BDS Trec


Thought about originally as a low key event that could be entered by all ages, all types of animals and vehicles, BDS Trec was based on the French Techniques de Randonnée Équestre de Compétition which is a competition designed to test horse and rider. With origins in France, the sport spread through Europe, and was introduced to the UK by the BHS in 1998. The Ridden Trec competition consists of three separate events – mounted orienteering, a demonstration of control of the horse’s paces and an obstacle course – all completed over the course of one or two days, and points scored, with the highest scoring being declared the event winner. 

BDS Trec

Clearly these requirements had to be amended to cater for carriage drivers, resulting in the BDS Trec that many members take part in and enjoy today. This is an ideal competition for novice drivers as well as novice animals, there being little pressure on either and each phase is done alone, not in a group of turnouts.

There is a leaflet for organisers and competitors obtainable from the BDS office which should be of help to new Treccies.
Basically the event starts with PHASE ONE – THE SAFETY PRESENTATION and with a suggested 50 points awarded per turnout to start , points may be awarded or deducted by an experienced judge for:

  • Correct or incorrect harnessing procedure
  • Fitting of harness & balance of vehicle
  • Driver & grooms attire and suitability for the task
  • Comprehensive spares kit
  • Any additional safety features eg florescent wear / mobile phone.

Phase Two – A Test Of Timed Distance

or a Optimum Time Cones course

  • Turnouts will leave at intervals with a written route, rather than doing orienteering.
  • Quiet lanes or off road tracks would be ideal.
  • Excessive speed is not desirable … 5-8 miles distance at 7-8 mph recommended.
  • Turnouts must keep on the move – if stationary anywhere other than a checkpoint, points may be deducted.
  • One or two checkpoints should be included en route, at which a steward marks the score card with the time the checkpoint is reached.
  • Points awarded for arriving at the checkpoints at the correct time, allowing 1 minute either way.
  • A compulsory walk section might be included with points deducted for any break of pace.

The Optional Cones – should be on an easy to follow course, set wide enough for all the vehicles taking part. Perhaps include a slalom and /or a `box`.

Use the time of a willing volunteer who has driven the course at normal speed and from this the optimum time can be set.

On return from the drive each turnout will individually tackle

Phase Three – The Skills

Now attempt a minimum of 6 untimed skills, with a possible 10 marks awarded for the skilful completion of each one, for example:

  • Reversing alongside a straight line painted on the ground.
  • Trotting a 20 metre circle, perhaps one-handed.
  • Negotiating a cone slalom
  • Complete standstill, whilst groom dismounts, walks around the turnout, then remounts the vehicle.
  • Trot between 3 or 4 offset pairs of cones with balls set on top.
  • Groom to dismount, open `gate` , for turnout to drive through , groom to remount after shutting `gate` .
  • Whilst in vehicle, groom to move flag from one cone to another.

Remember that the whole idea of Phase Three is that they are indeed `skills` and untimed, so it should be judged on how the task is tackled, how the animal reacts ie stands motionless when required or points will be deducted. Also how skilful the driver is in completing the task.

Identifying the importance of a good groom, once the event is notified to the BDS Office two sets of rosettes will ben sent to the organiser so that driver and groom receive a memento of the day.

British Driving Society

Hours of Operation

10:00am – 4:00pm


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Hoste House, Whiting St, Bury Saint Edmunds IP33 1NR

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