Orienteering, Ridden

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Ridden TREC Orienteering Phase

Technical Details for Ridden TREC Competitions

The Orienteering phase designed to demonstrate the skills needed to navigate a mapped route in a time accurate manner. Internationally, this phase is known as Parcours d’Orientation et de Régularité (POR).

Course: Set according to the terrain and level of competition
Scoring: -0 to 240 (points can be negative in this phase
Distance: 5 to 50 km
Time: Set according to the terrain and level of competition


The Orienteering phase is a timed exercise that has a planned route over varying terrain. At the lower levels, competitors may go out in small groups with a pre-printed map. At higher levels, the competitors go out individually with a map they transposed from an original in a ‘map room’ just before the phase starts.

The start line has red (on right) and white (on left) flags and the speed of travel posted. The competitor(s) travel along the mapped trail at the speed posted until they get to a checkpoint. At the checkpoint, the competitor will receive a new speed of travel to proceed on when they leave the checkpoint. This continues until the route is completed.


To perform all sections accurately, at the speed described.

DistancesUp to 12 kmUp to 20 kmUp to 35 kmUp to 45 km
Map SkillsA map is based mostly on clear landmarksMap to include introductory challenges using landmarks and contour lines. Introduces compass useCompass needed.

Ability to read terrain starts being a key factor

Compass needed Competence with Azimuths and grid references required
6-12 km/h
Designed for rider/horse safety, fitness and controlModerate

Distance starts to factor in

Varied. Pace and distance become key factorsVaried. Pace and distance calculations are critical tools
Specific Rules
  • Correct dress is required
  • Helmets are required while mounted

This phase starts with 240 points from which penalty points are subtracted based on performance. Common types of penalties are listed below.

  • Time penalties: There is an optimum time set for each section of the course based on distance and speed (pace). One time penalty is incurred for every 4 seconds over or under the optimum time for the section.
  • Navigational Penalties: All check points are to be entered from one direction to retaining points. Entering a checkpoint from the wrong direction or missing a checkpoint incurs penalties (-30 and -50 respectively).
  • Navigational Tests: At higher levels, sections of the route may require navigation based on azimuths or grid coordinates. Scoring is based on the accuracy of the execution.
  • Equipment Penalties: -1 point per missing item. See below.


The competitor is given a scorecard at the start of the phase. These scorecard are given to the course judges during the competition as a record of the ride. Competitors are responsible for keeping the scorecard. Lost scorecards incur heavy penalties.

The Map

  • Topographic Maps with a scaled grid overlay are the base maps. The ideal scale is 1:25,000.
  • Competition maps include the starting point, the route, and directional arrows.
  • Checkpoints are not indicated on the map (see below).


Speed requirements are posted at the start line and at each stage checkpoint along the route. The goal is to travel at the posted speed until arriving at the next checkpoint.


Unmarked checkpoints are placed along the route.

Types of checkpoints:

  • Stage Checkpoints: Riders are stopped and asked to present timecards. Checkpoint judges record the time on the competitors’ scorecard. A time out is then given to each competitor. Food, water and a vet may be stationed at this type of checkpoint.
  • Route Checkpoints: These checkpoints are to make sure the competitors have traveled the correct route. They may or may not have a checkpoint judge. They may or may not be on the route.
  • Veterinary Checkpoints: At higher levels there are vet checkpoints on route to insure the safety of the horses. At National championships and international competitions, a vet check is required within 30 minutes of completing the course.


Required equipment:

  • 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 (specific items required)

Optional equipment:

  • Food and Water for Horse and Rider
  • Whistle
  • Flash Light / Headlamp
  • Weather Appropriate Clothing
  • Watch / Compass / Pens