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TREC is heading for its biggest change since being introduced to the UK in 1998. The British Horse Society (BHS) has announced it will not support the discipline after this season.

A review found that TREC — a 3-phase competitive sport — required the BHS to make “a significant investment” each year, as its governing body.

The BHS’ Lynn Petersen said: “We have decided to focus all our resources on our charitable aims of education, access, safety and welfare.”

The board voted TREC unanimously as “an unsustainable and inappropriate use of funds”. Only 580 riders competed affiliated last year, but the unaffiliated sector seems to be thriving.

Although the BHS has been synonymous with TREC, there is hope for an independent future. Several competitors, organisers and judges formed TREC GB last year due to concerns that the BHS was not in a position to develop the sport.

TREC GB is still in its formative months, but its vision is “to run the sport via a democratically elected committee drawn from the TREC clubs”. A formal handover will be discussed with the BHS this month.

“We expect TREC to continue and blossom as a sport for those wishing to develop a ‘partnership’ with their horse,” said Mary Weston of the TREC GB steering committee.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (27 February 2014)