Congratulations Elaine and Mairead
Second and Third in the 2019 China Trec International Championships 

The Chinese Institute of Horse Culture and Sport invited Trec Ireland to participate in the FITE Trec China International Championships 2019 on the weekend of 26th and 27th October.  Elaine Dolan Crowley from Glanmire Co Cork and Mairead Moynihan from Tralee in  Co Kerry responded to the call.  After a truly eventful and spectacular weekend of sport, hospitality and extravaganza with 9 nations, Austria, China, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Singapore, USA, Russia and Ireland participating, Elaine secured Second Place and Mairead a joint Third with Kate Gillam from Great Britian, and Amanti Mullar from France taking First place. 

They competed on Mongolian ponies which were supplied by their hosts and the competition took place at Datazhen which is a city 4 hours drive north of Beijing, on the borders of Inner Mongolia.  This city has long been hosting the Chinese riders in search of change and equestrian adventure.  Recently the Chinese Institute of horse, culture,sport and tourism decided to invest 8 billion yuan in total in the creation of 'China horse town'.  it is a huge amusement park dedicated to horses with resturants, hotels, shows, rides etc. Only a quarter of the project is completed at the moment 
The weather is quite harsh (up to -35C in the winter) and only attracts Beijing visitors during the hottest months, so the riders had the park almost exclusively to themselves for the International Trec competition with temperatures of -6 and some snow on the ground when they arrived.




Their adventure began by packing their Trec Ireland clothing kindly sponsored by Kellehers Equestrian in Clash Tralee, collecting their visas at the Chinese Embassy in Dublin very early on Tuesday and they flew out later the same day to Beijing from where they were taken by car to' China Horse Town'

They were allocated their mounts and then rode a practice 10 Km across open plains that were scattered with snow. After which their ponies were vetted to check that they would be suitable to continue for the competition and were allocated their stables.

The Festivities began with a truly awesome opening ceremony and spectacular production of acrobatics, horsemanship, trapeze artists and choreography by their hosts followed by superb culinary delights. 



The PTV which is the obstacle course a kin to cross country was the first part of he competition on Saturday and that was followed by the MA which is the dressage equivalent. This was quite an achievement for the visiting  riders since their horses had little experience of Trec. Sunday saw the riders embarking on the orienteering phase, taking their turns in the map room to copy down the route onto a blank map which was a black and white satellite photo.  They then set off on their ponies to navigate the Chinese landscape through checkpoints unknown to them. 

Elaine and Mairead's  ability to remain cool in the face of challenge and dedication to detail brought them the ultimate reward of second and third placings in this FITE Trec China International Championships 2019.
The climax of the weekend was the presentation ceremony.  What a wonderful end to a truly spectacular adventure for Elaine Dolan Crowley who is a member of West Cork Trec as well as the Liaison Officer for Trec Ireland and her fellow competitor Mairead Moynihan who rides for Kerry Trec and is also on the Trec Executive as the International Liaison Officer.