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The 2006 European Open and Young Rider TREC Championships will take place in the beautiful countryside of Exmoor next September. Teams from eight European countries, as well as invited riders from the United States, are expected to travel to Britain to take part.

TREC (Technique De Randonnée Equestré De Competition) is the newest international discipline in the horse world and was developed to encourage riders to school their horses to meet the demands of riding over rough terrain.

The competition is held over two days, the first of which involves navigating a course of up to 45kms working from a precise route, aerial photographs or using a compass. On day two, riders demonstrate their control of their horse’s paces over a set distance, before negotiating a course of natural hazards and simple, cross-country obstacles similar to those they might encounter on a long hack.

National TREC organiser Rob Jones said: “This is a fast-growing sport and the BHS is enthusiastic about staging a European event. We chose Exmoor because it is an area of outstanding natural beauty with a strong equestrian base.”

According to Jones, British competitors are taking the challenge seriously, and a national team has a good chance of clinching a medal on home ground next September.

The BHS looks after the sport in the UK and has appointed local organisers for the Europeans, headed by Margaret Barron from Minehead, near where the championships will be held.

“Local riders and industry, particularly tourism, have welcomed the news and we think there is going to be a great deal of interest in the championships,” said Mrs Barron. “We plan to accommodate riders and horses with local people, and there will be time and opportunity for the visitors from overseas to sample life on Exmoor.”

Find out more about TREC >>