became the host venue for Leinster TREC’s third POR (Orienteering) competition of the year.
A total of 31 riders and horses took part, a great entry for what
turned out to be a great day. The stunning scenery and quiet country lanes were ideal for riding and courtesy of Coillte, we had access to wonderful forestry at Kilmacrea Upper for
the competition. We also appreciated the kind permission from local land owners to use fields and pastureland for part of the route. And the sun shone!
The first competitors entered the Maproom just after 10am, quickly copied down their route, excitedly mounted up and headed off out of the yard. Very soon they entered the Forestry section and from then on, riding was on wonderful grassy tracks and quiet paths through the trees. The route gradually took everyone up to the top of the highest point within the Kilmacrea forest and on such a clear sunny day the views were fantastic! On one side, the
Irish Sea sparkled in the sunshine across the coastal plain of Wicklow and on the other side, the mountains stretched away inland for miles as far as the eye could see.
Descending from the top, once again riders and their horses enjoyed the pleasure of feeling soft grass underfoot as they passed through the wide avenues of trees and bracken, twisting and turning gradually down the
forestry tracks before emerging once more onto the lanes below and then back to the venue via a different direction. It is always a good sign when riders return with a smile and on this occasion there were smiles and laughter around all day!
And on the day, there were quite a few riders trying TREC for the first time. The big surprise and fun for many was arriving at the hidden checkpoints along the route! Also a challenge was trying to match their speed between checkpoints to the given speed of the competition! At Level 1, newcomers Paul Whelan and Siobhan Maher rose to the occasion, following the map route with great accuracy and keeping good times to finish in 1st place.
They just pipped Margaret Lynch and Elaine Byrne (Elaine was also doing her first POR) into 2nd place, with newcomer trio of Helena Connolly, Edina Erdei and Rachel O’Sullivan coming 3rd.
The Level 2x riders faced even more of a challenge. On this occasion, both Bearings and Grid References were included as part of the competition, for riders who wanted to prepare for Level 3 competition in the future.
Having finished copying their maps in the Map Room, the competitors were then handed a sheet of Bearings to be ridden in the paddock beside the stable yard, before they started the Orienteering. Tickets with numbers were placed at points in the paddock to check the accuracy of the riders!
On completing that section, riders then headed out on the POR. The Level 2 route started through some delightful farmland, with grassy fields, as well as encountering an early surprise hidden checkpoint! Continuing on, they also entered the same forestry as the Level 1 riders and enjoyed the same grassy tracks and wonderful views up to the top and on the descent.
On leaving the forest, the Level 2 riders had their 2nd challenge of the day, when they were handed a sheet of paper with Grid References. They had to find their way to each of the Grid points and record the letter on a ticket
All the Level 2x riders appreciated the challenge, new to most of them. Rosemarie Bryson and Niamh O’Huid made a strong team and came 1st in the competition, having completed all tasks very successfully. Very close behind came Tara Creighton in 2nd place, riding as an Individual followed by Karen Reilly in 3rd place, also riding as an Individual.
Leinster TREC would like to sincerely thank everyone who helped on the day to make this competition so enjoyable for all and to particularly express our appreciation for all the help and co-operation received from Alison
of Maltfield Stud. County Wicklow is a beautiful part of Ireland and we look forward to returning there for more TREC in the future!
Check out our Gallery for some great pics!