What is driven Trec all about?

Trec is a low pressure, fun competition for novice and experienced drivers alike and ideal for novice animals as each phase is done separately rather than within a group.

Normally the competition begins with a safety and information briefing by the organiser. Depending on the number of entries, start times maybe allocated before the day or drawn with straws on the day at the briefing.


The main aim of the safety presentation is to ensure that the turnout is safe to compete in the event. A judge will inspect the turnout and award points for the following:-

  • Correct harnessing up and putting to
  • Fitting of harness and balance of vehicle including appropriateness of vehicle for animal and task ahead
  • Adequate spares kit for event including a charged mobile phone
  • Neat and tidy turnout with emphasis on safety which normally includes wearing fluorescent gear


Each turnout will leave at intervals sometimes with written instructions about the drive, they may be given a map or simply instructed to follow a signposted route. 

The drive should be on quite lanes or more ideally on off-road tracks covering around 5 to 8 miles in total. The drive should be completed at a steady pace of around 7-8 mph. The idea is to keep on the move and points may be deducted for stopping on route. 

A halfway checkpoint may be included where a steward marks a score card with the time. There may also be a compulsory walk section with points deducted for any break of pace and some Trec events may just simply mark the start and finish times. Scores are base on being close to an optimum time. 


The final phase involves undertaking a series of skills. Written instructions may be given in advance or the judge may instruct the driver of the requirement of each skill as they go along.

The skills are untimed and marks awarded for each skill. Each skill is judged on how the task is approached, how the animal reacts and in some cases how the driver and backstepper communicate with each other. Examples of Trec skills are as follows:-

  • Reversing a set distance or between two sets of cones
  • Driving along a straight line painted on the ground keeping the right wheel on the line
  • Trotting a 20 metre one-handed circle
  • Driving a slalom of cones
  • Simulate Driving a road junction 
  • Standing still for a set time of 30 seconds for example without the animal moving and without the use of breaks
  • Backstepper moving flags between cones

Finally, all the points over the three phases are added together and rosettes and prizes are awarded.

The emphasis on this style of competition is to promote safe driving procedures in a relaxed atmosphere with everyone enjoying the day – so why not give it a go?

Our next Trec events can be found on our events page.