A Pembrokeshire horsewoman was among the top three riders at the recent China International TREC Championships.

Kate Gillam, who represented Great Britain in the 2019 championships where she competed against riders from nine other nations, came third behind Amanti Muller of France and Elaine Dolan Crowley of Ireland.

TREC is a sport which challenges rider navigation and the horse’s ability to tackle different terrain and natural obstacles.

Kate was delighted with her runner-up position but says the result was just a small part to the overall experience of riding in hills and plains close to Inner Mongolia and spending a week with fellow competitors from other countries. 

The Chinese organisers had provided an unforgettable experience, she said, hosting competitors from China, Denmark, France, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, UK and USA in the Datanzheng Horse Town.

“We had an incredible 30km horse ride in extreme blizzard weather across Mongolian steppe, an amazing circus style show of horsemanship and acrobatics and a tour of our host's Museum to the Horse with a subsequent visit to The Great Wall Of China and Forbidden City,’’ said Kate, who lives in Solva and has a lifelong association with horses.

The opening ceremony celebrated traditional horse culture.

“We were invited on stage and each in turn introduced for our nation to take a bow,’’ said Kate.

“It was the most amazing experience and I am so thankful to our hosts, Mr Wu and the China Institute of Horse Culture, Sports & Tourism, to Justin Tseng for organising and to TREC GB for nominating me to go.’’

Kate describes TREC as the “friendliest of equine sports’’.

“It crosses all boundaries, and always, for me, breaks new horizons. I wonder where it will take me next, I can’t wait to see.’’