The day arrived, and we set off the Saturday to give us plenty of time to drive and settle in. With a 4.5hr drive ahead – expertly driven by my husband Mike! I might add – and a camp to set up and new centre to explore we were on our way to the TREC National Championships 2018.
Arriving at The Field Equestrian, Co. Laois we met the owner Kenna who took us through the introduction of the incredible facilities, the luxury stabling and our camp site. Once Teddy was out the box and settled nicely with plenty of feed we set about our pitch for the night ahead.
It was lovely to see plenty of familiar faces from West Cork and all the other groups. We found a pitch and started our set up – almost up I realised our mistake. We seem to have landed ourselves in close vicinity to the ‘dumping ground’ of the field’s previous occupants. Most had been removed but some remained, and this coupled with the heat brought it’s own problem. The fly! Needless to say, it ended in a minor melt down and was finally solved by spraying the tent in some Carr & Day Fly extra strength. Phew, that was over!
As more familiar faces arrived I went to walk the PTV course and get familiar with the obstacles. I had brought my trusted TREC file with me, full of good information and I brushed up on each obstacle before making a second round and thinking about how we would approach or deal with each situation. The course was challenging, including water, a bank with water either side, trailer, unmounted immobility (again) and the dreaded gate.
I was looking forward to being paired with Siobhan & her lovely horse Ocean after meeting them at the Midsummer Championship back in June. I need to say, this lady has the best attitude, is generally an all-round lovely person and the fun she brought to the competition made it an absolute blast. Thank you for calming our nerves 🙂
The MA is control of paces; slowest canter and fastest walk. Our pervious MA was non-existent, so we had plenty to come back from and I’m pleased to say we did. Teddy maintained a perfect canter (if we had been chasing a bank robbery in the wild west) and thankfully a fast walk scoring us 9 points. Previously Teddy was training in a slow relaxed walk, but we had spent our time wisely slowing the canter and speeding the walk. Just not collected enough on the canter Ted. But that’s okay, plenty to work on.
- 1 handed barrels
- ridden reinback
- ridden s-bend
- mounted immobility
- unmounted immobility
Positives : I haven’t received the scores through as of yet but having viewed them on the day I was very pleased to see quite a few 10’s including the trailer, unmounted immobility, bank and log. We scored a few 9’s too including the bridge, water, rein-back and brush. I was especially happy with the trailer. Teddy was a very difficult loader when he came to me. Over time and with training he has come very good and relaxed, however I prefer to back out the trailer as a previous experience with a different horse when I was younger led me to the conclusion that backing is generally safer. Teddy has always rushed (physically jumped) out. We were still working on this and I didn’t believe he was fully there, but with time he has clearly processed the training and breezed through without a care in the world! Very proud trainer moment there.
Learning Points: What let us down were 1) Rider errors from me on the mounting which scored a zero (I was unprepared and lost time) and 2) a grass affected horse who wasn’t listening as much as usual and silly mistakes were made – but this will help for next time. I was disappointed with the gate which we had practiced a lot and was going beautifully at home. Teddy has a great fear attachment to electric fencing and knew that the fencing next to the gate was on, we had to skip the obstacle this time, but we will continue to practice at home and maybe add electric fencing as an associated difficulty at a later date.
Our PTV score was 69.38% (111/160).
Having had a hose down, some hours to relax and a feed our horses were ready for off and the awaiting POR. The map was fairly straight forward and took us through some beautiful county side, around a lake and even through a chest high drain! The horses did a great job of getting through, we found all of our check points and tickets and came out with only 20 time penalties overall (a vast improvement on last time!).
Our POR score was 95.65% (440/460).
Announcements about TREC EuroMondial Championships in Italy and Young Riders Kirsten and Kayleigh representing Ireland were given. The two young ladies who I walked the course with on the previous day and were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful: I have no doubt they will do very well. Best of luck to them!
The moment everyone had been waiting for. The thank yous were given – and I would like to reiterate myself what a fantastic event it was, the organisation that must have taken and in those surroundings was special indeed. So thank you very much Leinster TREC and The Field Equestrian – and sponsor Patricia Foley.
Our pair, Siobhan, Ocean, Teddy and I took 1st place in the Level 1 Pairs class against some very good competitors. This was a very special moment for me because Teddy hasn’t won a class up to press, we haven’t really been ‘in it to win it’ as I have always focussed on just developing his training. It was a total surprise to me but I’m not too surprised as Teddy is a great horse and Siobhan a fantastic pair.
We are taking a little rest now while I run clinics and work with my young horses and liveries. We look forward to continuing the summer league with West Cork TREC and back to training.
The last photos from the day.