hack or trail ride. Points are awarded for style and effectiveness as well as keeping within the optimum time. The obstacles can combine ridden and in-hand types such as staircases (up or down), riding under low covering, jumps (maximum of 90cm in height) and going through gateways.
Advantages of TREC
There is no particular type, breed or size of horse or pony required or specified for TREC. Neither horse nor rider needs to be super-fit or undergo years of specialised training to participate in TREC particularly at the lower levels. There are also pairs competitions and riders under 16 can compete provided the other half of the pair is over 18. The tack/gear requirements only relate to helmets and equipment specified as compulsory for the competition. English, Western or any combination of tack is permitted provided it is fit for purpose. Bits are not compulsory.
How does TREC fit with EFL
On the face of it there are few similarities between the two disciplines. However both require sound basic horsemanship skills of the type that AEFL supports. The better you can build the relationship with your horse, the better you will be at either or both TREC and EFL. We believe that TREC has the potential to be adapted so that participants with a variety of disabilities will be able to compete and not necessarily as riders.
AEFL is currently running TREC Introduction Days that can be held at any appropriate venue as they are classroom based. These provide all the information to start out in TREC and go through some basic exercises, so why not organise one near you. The cost is $250 for the day (travel extra depending on location). TREC information will shortly be available to download from the website Please e-mail us if you are interested in hosting or attending an Introduction Day.