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‘Don’t rule the oldies out!’ 28-year-old ‘pocket rocket’ mare and 75-year-old rider win nationwide title


  • A rider who took a nationwide TREC title on her 28-year-old New Forest pony urged others “don’t rule the oldies out!”

    Mary Weston was referring to her mare Cape Clear Casey with whom she took the extent 2A particular person class, certainly one of various veterans to be victorious on the 2022 championships, and Mary herself was 75 when she took her victory. There are three phases to a TREC competitors: orienteering, management of paces and obstacles. The mix, or pair in a pairs class, with essentially the most factors is the winner.

    Mary’s first pony was additionally a New Forest – “My mom, bless her, purchased a four-year-old and taught me to experience and backed the horse on the similar time,” – and she or he has been competing in TREC since 1999. She purchased Casey seven years in the past, after she misplaced her Welsh cob Jack.

    “Each my daughters thought I used to be loopy as she was 21 and 13.2hh; they thought I used to be on the rebound from Jack, but it surely turned out to be a beautiful choice,” Mary informed H&H. “She’s pretty, and an actual pocket rocket. She loves looking – or did till I made a decision it was too quick for me and I couldn’t cope any extra – and is only a very good individual. She took to TREC like a duck to water.”

    Mary and Casey headed to the TREC GB Nationwide Championships at Greater Counthill Farm, Oldham, (13-14 August) after what had not been their most profitable season.

    “I did 5 competitions earlier than it this yr and acquired misplaced in three of them!” Mary stated. “So I’d stated the nationwide can be our swansong, and nobody was extra shocked than me on the finish of the orienteering to seek out I used to be within the lead by some margin.”

    Image by Chris Gibson Images

    The second day concerned the management of paces take a look at – a “hall” 150cm vast and 150m lengthy, alongside which Mary and Casey needed to canter as slowly as probably and stroll as quick as attainable – adopted by 16 obstacles together with bending posts, a financial institution, a ditch and a maze of poles. Factors are misplaced for touching poles within the maze, for instance, and awarded for finishing that impediment at trot relatively than stroll. And when the 2 days’ scored have been finalised, Mary and Casey got here out on prime.

    “TREC is in regards to the bond between your self and your horse; you possibly can’t purchase a made TREC horse,” Mary stated. “The horse has to belief you and perceive what you’re asking, and it’s very a lot a take a look at of rideablity.

    “That was my particular person swansong, though I’ll nonetheless do pairs,” stated Mary. “She’s earned her stripes.

    “TREC is a stunning sport and also you go to some wonderful locations however I want the security of another person with me so I don’t get misplaced!”

    Casey will now have a neater winter, Mary stated, including that her win, in addition to the actual fact the extent 4 nationwide championship went to 23-year-old Bradley, with Jackie Bennet, and one of many degree two pairs winners was Judy Clarke on Rusty, aged 26, reveals that veterans nonetheless have an enormous quantity to supply.

    “Don’t rule the oldies out!” she stated.

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