Gill’s Indian horse trek was “absolutely awesome.”

RIDING instructor Gill Meningen has just returned from the horse ride of a lifetime, travelling across the spectacular Indian state of Rajasthan.

Gill completed the 125 Km challenge to raise almost �4,000 for the international charity The Brooke, which works to improve the lives of hard working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the world’s poorest communities.

She said: “The experience was absolutely awesome. I got into doing the challenge purely by accident, a friend did some fund raising for The Brooke, and I looked at her fund raising pack and found out about the challenge.

“When I first applied to do the trek, I was told I was too late, but another rider dropped out so I got a place, and then it was pure adrenaline, as I set about fund raising.”

Gill, 53, lives in Coveney and runs livery and training yard Little Downham Equestrian with her son.

Gill said: “Riding the Marwari horses was fantastic, they are built for stamina and are incredibly fit and fast. We rode for between four and six hours a day, split into two sessions to avoid the heat of the day.”

Following the trails of ancient kings, Gill had the chance to experience Indian culture, catch a glimpse of wildlife, and ride across a variety of terrain.

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“I only went abroad for the first time last October and there I was, riding in India,” added Gill. “Everything was really well organised. The Indian people were the best I have ever met, they came out of their villages to greet us and offer us refreshment.”

The adventure culminated in a visit to see The Brooke’s work near Delhi, where Gill saw the charity’s work at first hand, making a difference to the lives of horses donkeys and mules working in brick kilns.

“I had a wonderful experience, and I will continue to fund raised for The Brooke,” said Gill, who has a Just Giving fund raising website, www.justgiving.com/gillmeningen