Orienteering

Phase I: Mounted Orienteering or POR (Parcours d’Orientation et de Régularité) 240 Points

The POR Phase of a TREC Competition is often regarded as the most challenging as it requires both map skills and timing. Learning these skills is lots of fun and will help you develop practical knowledge and the confidence to explore new territories with your horse!

FORMAT / OBJECTIVES:

In the POR riders follow a mapped route at speeds set by the event organizers. Tools permitted include watch, compass, and timetable. No GPS! Riders come to checkpoints along the Route where their times are recorded and new speeds set. Checkpoints are not on the map. Riders are scored based on accuracy of both speed and direction.

SCORING:

Each rider starts with 240 points from which penalty points are subtracted based on performance. Common types of penalties are listed below. See also FITE RULES

  • Time penalties: There is an optimum time set for each section of the course based on distance and speed. Riders receive 1 time penalty point per every (4) seconds over or under the optimum time for each section.
  • Navigational Penalties: Entering a Checkpoint from the wrong direction (-30), Missing a Checkpoint (-50), Missing a Control / Pass Through Check Point (-X)
  • Equipment Penalties: (see below)

EQUIPMENT / TRAIL KITS:

In a TREC Competition, riders must complete all 3 phases with the same tack. Additionally, in the POR phase riders are required to carry with them the following safety equipment. Equipment is checked before the start and possibly at any checkpoint on course. 10 Penalty Points are given for any missing tack and for any items missing from their trail kit. Required Items include:

  • Rider and Horse Identification
  • Halter and Lead Rope
  • High Visibility Reflective Gear / Safety Lights
  • Hoof Boot or Farrier Kit (for shod horses)
  • First Aid Kit for Horse & Rider to include at minimum: 6 sterile swabs, 1 pair of round-ended scissors, 1 elasticated bandage, around 10cm wide, 1 disinfectant or antiseptic solution

THE MAP / MAP ROOM:

TREC makes use of Topographic Maps with 1 KM grid overlay. In Europe maps are commonly 1:25,000  or 1:50,000. In the US 1:24,000 may be used. Scales may vary depending on riding area.

At Levels III-IV riders report to a map room where they are given a set period of time to transcribe the route onto a blank base map. They then depart immediately on course.

At Levels I-II riders may be given a map with the route already drawn in and have a chance to study the route before they start.

Transcribing the route quickly and accurately is an skill that takes practice!

LEVELS:

Orienteering / POR – 240 points
LEVEL I II III IV
Distances Up to 12 km Up to 20 km Up to 35 km Up to 45 km
Map Skills Map should be able to be ridden mostly from clear landmarks. Map to include some challenges in reading the trail,  landmarks and contour lines. Use of compass may be needed. Use of compass to be necessary and an ability to read the terrain are key skills at this level. Use of compass to be necessary. Azimuths and grid reference points may be part of the test.
Speed &Timing

6-12 km/h

Slower speeds, aimed toward rider and horse safety, fitness and control. Speeds moderate. Timing and judging pace becomes more challenging. Speeds varied. Speed and time become factors in identifying correct trails. Speeds varied. Emphasis on speed and time calculations as critical tools.
Level I-II Riders may ride in groups of up to 4 people. Riders may be given maps with the routes already drawn in.

Level III – IV Riders must transcribe the routes. Riders go out alone. Rider times may start before sunrise or finish after sunset. Longer distances are usually reserved for championship competitions.

TIPS AND RESOURCES:

Presentations: Orienteering 101.

TIMECARDS:

timecard

CHECKPOINTS:

RIDER GEAR:

Following are recommended optional items you might wish to carry in addition to your Trail Kit: Mapcase, Watch, Compass, Pens, Headlamp or Flashlight, Weather Appropriate Clothing, Insect Repellent, Food, Water, Whistle, Multi-Tool, Duct Tape, Personal Necessities, Sponge.

VET CHECKS: