On 4th and 5th July 2015, a 2-day riding competition was held by the West Cork Branch of TREC Ireland, starting from the Bantry Pony Trekking Centre in the Mealagh Valley near Bantry.
On Saturday, the first phase of the competition was held, the orienteering phase - riders followed a route marked on a map. This route differed in length, depending on the level riders had entered: 15k for level 1, 25k for level 2 and 35k for level 3. A lot of work had been put in by the organisers to choose beautiful routes which led along quiet back roads, but also off-road - across sweeping fields, through lush forests and along wild hilly ridges, with stunning views of Bantry Bay in the distance.
On Sunday, riders completed the other two phases of the competition: control of paces and an obstacle & skills test.
The control of paces tests the rider's control over their horse's paces - riders had to walk and canter along a 150m corridor within a set timeframe.
The obstacle course was just under 2k long and consisted of 16 obstacles laid out over a carefully designed outdoor course. This included crossing a stream on a foot bridge, jumping a ditch, a hedge and a log, climbing up steep inclines and leading the horse down steep steps.
Overall, the two days were filled with challenge and fun and enjoyed by all. Special thanks to Jenny and Chris who welcomed all riders, horses, organisers and helpers to their Trekking Centre, and to the organisers and helpers - without whom this event wouldn't have been such a success!
Level 1 Rider Horse
Anne-Marie Cronin & Ciaran Cronin Tinkerbell & Mac
Level 2 Individual
3rd Shirley Squire Grace
2n Jane Capener Gladys
1st Siobhan Wolf Paris 2
Level 2 Pairs
4th Paula Donohoe Surprise
Marie Gallagher Haize
3rd Julie O’Neill Paddy
Karin Grace Cora
2nd Martha Norton Winston
Jenni Norton Hector
1st Yasmin Roo Joyce-Nightingale Coco
Level 3 Individual
3rd Vicky McMullan Carnagree Duke
2nd Sandra Schmid Winnie
1st Johanna Connor Dippy
If you want to find out more about TREC, or if you are interested in joining our activities in West Cork, please contact Adèle Connor on her email email@example.com.