TREC Isle of Man represented the Island at the 2021 TREC GB National Championships held in Brynllewelyn, Llanllwni, Pencader in south east Wales earlier this month with support from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
In their fourth visit to a National Championship, TREC Isle of Man competed in three categories: Level 2 Pairs - Gillian Newey and Caroline Hawley, Level 2 Individual - Jo Ralston and Level 2A Individual - Sam Frize, with events including orienteering; MA - a control of paces section whereby competitors must canter as slowly as they can, then come back along the same route walking as quickly as they can, without breaking pace; and PTV – typically 16 obstacles to navigate, which include jumps, ditches, banks and bending. All the obstacles demonstrate the obedience and dexterity of the horse and rider.
Qualification this year was different to previous Championships with events across the UK and Ireland negatively impacted by COVID-19 and qualifying events unable to take place. To be 'qualified' for the event, riders had to have completed a full three-phase TREC competition at the level they wished to compete since the beginning of 2019 and be a TREC GB Red or Blue member at the time.
Sam Frize, Jo Ralston, Caroline Hawley and Gillian Newey at the GB TREC Championships
Level 2 Pairs Gillian and Caroline were in second place at the end of day one and managed to hang on to their lead by close of the second day, achieving second place Reserve Champions in the Level 2 Pairs competition.
It was the first time that Jo and Sam had competed solo in the UK. Sam was in third place at the end of the first day but lost a few places in a hotly-contested match and came in sixth place on the last day. After a challenging first day Jo had an amazing score on the PTV section on day two, bringing in an impressive 120 points to finish in sixth place overall.
The horses were vetted twice at the Championships, once on the Friday evening prior to orienteering and again on the morning of the second day, prior to the second two stages, both times to ensure the horses were sound, hydrated and fit to compete.
TREC Isle of Man competitor and Committee member Gillian Newey said: ‘What an amazing adventure Team TREC Isle of Man had. Thanks go to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for supporting our trip with discounted travel and for being so professional and handling our horses with care.
‘It was a pleasure to travel and ride in a competition with challenging maps in the beautiful Welsh countryside. TREC GB were so welcoming and it was good to feel part of a wider TREC community with everyone on the field supporting each other. We are proud of ourselves and our horses and hope to go to next year’s event with more horses and riders so we can enter a team in the Nations Cup.’
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Managing Director Brian Thomson added: ‘We welcomed the opportunity to support the Isle of Man’s participation at the 2021 TREC GB National Championships. Congratulations to TREC Isle of Man for their achievements and for representing the Island against what must have been stiff competition. We look forward to tracking their progress at future events.’
For more information on TREC Isle of Man visit their website: www.treciom.com or Facebook page: www.facebook.com/treciom.