Le TREC is an acronym for Techniques de Randonnée Equestre de Compétition, which roughly translates to Technical Competition of Pony Trekking. Le TREC is a combined event, which rewards horse/rider combinations performing well over a range of tasks rather than success in any one particular discipline. Tasks are geared towards Canadian Pony Club (CPC) levels of competency as determined by testing level requirements.
Le TREC is divided into 3 phases. Points and penalties are earned in each, along with points for veterinary inspection and turnout/equipment inspection.
The 3 phases are:
PHASE A - Optimum Speed and Orienteering
The principle is to follow a set route of a given ride at predetermined speeds. This is a test of the rider's navigational and/or orienteering abilities as well as the horse's willingness to go into unknown terrain. Participants must arrive at designated checkpoints along the route, in a given order. Since this is the first time for all participants, the rules for this phase have been modified somewhat. For this time only, it will be done on foot and will include a treasure hunt!
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 is intended 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 station is marked out of 10 in accordance with the marking scheme given. 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 ride through a corridor 1 metre wide and 8 metres long, to name the seven rules of feeding and to assemble a snaffle bridle while blindfolded (three of 10-12 possible tasks).