The Sport of TREC
TREC stands for Techniques de Randonnee Equestre de Competition and originated in France as a way of testing the competence of long-distance trail riders and leaders. TREC has always had a strong connection with equestrian tourism and this emphasis continues within the GB nations. TREC was introduced into the UK in the early 1990s and in 2014 TREC GB was formed to become the Governing Body of the equestrian sport of British TREC.
TREC GB is the NETO (National Equestrian Tourism Organisation) representative for Great Britain and is affiliated to FITE (Federation Internationale de Tourism Equestre). TREC GB is responsible for the Governance of the sport of TREC, produces the Rule Book and keeps an oversight of affiliated competitions and training.
Red Kite TREC Group is one of 15 affiliated TREC Clubs which cover England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man which all run local training and TREC events. TREC encompasses all sorts of training, activities and competitions that develop the partnership between horse and rider – all aimed at increasing horsemanship skills and confidence to enable you enjoy riding in the beautiful and varied countryside throughout the UK – and further afield too!
A wonderful way of meeting people throughout the country and forming new friendships. TREC training and activities take place all year and may cover some or all of three elements of a full TREC competition.
Full TREC Competitions
The three phases of a full Summer TREC competition are outlined below. Full details on each of these phases can be found in the British TREC Rulebook which is available from TREC GB
Full competitions are normally held in Summer months when there are longer days and better weather. Competitions may be held on a single day or over a weekend.
TREC GB runs a Summer League for TREC GB members, where placings at all affiliated full Competitions count towards a National League.
The majority of affiliated competitions are also Qualifiers for the annual TREC GB Grassroots (Level 1) and National Championships (Levels 2, 2A, 3 and 4).
et de Regularite
This is an orienteering test where you copy a route – often from a pre-drawn map – onto a 1:25,000 map and then simply follow the route and enjoy the ride. The more closely you follow the route and keep to the speed set, then the higher the marks you will achieve.
The levels are graded from the simplest at Level 1 (up to 15 km) to the most advanced at Level 4 (up to 45 km) – so there is something to suit all abilities.
At higher levels, you may be asked to navigate using other methods such as grid references or compass bearings. Level 1 to 3 you can choose to ride as an individual or as a pair with a friend.
Maîtrise des Allures
This is a test of how well you can control your horse’s pace and speed. There is a marked corridor on the ground which may be a maximum of 150 metres long.
You have to canter down the corridor as slowly as possible then turn around and walk back as fast as possible without leaving the corridor or breaking pace.
Parcours en Terrain Varie
For a full competition, this is a cross-country obstacle route with 16 obstacles placed over a course. The PTV course can be up to 5kms long, though it is usually much shorter.
The obstacles are designed to simulate the type of ‘natural’ hazards you may meet when out with your horse. These may include tasks such as riding through water, opening and closing a gate, riding or leading up or down a slope or through a narrow corridor. All obstacles are optional, so you can opt not to do some – as long as you stop and tell the judge. There is normally a time limit to complete the course. The dimensions and difficulty of obstacles vary between levels, with the easiest at Level 1 and the most difficult at Level 4.
In some competitions and for Arena TRECs, this may take place in an enclosed field or arena.
There are five competition levels that you may find at a TREC competition, ranging from Level 1 which is entry level to Level 4 which is international standard. Below is a guide to what you can expect at each level – but why not chat to some RKTG members to find out more?
An orienteering ride of 10-15 km, which should be around an hour and a half, with simple route finding such as turning right or left and finding and following ‘rights of way’. PTV routes should be straightforward to follow, with obstacles at their easiest, jump heights at their lowest (max 60cm) and the most generous time limits.
An orienteering ride of 15-25km, which may take from 3-4 hours or 5 hours for longer routes. Routes will be more complex to follow and simple compass work will be helpful to check direction. Deciding which side of a hedge to be and learning to judge distance will also be useful. PTV routes will be more advanced with higher jumps (max 70 cm) and shorter time limits.
Has the same distance ride and PTV difficulties, but will include more complex route navigation and may include simple navigation tasks, such as finding places by using Grid References or by bearings and distances.
An orienteering route of 25-35km, which generally will be 5-7 hours riding and will usually include more challenging navigation, perhaps across open country and where more advanced compass skills and the ability to understand contours are needed. At this level, night navigation can be introduced (although this is always announced in the schedule). PTV routes may have more intricate siting of obstacles, more difficult dimensions and jump heights up to 80cm.
The most challenging, with an orienteering route of 35-45 km will have all the features of Level 3, but is more advanced and may require up to 9 hours in the saddle and a very fit horse rider combination. PTV routes have greater complexity, most obstacles with ‘related difficulties’, narrow, long obstacles and jumps up to 1.10 m GB, 1.20 m FITE. They also can have a stringent time limit. Level 4 may be run under FITE rules which differ slightly to TREC GB rules in order to prepare the rider for international competitions, European Cup and World Championships.
Arena TREC events can be held throughout the year, normally in an arena, which can be indoors or outdoors, or in a small field. There is no orienteering ride (POR), simply a short course of 10 obstacles (PTV) and the MA. For this format, the MA is worth half the points that would be scored at a full competition. TREC GB run a Winter Series League which runs from October through to the end of March and local events may run affiliated classes which participate in this league.
Other TREC Formats
Other TREC events are also held – such as Score TREC (like a Treasure Hunt), 10:10 (with 10km ride and 10 obstacles), Versatile TREC Horse, orienteering ride (POR) only – the only limit is your imagination!
For questions relating to TREC or TREC GB please contact your South Wales Region Reps