West Cork TREC Winter League
Leg 6 - PTV competition
Venue: Bantry Bay Pony Trekking, Hollyhill, Bantry, Co. Cork
A bright and airy new indoor arena was the perfect setting for the final leg of our winter league. We had a very good turnout, and were delighted to welcome some new faces to our competition. The day was dry too, a welcome change to the recent deluges, and riders were grateful to be able to stay dry while warming up in an outdoor arena and waiting for their turn.
Not everything went to plan though. A flat tyre on the horsebox at the yard delayed the chef de piste and company. Attempts to pump the tyre were unsuccessful so they had to unhitch and change boxes before setting off on their 40 mile journey to the event. Thanks to some quick thinking and modern technology, they were able to send a photo of the course layout ahead before they left Castletownbere so that members could begin building the course while they were still en route.
Once the course was complete, another 15 mins was allowed for the riders to walk the course. There were 8 obstacles to be done twice to make it up to a course of 16 obstacles. The order for the day was Level 3 (Advanced), Level 1 (Novice), Level 2 (Intermediate).
The first Level 3 rider was called down from the practice arena, and it immediately became obvious the course was not as innocent as it looked. The spacing and positioning of some of the obstacles meant the riders had to be smart about their approach to the next obstacle, especially if they wanted to negotiate it at the higher gaits. The second obstacle was the ridden corridor but a short approach meant many didn't attempt the canter needed to get full marks. The fifth obstacle, the one-handed figure of eight tripped up some riders, and a few were caught out for not releasing the reins before the horse's front feet passed the entrance cones. The in-hand footbridge was another obstacle giving trouble - while some horses trustingly followed their rider across, others were perhaps not quite so willing.
There were 22 entries in total across the 3 classes, though some of these were repeat rounds and marked out of competition accordingly. The results were announced about 15-20 mins after the last rider had completed the course, and rosettes for 1st to 3rd places for each level were handed out. (Please see our Results page for details).
We would like to extend a huge thanks to Georgia and Andy Shiels of Bantry Bay Pony Trekking for the use of their lovely new arena, set very nicely on the hill overlooking the pond and cross-country course. We gratefully thank Bastian who, although was not able to attend the competition, transported some of the obstacles we needed to the venue the day beforehand. Last but not least, our thanks to the judges, competitors and all who attended making this a lovely day.