La Porte Property TREC team
After having done a fun TREC competition I caught the TREC bug. Next on the calendar was a FFE registered competition at Beaumont Du Perigord, and the La Porte Team (modestly small consisting of myself and a friend, Marije) were ready to go - normally there are teams of 4 or more.
As complete novices we had an hour long lesson in map reading, TREC techniques, equipment needed etc. Next was a practice run, so we copied out a route and tried to ride at certain speeds between predetermined points.
The day arrived along with the rain and we made our way to Beaumont and, equipped with our pens, and sat down to copy out the route. The first problem we encountered was we couldn't find the start nor our current location on the map - "Just start copying the map" we said in a slight panic. It wasn't until we had nearly finished that we found the start and were madly marking out further points when we were told our time was up. We ran out, mounted up and set off with our maps in waterproof covers around our necks, having decided in advance that I was the time keeper and Marije was the map reader.
We managed to find the first check point and set off again after a quick rest. Occasionally we took the wrong track but kept our cool, and it was funny passing other groups who were having heated discussions about direction. It was hard work with just the two of us and we took our roles seriously. We had also agreed in advance not to fall into our "chatty mode", as when chatting we stopped riding our horses forward as much and lost time - this was one of the hardest things NOT to do!
On the way there were "clip points" hanging from trees or fences, onto which we had to clip our official card. Part of the route was through the centre of Beaumont, with a check point under the old covered market place and we were glad to get off and have a stretch.
Finally, after 3 hours, we returned to the starting point. We thought our time keeping wasn't too bad but were unsure about the clip points and if we had managed to get them all. As we weren't too far from Beaumont we took the horses home, got them snugged up in rugs and raced back to have a meal and then the prize giving.
Amazingly we won and were over the moon - for me competing with Marije was so much better than on my own and we really enjoyed our first TREC competition. We are now on the lookout for someone to join our team. They must have their own transport, but TREC skills are not compulsory as we are willing to share our enormous knowledge with any suitable candidates!