The Central Ontario Region of Canadian Pony Club will stage its second Le TREC fun day next Sunday, September 28, at Fiddlesticks Farm near Oshawa. Le TREC is an acronym for Techniques de Randonnée Equestre de Compétition, which roughly translates to Technical Competition of Pony Trekking. Le TREC rewards horse/rider combinations performing well over a range of tasks rather than in any one particular discipline. Tasks are geared towards Canadian Pony Club levels of competency as determined by testing level requirements.
Le TREC is divided into three phases. Points and penalties are earned in each, along with points for veterinary inspection and turnout/equipment inspection. The three phases are:
PHASE A Optimum Speed and Orienteering - The principle is to follow a set route at predetermined speeds. This tests the riders navigational and/or orienteering abilities as well as the horses willingness to go into unknown terrain. Participants must arrive at designated checkpoints along the route in a given order. Last year, because it was the first time for everyone and some of the younger members had not yet learned how to read a map in school, competitors were allowed to complete this phase on foot. This year they must be mounted.
PHASE B Control of Gaits - This phase is intended to demonstrate the willingness of the horse to be controlled, and the ability of the rider to walk at a rapid speed and canter (lower levels trot) at a slow speed along a given track. The start and finish of the track are flagged and riders with the most optimal time for each gait earn full points.
PHASE C Cross Country Trails Course - This phase aims to demonstrate the appropriateness of the horse for trekking, hacking and trail riding by showcasing its temperament and physical fitness. It is also intended to demonstrate the overall horsemanship of the CPC member. The cross country course must be carried out at a set speed. Throughout the course the rider will navigate a set of stations with assigned tasks, each marked out of 10. The number of stations and degree of difficulty of the set tasks reflect the CPC level of the competitor. Each station may require the rider to demonstrate a riding skill or answer general knowledge questions. For example, a rider at the C1 Pony Club testing level may be required to name the seven rules of feeding or to assemble a snaffle bridle while blindfolded.
Although there is both individual and team competition, winning at Le TREC is clearly secondary to having fun, and, if last year is any guide, there are tons of fun to be had.
Fiddlesticks Farm is at 1882 Concession 10, Blackstock, ON.
For more details e-mail Bob Inglis, Central Ontario Regional Communications Chair, or call him at 416-493-1223 (office) or 416-491-4230 (home).