After consulting with entrants and members, we’ve homed in on 21 April. People seem busy for the May dates and, although 8 and 9 June were possible, 21 April suits us better as by June our hayfield will be growing like mad, and holding the Trec in it would be a bit disruptive. And it was wise to postpone from Easter Saturday because our field, as at 23 March, is still a bog with more rain to come.

So do hope lots of you will come to this new date! Takes place at Homefarm Orchard, Chalfont St Giles HP8 4FF. Competitors enter singly but can go round with a friend. There is a
choice of either 2 or 3 phases, the 3rd phase including an orienteering route in and around Hodgemoor Woods. The obstacle course (1st and 2nd phases) will be emailed to entrants so they can learn the course which saves time on the day.

Entries close Wednesday, 17 April in the evening. Note that numbers are limited, first come first served; your entry form must be accompanied by payment to establish your entry.

Please download the entry form in MS Word here.


Hodgemoor Trec – Easter Saturday 30 March 2024

Come for an enjoyable go at Trec. Where? Homefarm Orchard, Chalfont St Giles. When? Easter Saturday 30 March 2024.

Competitors enter singly but can go round with a friend. There is a choice of either 2 or 3 phases. The obstacle course will be emailed to entrants so they can learn the route which saves time on the day. Entries close Monday 25 March in the evening.

Please download the entry form in MS Word here. Note that numbers are limited, first come first served; your entry form must be accompanied by payment to establish your entry.

hodgemoor trec entry form 30 March 2024


Clearing the water run-offs on the trails in Hodgemoor Woods

On Friday 13th October 2023 our friend Frank Everest will be using one of his mini-diggers under Forestry England supervision to clear the silt and debris from about 50 grips along the trails in Hodgemoor Woods. Thank you Frank

    1. A grip is what Forestry England call a water run-off, that is a hollow in the earth next to the trail into which rainwater can flow. Why are they important? If water lies on the trail then the passage of cyclists and especially horses turns the surface into mud and breaks up the hardcore hoggin if which the surface is made. Such degradation massively shortens the life of the trails on which the Hodgemoor Riding Association has spent over £250,000. You can see the detail of these sums on our web site at HodgemoorRidingAssociation_21year_income_deployed
    2. With the passage of time silt and debrtis runs off the trails and fills up the grips, rendering them useless. See the four images at the bottom of this page. Regular emptying of the grips is therefore essential. We will be giving attention to those on the steep parts of the trail, notably at the Mount, where diagonal channels lead rushing rainwater away from the path. The places where work is needed have been indcated with yellow marker on 10 October (right).
    3. We can remind members that at the request of Forestry England cyclists have been permitted to use the horse trails, without contributing money, since 2017. Cyclists are not allowed anywhere else in Hodgemoor, neither on the footpaths nor free-riding.
    4. The minutes of our last AGM recorded “370 metres of trail repairs were done in October 2019 at a total cost was for £29,800 to which the Association contributed £15,300, about half. Forestry England agreed to pay half this time because of new regs imposing on us a contractor which was more expensive than our regular one. You can see a map at https://hodgemoor.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/hodgemoor_trail_works_2019_map.pdf · With income of about 5,000 p.a., the Association would by 2024 have about £28 ,000 available with which we could rebuild 350 metres if the rate is still £80/metre (if FE do not contribute). Forestry England would prefer to wait till 2024 and do more metrage as the last works were disruptive. With that in mind, the the Chairman and Secretary proposed next works in 2024, for economies of scale. The meeting agreed.”
    5. How are we doing with trail repairs? We request members (and walkers and cyclists) to let us know where you think work is needed. Susie and Marcus are compiling a list which will be submitted to Forestry ENgland shortly after the AGM of Monday 20th November. Speak now! Your help is much appreciated (and of course useless if after Nvember!). If a member would like to suggest expenditure of club funds ouside Hodgemoor then please do so. We do have reserves, as published on https://hodgemoor.org.uk/downloads/, Treasurer’s Reports
Dora’s winning photo

Dora’s winning photo

The annual Hodgemoor Wildlife Junior Photography Award was judged on Saturday 2nd September at the Chalfont St Giles village show. There were some super entries.

Congratulations to the winner Dora Hiely-Rayner with her photo of a male Holly Blue butterfly and a honey bee in a blackberry hedgerow. The Holly Blue made a welcome comeback in the UK after years of scarcity in the noughties and likes life in the southeast and Midlands.  The photo was taken in the brambles at the edge of Hodgemoor as you enter from the direction of the White Hart. She wanted to take the photo of the butterfly and was lucky the bee flew in as she was taking it!

Animal-loving Dora is 8 and loves going for walks in Hodgemoor with her whippet puppy Storm. The family goes all together for a walk there at least once a week… it’s exalted company because Dora’s sister Anya accompanied her entry last year with a coloured painting of the Hodgemoor logo which was adopted as the Hodgemoor Riding Association logo for the year.

Well done Dora. Enjoy your glass tankard trophy, your £20 from the Hodgemoor Riding Association and the £20 voucher from Southbank Photography in St Giles for framing the winning picture.

The Hodgemoor Wildlife Junior Photography Award

The Hodgemoor Wildlife Junior Photography Award at the Chalfont St Giles Show.

The Hodgemoor Riding Association and its 300 members sponsor an annual cup and a cash prize in the Junior Photography Section. Since 1999 the Association has raised over £240,000 for the renovation and maintenance of the 6km of horse-riding trails in the woods and nearby, improving this popular amenity for all users, whether walkers, cyclists or horse-riders. The winner each year keeps this engraved one-pint glass tankard, £20 from the Hodgemoor Riding Association (attached to this certificate) and a voucher from Southbank Photography in St Giles for framing of the winning entry or £20 off any order.

To be awarded today 2nd Sept 2023 at the Chalfont St Giles Show.


Hodgemoor Trec 30 April 2023 results

Hodgemoor Trec 30 April 2023 results

Delighted to report that 26 happy riders and their horses competed in the Hodgemoor Trec today, sunny in the morning, overcast but warm in the afternoon. No-one got lost in the wood doing the Orienteering Phase! Thanks to the recently-engaged ebulliently-happy camera-hotshot Alice Bicknell, we present a complete set of photos in high resolution free-of-charge. Definitely worth looking through every one rather than ego-surfing; some wonderful studies in equine and human body language. https://photos.app.goo.gl/eZgR4MKJ1PoSfWS88
This album is open to anyone with the link. Pass it on and enjoy.

There were half a dozen superb performances, maybe the best we have ever seen in the Hodgemoor Trec. In phase 1, those fifteen obstacles requiring control, Maggie Miodek on Phoenix and Coleen Douglas on Indie scored 145 and 144 respectvely out of a maximum available of 150. Amazing. Well done. Katherine Kennedy, Kelly Stokes and Melanie Ralph all got 138. Phase 2 Control of Paces was a tie between Kelly Stokes on Otis and Francesca Jones on Buffy with 48 points out of 60. 15 riders embarked on Phase 3 Orienteering; Laura Newton on Mayday and Sara Caley on Jack got all ten clues correct, all times neatly written, in a total time within 2 minutes of bogie time for 225 out of 240. They were riding as a pair and so lost 10% of their score, otherwise it would have been perfect. And they had fun.

When you add the three phases together and divide the riders into their classes, the results are as follows:

Class 1: 2 Phases: Obstacles and Control of Gaits. Beginners.
Vicki Barras
Clemmie Cullen
Sophia Evans

Class 2: 2 phases: Obstacles and Control of Gaits. Open
Mary Doherty
Alice Labed
Francesca Jones
Kayleigh Dear

Class 3: Obstacles, Control of Gaits, Orienteering. Beginners
Katherine Kennedy
Sarah Staines
Kelly Stokes
Coleen Douglas
Cara Foster

Class 4: Obstacles, Control of Gaits, Orienteering. Open
Sara Caley
Laura Newton
Alison Cheetham

You can download and peruse the full spreadsheet of the results by phase and by class with the link below. To see the results by phase you need to click on the Tabs at the bottom of the screen. Let me know please if there is anything you do not understand. Results with small corrections are below, posted 5 May 2023 MB. Mary Doherty Obstacle 8 should be 5 3 not 5 36,  and for Katherine Kennedy Obstacle 3 should be 7 3 not 78 3. Apologies for the typos. Everyone has their rosettes!







Concussion… how to spot it and what to do

Concussion… how to spot it and what to do

This month British Equestrian released new concussion guidelines which will be adopted across all the riding disciplines in order to ensure a shared plan with regard to anyone who unfortunately suffers concussion as a result of a horse-related accident.
The guidelines are just that, guidelines, but it has been mooted that it would be good that all disciplines including grassroots competitors should be made aware of them as a huge amount of investigation has been undertaken to provide the best advice.
We are therefore sharing this document with all members, will have it available on our webiste in permanence and wil put a copy into the Health & Safety folder that is taken to all our events.  With our forthcoming Le Trec event on Easter Saturday 8th April it is good to be ahead of the curve and get this information out there…
Do please read it through; you could be the person who saves a riders life or saves them from long-term brain damage.
With thanks to Dawn Fleming for the heads-up and the advice.

Hodgemoor Le Trec, Easter Saturday 8 April 2023

Hodgemoor Riding Association: Le Trec
Homefarm Orchard, Kirby Close, Chalfont St Giles HP8. Easter Saturday 8 April, 2023. 10am to 1 pm

Le Trec will be on Easter Saturday this year. Those who want to do the West Wycombe ride on Easter Monday can do both.

Come and enjoy yourself at Le Trec, the competition which demands a calm horse and skillful handling. Competitors enter singly but can go round with a friend. The Hodgemoor Trec, which has been running since 2009 on the same site on the Bicknells’ fields between the White Hart in St Giles and Hodgemoor Woods, is warmly informal and so is an ideal opportunity for beginners to have a go. You can do the first two phases (obstacles and the control of gaits) or all three (those plus the orienteering which usually takes you round a course in the woods and small lanes of an hour to an hour-and-a-half). You can also compete as a beginner or “open” and there are rosettes for the leading placings in both. The obstacle course will be emailed to entrants so they can learn the route which saves time on the day. Entries close Monday 3rd April.

Funds raised from the event go to maintaining the horse trails in the woods and around Hodgemoor. Our website is at www.hodgemoor.org.uk

Download the schedule and entry form in MS Word here…