Karl and Clare take BHS TREC honours at Royal Windsor

Actor and TV presenter Karl Ude-Martinez was joined by BHS TREC rider Clare Reynolds to clinch the SEIB BHS Pro-Am TREC Challenge at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

The competition, sponsored by South Essex Insurance Brokers, sees riders compete over a specially designed BHS TREC course. They face challenges such as ducking under ‘low branches’ and reversing the horse in a narrow corridor of poles. The pairs format (one TREC GBR Development Squad member and one equestrian celebrity) is a new addition to the contest for this year.

In securing their victory, Karl and Clare saw off tough competition from Major Richard Waygood, of Household Cavalry and Eventing fame and Young Rider GBR Development Squad member Lucy Thompson. The winning pair were rewarded with a cheque for £1,000 which will be split between their chosen charities, Help for Heroes and Riding for the Disabled Association.

As an experienced polo player and one of the ‘Knights of Middle England’, Karl Ude-Martinez has had his share of thrills and spills in the saddle. However, even he admits to being a little anxious before having his first taste of the sport in front of a packed Windsor crowd!

“I was nervous before the event but thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to have another go at BHS TREC,” he says. “I don’t think I was the tidiest rider, but at least I didn’t get any scores of 0!

“My horse, Max, was lovely to ride and really knew his job. When his owner Jenny Snowdon introduced me to him, she said he needed a while to warm up as he may be fizzy – as she said this he did five huge yawns all in a row! I would like to come back next year and defend the title and perhaps I could do it in full Knights’ costume next time!”

Karl’s BHS TREC debut was well supported (quite vocally) by his partner, Senior GBR Development Squad member Clare Reynolds from Harrietsham in Kent. Clare has plenty of experience in the sport as the current British Champion at Level 3 and the winner of last year’s novice league with her horse, Starlight Sylvester.

She said: “I absolutely loved it. My horse is strong on all three phases anyway but he was so focused today, I’m really pleased!

“Karl did a fantastic job, having never done it before. He wanted me to rate him out of ten, so I gave him an eight, because he really did go for it, especially for a first timer!”

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