|Mrs Jacqui Watson|
Tetrathlon is a four part competition, for teams and individuals, combining cross country riding with 3 unmounted phases: swimming, running and pistol shooting. Competitions are often held over two days with the riding and, say, the run, being held on one day and the other 2 activities on the next.
Children must be aged 8 or over to be allowed to shoot. We own air pistols and regular tuition is available to encourage all levels of competitor. Under 8’s can do super-mini tri’s and biathlons (run and swim). Age categories are Super-Mini (Under 8s) Mini (8 -11), Junior (12 -14) and Intermediate/Open. Age is taken as at 1 January in each year.The details of each phase are set out below. It may seem complicated at first but the main thing to realise about tetrathlon is that it is wonderfully informal, there is masses of support and cameraderie among competitors and a poor performance in one phase can easily be made up for by extra effort in another. Another plus for the less experienced rider is that even with 3 refusals (resulting in retirement) points can still be scored for the part of the course which was completed before retirement.
A total of ten shots at a target (7 metres away for Minis and Junior, 10 for Intermediate/Open) on the instructions of a range master; minis may shoot two handed.
A cross country run with competitors set off individually and timed. Minis run 1000 metres, Juniors and Intermediate/Open Girls 1500 metres, Intermediate Boys 2000 metres and Open boys (a gruelling) 3000 metres.
Points are awarded for how far competitors can swim freestyle (a combination of styles is allowed) in a certain time. For Minis it is 2 minutes, Open Boys 4 minutes and all others 3 minutes. Weaker swimmers are catered for with outside lanes and swim aids often allowed to encourage younger children.
A cross country course (70cm approx for minis, graduating upwards in height for older competitors). There is a gate to open on horseback and a slip rail where riders dismount and lead their pony through, then re-mount to continue the course.