YORK rider Kathryn Bean was recently crowned a British champion in the field of orienteering on horseback.
And now the Yorkshire rider is hoping to navigate a way to Italy for next year’s European Championships.
Bean, 27, was crowned a national champion at the recent British Horse Society TREC Cavallo Horse and Rider Championships of Great Britain at Glangrwyney, Powys in Wales.
TREC – taken from its French translation of Technique de Randonee Equestre de Competition – is effectively orienteering on horseback – a sport growing in popularity with 160 riders having competed in this month’s nationals held over three days.
Bean – riding her 13-year-old horse Millicent Millie – competed at Level Four, the most challenging category of the sport which can mean riders are out riding and orienteering for six to eight hours at a time.
But there was no stopping Bean over any of the event’s three phases with the York rider crowned TREC GB Champion for 2013 and also becoming Welsh champion in the process for which she received an additional two trophies. For Bean, it was a notable triumph at an event she has been competing in over the last few years without being placed. Yet this year there was no stopping the York rider over the weekend’s three phases namely Parcours d’Orientation et de Regularite, Matrisse des Allures and Parcours en Terrain Varie.
Bean knows there will be plenty who have no idea what the sport entails and therein – through a lack of funding and support – lies the major stumbling block to her 2014 dream of conquering the Europeans in Italy.
“After competing at the GB Championships for the last few years and not being placed successfully in the top three, to win was a massive achievement,” Bean told the Yorkshire Post.
“Millie and I have worked very hard over the last few years and this is proof of that hard work which makes me very proud. I am currently part of the GB Development Squad and hope to compete in Italy in 2014 as part of the GB team.
“However, there is a strict selection criteria to follow which includes competing abroad and as it is all self-funded I am unsure if this is a realistic goal.”
What’s not in doubt is that Bean has the talent to succeed with the first successful phase of her British title win – Parcours d’Orientation et de Regularite – or the equestrian on horseback section, covering up to 40kms in the Welsh hills.
Included within this section were two bearing sections, where riders use a compass and horse paces to navigate, as well as two-grid sections where riders plot their co-ordinates on the map in order to carry on their route.
During the course there is a horse welfare vet check to ensure all horses are sound and fit to carry on.
There was no doubting that Bean and Millicent Millie were up to the job and they led the standings overnight ahead of the following day’s final two disciplines starting with the Matrisse des Allures or Control of Paces.
Tackling a 150m corridor in the shape of a horse shoe, Bean successfully completed the slow canter without breaking gait to gain maximum points with the return fast walk also completed without breaking gait. And there was nothing to halt Bean’s progress in the final Parcours en Terrain Varie section which comprises of up to 16 natural or stimulated obstacles including steps, water, jumps and ditches.
Bean was not the sole Yorkshire success story as Ackworth’s Dave and Sheila Rogerson were also crowned L3 pairs champions, while Marie Spillaine from Wilberfoss finished runner-up in the Level Two individual section. Bean now hopes to represent her country in Italy next year but either way will be carrying on competing in the sport in which she thrives.
Bean added: “I am going to carry on enjoying TREC with my fantastic little mare Millie and hope to be as successful in 2014.
“I will also be running competitions throughout the winter at Thornton House Farm on Barmby Moor in York – the Kelly Marks Indoor TREC winter series.
“I hope people look out for them and get entered – that’s how I started!”
Britain up against USA and Canada in bid to host 2018 World Games
GREAT Britain has lodged an expression of interest to stage the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
The event, held every four years, attracts the world’s top riders in disciplines ranging from showjumping, eventing, dressage and para-dressage to reining, driving and vaulting.
And the British Equestrian Federation has served notice of its interest with world governing body the Federation Equestre International, along with the United States and Canada.
The USA has identified two potential host cities – Wellington, Florida and Lexington, Kentucky – that are already established equestrian venues, while Britain needs to confirm its proposed host city before a November 15 deadline.
Bid application questionnaires will now be reviewed by the FEI evaluation commission before host city candidates are announced on December 2.
Formal presentations to the FEI Bureau are scheduled for its spring meeting next year, after which the successful applicant will be announced.
“These expressions of interest by Great Britain and the USA, alongside Canada, are testament to the power of these Games,” FEI secretary general Ingmar de Vos said.
The 2014 event will be staged in Normandy, France in August and September.
n World famous horseman Monty Roberts will be visiting Richmond Equestrian Centre tomorrow as part of his Stablemate to Soulmate Autumn Tour.
Roberts – who also paid a visit to Bishop Burton College on Wednesday – will be alongside his UK Instructor Kelly Marks demonstrating their intelligent approach to training horses by combining practical skills and proven equine psychology.
Roberts and Marks will be working with a variety of horses, showing how their methods can help solve everyday issues such as horses that are tricky to load, difficult to clip, spooky or maybe nap or buck when ridden.
For tickets and more information about the event visit www.intelligenthorsemanship.co.uk or call the Intelligent Horsemanship Office on 01488 71300.