Please note that the venue for the MA/PTV Championships 2016 has been changed. This 1-day event will now be held in Deerpark Equestrian Centre, Ballymahon, Co. Longford.
This news has been a bit of a blow for some of our West Cork TREC members who had been looking forward to the event being held in north Cork and to not have to travel 320-360km (approx). For those who use miles to gauge distances, that's approx 200-225 miles. We hope that many members will still be able to attend at the new venue and we wish them every success.
West Cork TREC were well represented at this event last year between competitors and judges. We had a very successful day, winning 5 events (the Open PTV Championship, the Intermediate PTV Championship, the PTV Team Championship, the Open X-TREC, and the Intro Versatile TREC) and being placed in 5 out of the other 8 events. Our top rider was Annie O'Neill riding Templebready Poppy, who won 3 of the above events and was on the winning Team also.
The sea-fog that had been hanging over the south west for days was thinning slightly Sunday morning, and there was a faint glimmer of a disc up in the sky giving hope that the fog would actually lift during the day.
The plan was for everyone to meet at 11am at Billy Wolfe’s in Stouke. Only five riders would start and Jo would be joining them at Pat’s. Two of our young riders, Megan and Fionnuala, had decided to hack over to Billy’s from the north side of Ballydehob, so the two girls met up at 10.15am and proceeded from there to the rendezvous point.
With Sara there to see them all off, Adèle, Bastian, Margaret, Fionnuala and Megan set off on their journey, walking down through the fields of Billy’s farm to the Greenmount Road. A few hundred yards later, they turned off Greenmount Road and went up the “Mass Track”. This little off-road track cuts across John O’Mahony’s land and comes out on a small quiet road just below the Catholic Church in Ballydehob. The riders would like to thank John for cutting overhanging branches and briars along the track for them, as it made the track a real pleasure to ride.
Continuing northwards through Ballydehob, the riders crossed the Main Street, went past the Protestant Church and continued on the Church Road for 500m before turning onto the Letter Road, heading towards the north east side of Mount Gabriel. About halfway, the riders turned up left to go over the Letter pass, an off-road track that goes over the pass and joins the road from Derryconnell at the foot of the mountain on the south side.
Jill & Sara drove out from Schull to meet the riders at the bottom of the Letter Pass track and get a few photos. The fog was indeed lifting, and there was the occasional glimpse of blue sky. The riders then headed back in towards Schull, passing the Schull Resevoir, and turning left down Cooradarrigan.
Time for a welcome break! The cavalcade arrived at Pat Connor’s house for refreshments. Pat, Jo, John and Brendan were ready for us, and there was tea, coffee, water, apple tart, biscuits, crackers, cake, and apples on offer, with plenty of juicy grass and a few apples for the horses too.
Jo joined the group here for the return leg to Billy’s, as did dogs Sam and Toast. The six riders departed for Coosheen, via Cadigan’s Strand. Fionnuala took Chester in a little deeper than the others, but despite Megan following closely behind Apachi, Mazy just wouldn’t go in to the “strange moving water”. The sun was breaking through the fog quite a bit by this time, and gazing out to sea you could see the top of Cape Clear rising up out of the fog.
Leaving the beach behind, it was only a short distance to the Schull entrance of the Butter Road. Here the riders had a chance to have a lovely canter along the grassy track. Stopping to cross a small road, and the second section of the Butter road track stretched out ahead of them, down into the dip and up the other side, where Jill was waiting to get some more photos. Leaving Jill at the cross, riders continued on the tarmaced section of the Butter Road back towards Stouke.
Jill drove over to Stouke via the main road to get ahead of the riders. Jo’s dog Toast was the first to arrive at Billy’s, running down the lane ahead of the riders, where May was getting read to put out a pot of tea, a jug of cold water and slices of her delicious brack for everyone (thank you May). The two girls decided not to stay for refreshments as they still had to hack home, coming back for a brief moment very shortly afterwards to return Sam to Adèle, since he had trotted off down the lane following the horses as he always does. After hosing down their horses and putting them away, the riders, Billy and Jill joined May for a chat and the tea before saying farewell and going their separate ways.
West Cork TREC would like to take this opportunity to thank Billy for letting us use his farm yet again for our outings around the Ballydehob and Schull area. He is always very supportive of our events, and a helpful and knowledgable friend and ally, having grown up with horses in the yard all the time in his late father’s stud.
We have posted a few photos on the Gallery page, please click here to be redirected.
West Cork TREC was the host for the 2016 TREC Ireland National Championships. Held by kind permission of at Bantry Pony Trekking in the beautiful setting of Coomanore South, riders from Kerry, Leinster, Clare and Leitrim took part in a challenging three phase event.
There were 53 entries across the two days, most of whom competed on both days. It is always a delight to see newcomers enter the competition, and this year was no exception. We introduced a special Level 1 Class for Under 16s, which allowed 7 of our U16 riders to enter their first three phase competition by going out in 2 groups with an adult rider accompanying each group as a non-competing supervisor.
From the moment the horse boxes started rolling in to Bantry on Friday, the TREC camaraderie was evident, with the experienced always willing to help the inexperienced set up corralling equipment and tents. Friends greeted each other enthusiastically, and new friendships were formed before the weekend was out. The TREC groups are dotted around the country, and for some it is a long way to West Cork, so we thank all those who made the trip.
Traceur Bastian’s route took riders over bogs, on quiet country lanes and due to the generosity of many local farmers, across some wonderful fields, tracks and past beauty points such as Lough Bofina and Kealkill’s stone circle.
West Cork TREC would like to extend a very warm thank you to all the land owners, without whom the true beauty of the area could not have been shown. The team at Bantry Pony Trekking provided a wonderful meal, with riders consulting that day’s scores and analyzing the route and checkpoint locations, figuring out where they may have lost precious points.
Sunday dawned with beautiful clear skies and sunshine and started early with a vet check for all horses. The Chilean vet declared all horses fit to compete, and the first riders started with the MA, (Control of Paces). The 150m corridor proved a decider in scores, with Sheila Winters scoring a fantastic 53 out of 60 to win top points in this phase. The obstacle course (PTV) built by Chef de Piste Bastian was next, a worthy Championship course with tight angles, jumps and tricky combinations. The undulating ground and hills had the beautiful Bantry Bay as a background with the sun shining down. Newcomer Lorea O’Sullivan, a young rider with the team from Lios Lara Riding Stables took first place in the PTV with a superb score of 148 out of 160 points.
Winners came from all groups and counties in Ireland, with a variety of breeds of horses and ponies. In the Level 1 it was mother-son combination Anne Marie and Ciaran Cronin that took the red ribbon, with Anne Marie also taking home the coveted Grangeclare Cup for her overall highest Level 1 scores. In Level 2 pairs, another mother-child combination, Liz Burbage and Vicky McMullan took 1st place, with Liz also winning Best Coloured horse and the Level 2 Grangeclare Cup. In the Individuals two Clare based riders fought it out for the win, with Kate Ryan Brouwer beating Finian Carroll to take home the red rosette. Mairead Moynihan maintained her overnight lead to win the Level 3 individual class, as well as the Level 3 highest overall score to win the Grangeclare Cup. In the Pairs class, Dede Clune and Kayleigh McCormack beat new to Level 3 Young Riders Fionnuala Solomon and Yasmin Roo Joyce- Nightingale. Kayleigh also had the highest PTV score in the Level 3, with a fantastic score of 139, a brilliant result for the Young Rider from Midlands TREC. Young Riders were extremely well represented at the event, with local rider Amanda Kelleher scoring the highest PTV in the Level 1 at her first three phase event. Lorea O’Sullivan won the U16 class, trained well by former International Young Rider, Annie O’Neill, and competing her pony, Poppy. Second was Ellie Horgan, team Bantry Pony Treeking, followed in third by Kate Sheehan. Another Young Rider, Ryan Brooks from Three Counties TREC (Leitrim), competed at his first TREC event and had a very impressive 30 points in the MA.
West Cork TREC and TREC Ireland would like to express their sincere thanks
- to our sponsors (Mother Bee, Bantry Pet & Equine Shop, O'Brien's Saddlery, Orchard Equestrian, KK Kennels, Brick Oven Bantry, West Carbery Pony Club, Castlemore Riding School, AIB Skibbereen, Jenni & Martha Norton, Megan Lynch & family, Julie & Annie O'Neill, and Geraldine Hourihan).
- to our competitors, judges & helpers and all our officials, especially the Traceurs (Bastian and Ian Squire, TD Gwen Bastian (Assistant TD Fiona Bastian) with a marvellous team at the venue (Karen Murphy, Sheila Fuller), the “men” (John Enright, Greg Owens and Jonathan Pheysey) for the smooth road crossings, Ros Lynch and Jill Davies for scoring, the vet Caroline van Kilsdonk, and our event secretary Adèle Connor.
- to everyone who supplied the food at the BBQ on Saturday
- to Berry for the refreshments on Sunday
-to those who loaned us equipment (line marker Bunratty UFC, tables & chairs Mealagh Valley Community Hall)
- to sponsors who donated consumables for the competitors and landowners (Drinagh Eurospar Skibbereen, Brosnan's Centra Schull).
Special thanks must of course go to Bantry Pony Trekking for hosting the competition at their venue, and lastly but not least, to Bastian who has been such a driving force in both West Cork TREC and TREC Ireland for many years.
Below you will find a list of the winners, more detailed results can be found on our Results page. We hope you all enjoyed our event, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
OVERALL COMPETITION WINNERS
Level 3 Individuals: 1st - Leith Pimpernel (Mairead Moynihan); 2nd - Abbey (Amanda Sheridan); 3rd - Flora (Sandra Schmid)
Level 3 Pairs: 1st - Calanstown Kid (Kayleigh McCormack) and Harry Legs (Deidre Clune); 2nd - Chester (Fionnuala Solomon) and Coco (Yasmin Roo Joyce-Nightingale)
Level 2 Individuals: 1st - Shannon (Finian Carrol); 2nd - Daithi (Kate Ryan Brouwer)
Level 2 Pairs: 1st - Garnagree Duke (Vicky McMullen) and The General's Daughter (Liz Burbage); 2nd - Piccolo (Katy Martin and Paris 2 (Siobhan Wolf); 3rd - Shady (Diana O'hUid) and Winston (Niam O'hUid)
Level 1 Individuals: 1st - Brownie (Anne O'Riordan)
Level 1 Pairs: 1st - Mac (Anne-Marie Cronin) & Tinkerbell (Ciaran Cronin); 2nd - Frere Jacques (Margaret Lynch) & Woodbine Benjamin (Margo Monaghan); 3rd - Roos (Zoe Mortimer) and Hanna (Bobbie Ovington).
Level 1 Groups (Under 16's): 1st Poppy (Lorea O'Sullivan); 2nd - Blue (Kate Sheehan); 3rd - Henry (Ellie Horgan).
GRANGECLARE CUP WINNERS (for Overall Best TREC Ireland member)
Level 3 - Leith Pimpernel (Mairead Moynihan); Level 2 - The General's Daughter (Liz Burbage); Level 1 - Mac (Anne-Marie Cronin)
OTHER PRIZE WINNERS
Best PTV score: Poppy (Lorea O'Sullivan)
Best MA score: Ballyclough Nugget (Sheila Winters)
Best Young Rider Level 1: Maple Syrup (Amanda Kelleher)
Best Coloured Horse/Pony: The General's Daughter (Liz Burbage)