News & Blog

TREC Ireland and Leinster TREC POR Skills Series

Posted by TREC Ireland on June 8, 2018 at 2:05 PM

The beginning of a new season can be daunting in any equestrian sport and equally so in TREC. It is particularly difficult for riders hoping to move up the ranks to the higher levels. There are four levels beginning with the entry Level 1 with a maximum of 15km orienteering and 60cm jump height. At this level riders get a taste of what TREC is all about, spending lots of quality time with their horse and enjoying different parts of the countryside, while challenging their own and their horse's orienteering skills. Then moving on to level 2 where the distances and heights increase somewhat with slightly more technically challenging orienteering routes and PTV obstacles. There is a big leap from Level 2 to Level 3 and a rider moving up to Level 3 needs to be adept at using their compass and measuring distances both on their map and while riding their route on the ground. No mean feat !

This season TREC Ireland and Leinster TREC came together with a series of training events aimed at building rider confidence and helping riders move up the levels especially that challenging leap from Level 2 to Level 3. It started with an on foot day back in March facilitated by Niamh OhUid and Ailbhe Gavin where riders began to become acquainted with their compass and measuring distances and finding themselves on the map if they were "lost" ! This was without the added difficulty of being on the horse. This challenge came at the second training session at Coolmine Equestrian Centre this time facilitated by Bambi Carroll and Sheila Fuller. Here the horse was added into the mix. This gave riders the opportunity to put into practice what they had learned at the first session and discover areas that needed a little more work.


The third training session with Niamh OhUid and Diana O'Huid in April was around the Maproom. This is a critical time for the orienteering competitor who has a very limited duration in the Maproom to copy down their route from a master map onto a map which they will carry with them to find their way. If they don't get the route copied correctly or if they don't have enough time to copy the whole route they are lost before they begin !! There was an excellent turnout for this evening session where alongside nurturing Level 2 to Level 3 riders, riders new to TREC were also introduced to orienteering. There was a fantastic turnout of aspiring TRECCIES that evening.

 

 

 

The fourth step was to set riders the challenge of a competition, something which would not scare them off but build on that confidence which was increasing with each session. This was held at Loughway Stud in Timahoe at the end of April and Sheila Fuller set the routes guided by Gwen Bastien as TD. It was a very successful event with most of the Level 3 riders riding at this level for the very first time and nearly all of the riders new to TREC who attended the Maproom Training taking on the challenge of their first orienteering competition. Confidence was definitely building as riders were talking about entering the Open Championships at a higher level than they would normally ride !

Now it's on to the FINALE, the TREC Ireland Open Championships at Slieve Aughty in Loughrea, hosted by Turas TREC. Championship competitions are by nature much more challenging than a local competition so the bar is well and truly raised. Despite this there was lots of enthusiasm from riders now armed with new skills and there were riders from the training entering at all levels up to level 3 individual. Bambi Carroll and The Turas TREC team, guided by Adrian Flynn as TD, had truly challenging routes planned which were a delight to ride and lots of fun. This was also a lovely opportunity for riders from all the regions of Ireland and beyond (England, Scotland Wales and the USA) to come together and mix and mingle, sharing experiences and helping each other discussing difficult areas on the routes and more. ALL of the riders who attended the training were placed with some winning their classes and one of our Newbees to POR Ulrike Schweder came away with the Orla O'Reilly Memorial Shield for best Newcomer. Keyleigh McCormack came away with the Grangeclare Cup for the highest scoring Irish rider at level 3.

 

A truly successful Training Series !!


 


Categories: P.O.R., Training, Guest blog

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