The Long Riders' Guild



The Legendary Long Rider horse, Count Pompeii, passes away

In 1995 Basha O’Reilly rode her Cossack stallion, Count Pompeii, 2,500 miles from Russia to England. After the formation of the Long Riders’ Guild, the renowned road horse became the inspiration for the famous flying logo which appears on the Guild website and on the spine of the more than 200 books published by the Long Riders’ Guild Press. Additionally, the book Count Pompeii - Stallion of the Steppes is an illustrated story book for children that recounts the journey of a Long Rider and her horse hero. After inspiring and serving the Guild for many years, Count Pompeii succumbed to old age.

Australian Long Rider delivers sold-out lecture at Royal Geographical Society

Tim Cope is a living legend within the Long Rider world.

That is because he set off in 2004 to become the first person to ride in the hoofprints of Genghis Khan’s army from Mongolia, across the steppes, to Hungary. During this gruelling three-year expedition he had his horses stolen, endured temperatures of minus 30 and was stranded on the border of Russia and Kazakhstan for weeks.

At the half way point in his journey Tim was invited to a special gathering of Long Riders.

On March 15, 2005, twenty-eight Long Riders from every corner of the earth assembled in the library of the Royal Geographical Society in London. It was the largest gathering of equestrian explorers in history.   They were united to celebrate the publication of The Long Riders’ Literary Project and to present the first complete set of that collection to the RGS. The Long Riders’ Literary Collection contains 107 of the world’s most historically important equestrian travel books in five languages, including many rare books that have long been out of print. Ten of those Long Riders present authored books in the collection.  Read more....

In 2005 British Long Rider Sir John Ure, KCMG, LVO, FRGS (right) congratulates Australian adventurer Tim Cope on being made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Equestrian Writer’s Guide Draws Praise

Susan Craft turned her lifelong love of horses into a successful literary career. In her efforts to obtain accurate equestrian information for her first novel, Susan contacted the Long Riders’ Guild Academic Foundation. As a result of that successful literary collaboration, the Guild asked Susan to oversee the creation of the Equestrian Writer’s Guide.

With the help of best-selling Long Rider authors Jeremy James and Doug Preston, as well as experts in military and equestrian travel, the result was a precise and extraordinary set of equestrian facts, figures, distances and writing rules which reflect the honesty of true equestrian experience.

Since its creation, many authors have made use of this valuable literary tool.

Susan’s role in helping formulate the Equestrian Writer’s Guide has been highlighted in a special on-line article.

Long Rider completes historic journey from Russia to Romania

The Guild would like to welcome its newest Member, Michael Pugh, who rode through Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Romania. The journey was made to raise funds for the British Paralympic Association. Knowing of the intense difficulties which other Long Riders have encountered when they tried to take their horses across international borders, Michael devised a plan to avoid this problem by using different teams of horses in each country. Knowledgeable friends in each country assisted him and the journey was a remarkable success.

Long Rider Saddle Pad

Prior to his departure in 2012 on a 10,000 mile journey from Canada to Brazil, Filipe Leite met with Brazil’s legendary Long Rider Pedroca de Aguiar. Having ridden thousands of kilometres through the hot tropics of South America, the older equestrian traveller advised Filipe on how he had avoided saddle sores by using a unique saddle pad of his own devising.

With his journey now completed, Filipe wrote to Guild to explain how Pedroca’s saddle pad had ensured that none of his three horses ever suffered from a saddle sore.  Read more….

Rare Long Rider Medal Discovered


An unusual event took place in August, 1937. An English Long Rider named Edward Percy Stebbings reported on the immense success of “The Long Distance Ride.”


Stebbings’ story described how a host of British horse riders set out from eight starting points, bound for a central meeting place at Eastbourne. Not only were the editors of the sponsoring magazine, Country Life, surprised that more than twice as many people as expected decided to ride across Southern England, they also reported that one contestant came from as far away as Norway. Nor was an age a factor, as the oldest rider was 76 and the youngest only 11 years old.


Hundreds of equestrians rode from all points of England so as to gather in a grand ceremony in southern Britain. The legendary Swiss Long Rider Aimé Tschiffely was present to witness the conclusion of the ride, whereupon every participant received a bronze medal.


After a long search the Guild was able to track down and publish Stebbings’ article describing this unique equestrian travel event. Based upon the success of this ride, as well as his equestrian travels in India and England, Stebbings went on to write a rare book entitled Cross Country Riding.


Until now no further information about this unique journey or its riders has ever been found.


But thanks to information supplied by Prue Hall, the Guild has received photographs of the medal awarded to her grandfather, Joseph Connolly, who accompanied Stebbings in the group of riders who set out for Eastbourne. Connolly was a well-known horseman from Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex.


Ms. Hall also noted that another member of the riders from Eastbourne, Miss S. Mappin, bore the same name as London jewellers, Mappin & Webb, who supplied the medal and whose company name can be seen in the accompanying photographs.


Honouring Japan’s Legendary Long Rider

Kohei Yamakawa (left) has now ridden more than 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) in the first modern equestrian journey across Japan. He recently reached Matsumoto.

This city was the home of Baron Yasumasa Fukushima, the descendant of a noble samurai family who was sent to Germany on military duty in 1892. When the time came to return home, the Baron decided to ride 14,000 kilometres (8,700 miles) from Berlin to Tokyo.

Upon reaching Matsumoto, Kohei was greeted by 88-year-old Kiyoshi Terashima (right), whose grandfather knew Baron Fukushima. As a child Mr. Terashima heard many tales from his grandfather about the legendary Japanese Long Rider who had ridden across Siberia in winter.

Mr. Terashima and Kohei are seen holding the Guild flag in front of a monument dedicated to the memory of Japan’s great Long Rider, Baron Fukushima.

Another article by Basha O'Reilly in the magazine Randonner à Cheval.

Edition 60

Novembre-Decembre 2014






The key to equestrian travel, the Pack Horse

After having completed his incredible 18,000 mile solo equestrian journey around the entire perimeter of the Australian continent, Long Rider Steve Nott made this apt observation about one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of equestrian travel, the necessity of using a pack horse.

“Hollywood would have us believe the erstwhile western hero can travel for weeks on end, all the while covering hundreds of miles with just his saddle bags and a blanket. All too often when night arrives the cinematic rider has mysteriously produced a coffee pot, frying pan and enough food to fabricate a hearty evening meal. In fact even a brief list of camp necessities, let alone the food, soon makes it apparent one needs a pack horse and pack saddle,” Nott warned other travellers.

Le Clé du Voyage Equestre: le cheval de bât  

Dans l’édition 59, j'ai avisé la difficulté de trouver un bon "cheval de route".  Trouver un bon cheval de bât est encore plus difficile !

Après avoir terminé son incroyable voyage équestre d’environ 29.000 kilomètres autour du périmètre du continent australien, Long Rider Steve Nott fait cette observation pertinente à propos de l'un des plus couramment incompris d’un aspect de voyage équestre, la nécessité de l'aide d'un cheval de bât.

"Hollywood voudrait nous le faire croire les anciens héros de l'ouest peuvent voyager pendant des semaines, tout en couvrant des centaines de kilomètres avec juste ses sacoches et une couverture. Trop souvent quand la nuit arrive, le cavalier cinématique a mystérieusement produit une cafetière, une poêle et assez de nourriture pour fabriquer un copieux repas du soir. En fait, même une brève liste de camp nécessités, sans parler de la nourriture, c’est évident qu’on a besoin d'un cheval de bât," Nott averti d'autres voyageurs.

Bernice Ende has ridden 35,500 kilometres (22,000 miles) during seven consecutive journeys in the United States and Canada. Her current trip will cover 8,000 miles and take more than two years to complete. What makes this ride unique is that Bernice is attempting to become the first person to ride "ocean to ocean" in both directions, and reach both oceans, on the same trip. On October 8th Bernice’s horse, Essie Pearl carried the Long Rider and the Guild flag to the Atlantic, thereby completing the first part of this historic journey! 

Bernice Ende a commencé ses voyages équestres en 2005 Depuis, elle a monté 22,000 miles (35,500 kilomètres) pendant sept voyages consécutifs aux États-Unis et au Canada. Son voyage actuel couvrirait 8,000 miles (presque 13.000 kilomètres) et prendrait plus que deux ans.

Ce qui rend cette course unique, c'est que Bernice tente de devenir la première personne à monter "d’un océan à l'autre" dans les deux sens, et d'atteindre les deux océans, sur le même voyage




Classic Equestrian Travel Tale republished with 120 unique photographs

In 1989 two novice Long Riders set out on a journey that would test their courage, endurance and friendship to the limits. Douglas Preston was a writer from New England. Walter Nelson was a landscape photographer from the West. Neither had any experience with horse travel.

That didn’t stop the two men from setting off in the hoofprints of the Spanish explorer Coronado, who searched the American Southwest for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. Like the Conquistador who preceded them, Doug and Walter’s journey across the desert was a gruelling one.

They rode cross country, not following modern roads or trails, and enduring some of the harshest deserts and roughest mountain terrain in the United States. Forced to battle extremes of heat and cold, impenetrable mesquite thickets, bad water, rattlesnakes, flash floods and paralyzing drought, they nonetheless found the country awesome in its scale and beauty, with much of it so untouched that it was still recognizable from descriptions in Coronado’s reports.

When the trip was concluded Doug wrote an award-winning book entitled Cities of Gold. The book has long been considered a modern classic in Long Rider literature.

In a recent interview, Douglas Preston said "I think this may be one of the best books I've ever written, or ever will write."

A new edition of Cities of Gold has just been issued as an ebook. What makes this edition unique is that it includes 120 photographs taken by Walter Nelson on the journey, as well as extremely rare historical photographs of Native Americans and early Arizona and New Mexico prospectors, lawmen, cattlemen and pioneers.

For more information about Doug’s book and Walter’s photographs click here:









New testimonial from Tina Sjogren - Publisher of Explorer's Web  "What better fate can one have than the privilege to inspire new generations. That's what Basha and CuChullaine O'Reilly are doing."  

Brazilian Long Rider Filipe Masetti Leite completes his historic journey across North, Central and South America.

The Guild would like to welcome officially its newest Member. Few humans have ridden so far, or endured so much, in order to join the ranks of the Long Riders’ Guild as Filipe has done.

Having been inspired as a child by the adventures of Swiss Long Rider Aimé Tschiffely, Filipe set off in 2012 on a 16,000 kilometre (10,000 miles) ride that would become a modern legend. Click here to read a special Story from the Road entitled "Dreams Do Come True" about this remarkable travel tale.

Breakthrough in Long Rider Horse Shoes 

Long Riders know that just because they have managed to get their horse shod their worries are far from over. Harsh surfaces, hot roads, jagged gravel and ruthless rocks are all waiting to destroy your horse’s hooves. That’s what Ivan Denton discovered when he rode east to west across the United States in 1989. He wrote, “The steel shoes wore out so fast that his hooves couldn’t grow out fast enough for new nail holes.”

Luckily Long Riders discovered a way to save their horse’s hooves. They had a farrier place borium on the bottom of the horseshoes. Borium is a generic name for tungsten carbide crystals, which when embedded in a carrier material, provides a protective hard wearing shield to steel horseshoes.

Sergeant Robert Seney, the former United States cavalry soldier turned Long Rider, was the first to record how the use of borium dramatically increased the length which horseshoes would last if they were equipped with borium. Starting in the late 1970s Seney made six journeys in the United States during which he rode a total of 38,500 kilometres (24,000 miles). In a special article written in 1980, Seney recalled how he used borium equipped shoes for his horse, Trooper.

“Strange as it seems it is possible to cross the United States on one set of horse shoes,” Seney wrote.

In 1982 French Foreign Legionnaire turned Long Rider Jean Claude Cazade rode his Arabian stallion from France to Arabia and back. Because of the borium equipped shoes he used, Jean Claude’s horse travelled tremendous distances without any noticeable wear to the shoes.

North American Long Rider Tracy Paine also championed borium horseshoes during her 10,000 mile ride across the United States in the late 1990s. In a special report written for the Guild, Tracy said, “The most preferable shoe I have found for long distance horseback travel is a lightweight, flat iron shoe with no heel or toe calks. A shoe like this will wear paper thin and crack at the toe in only two weeks of pavement travel. Yet this same shoe, properly coated with borium, will last one year of pavement travel.”

Though Long Riders knew borium could provide a dramatic improvement the problem was finding a farrier who knew how to create these super-tough horseshoes.

The first clue that such a source came about in 2009 when Rick Blackburn set out with two horses to ride 3,500 kilometres (2,200 miles) from Canada to Texas. He immediately ran into problems.

“I was only able to keep horseshoes for 350 miles or two weeks before replacing them. This was a problem because the hooves were getting nailed too often, which was weakening the walls.”

Luckily Rick had heard of Roger Robinson, who runs The Blacksmith Shop in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Roger is a master farrier whose expertise is creating horseshoes specially treated with hard-wearing “drill tek” borium.

After receiving two sets of these special shoes from Roger, Rick continued his journey. The Long Rider had the shoes re-set twice during the course of his ride.

“In addition to the extra traction the borium shoes provided,” Rick wrote, “the shoes showed no sign of wear.”

And even greater endorsement for this master farrier’s work was recently provided by another North American Long Rider, Bernice Ende.

Bernice is on her eighth consecutive equestrian journey. During the last ten years she has ridden nearly 25,000 miles in the USA and Canada. She is currently attempting to become the first person to ride “ocean to ocean” in both directions on a single journey.

After so many thousands of miles, Bernice has learned a great deal about horse shoes and farriers.

Like Seney, Paine and Blackburn before her, Bernice has now equipped her horses with special borium equipped horseshoes.

She too contacted Roger Robinson in Virginia, who created sets of horse shoes for Bernice’s two Fjord horses. It didn’t take long before Bernice announced how well these new style horse shoes performed.

“I have used hard-surfacing on the horseshoes before and for pavement riding it’s a must. But Roger Robinson, at the Blacksmith Shop is an authority on hard-surfacing and when I heard about him I had to call and ask about his work. He sent me two sets of DuraSafe borium horseshoes. The shoes are giving me twice as much mileage from a set of shoes; that is important. Plus, there is no slippage on ice or wet pavement; none. I cannot tell you how much this helps.  I am thrilled with the horseshoes,” Bernice informed the Guild.

The Long Riders’ Guild Equipment page contains this stern warning.

The Long Riders' Guild does not accept advertising revenue, or any type of outside funding, from anyone - ever. In other words, you can't buy your way on to this website. We're not for sale! The opinions expressed here by the various Long Riders are unvarnished, sometimes harsh, often complimentary, but always spoken from the heart. They have to be. Unlike ring riders, our lives and those of our horses depend on our gear. If a piece of equipment fails in the middle of the Amazon jungle, while riding over the Himalayas, or fording a Russian river, we can't load up our pony and go home. You don't get ribbons or trophies when you're a Long Rider. If you do it right, you and your horse make it through in one piece.”

Based upon the evidence submitted by Long Riders Rick Blackburn and Bernice Ende, it appears that Roger Robinson, at the Blacksmith Shop, is able to provide Long Riders with long-lasting horse shoes that guarantee durability and traction.

































Death of Heroic Long Rider Horse

The Guild is sad to report that Chami, the Barb horse ridden by Christy Henchie during her historic journey across the African continent, died from a snake bite on October 19th.

Christy set off with her fiancé, Billy Brenchley, in 2005. Their goal was to complete the first ride from Cap Blanc in Tunisia – the most northern point in Africa – to its southernmost tip, Cape Agulhas in South Africa. Billy rode another Barb named Nali.

They crossed 10 countries during their epic Long Ride. Tragedy struck in January, 2013 when a speeding out-of-control bus hit the Long Riders and their horses. Christy was killed instantly and Billy suffered a broken leg. Nali also suffered injuries. Only Chami was unharmed.

Despite Christy’s death, Billy was determined to continue the journey in her memory. However in June, 2014, having been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, Billy made a final pilgrimage to see Chami and Nali. He died shortly afterwards.

With Chami now also deceased, Nali is the sole survivor of The African Hoofprints expedition which set off from Tunisia. He is protected and permanently homed by Don and Paula McBride, a very kind couple who live in Tanzania. They stepped in immediately after the bus accident and arranged the care and veterinary treatment for Nali. Since then they have overseen the welfare of both horses.

Nali is fine but is lost without Chami so Don and Paula are taking steps to purchase another horse to keep him company and will continue to cherish this special horse

The photo shows Christy Henchie and Chami in Uganda.









Bernice Ende has ridden 35,500 kilometres (22,000 miles) during seven consecutive journeys in the United States and Canada. Her current trip will cover 8,000 miles and take more than two years to complete. What makes this ride unique is that Bernice is attempting to become the first person to ride "ocean to ocean" in both directions, and reach both oceans, on the same trip. On October 8th Bernice’s horse, Essie Pearl carried the Long Rider and the Guild flag to the Atlantic, thereby completing the first part of this historic journey! For more details visit her website

New Friend of the Guild: Former US Marine, Dick La Tondre is the author of The Golden Kite, the English-language biography of the great Historical Long Rider Baron Yasumasa Fukushima who rode from Berlin, Germany to Tokyo, Japan in 1892. Additionally, in 2014 Dick was a financial supporter of Kohei Yamakawa’s attempt to make the first modern equestrian journey across Japan.

Kohei Yamakawa has ridden 700 kilometres (400 miles) on his 3,000 kilometres (1800 miles) journey across Japan. He has crossed the northern island of Hokkaido and is seen about to board the ferry which took him and his horses, Road Willow and Road Snow, on to the mainland of Japan. Because no one has seen an equestrian traveller in living memory, crowds of excited people are greeting the young Long Rider as he makes his way across Japan. For details and photos visit Kohei’s blog or watch this video.

Mounted on his trusty horse, Marengo, German Long Rider Richard Waltrapp has just completed the first known modern ride in the Czech Republic. Richard wrote to say, “We started in Aufkirchen, then Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, until the Biskiden, where I climbed some mountains. I returned following the Slovakian / Polish border, across the Erzgebirge back home. The distance was 2800 kilometres (1700 miles). I rode two and a half months, mostly in the mountains. The ride was without any problems. In 2015 I plan a ride to the Atlantic Ocean.”

Nirwan Ahmad Arsuka is preparing to undertake the first modern journey across Indonesia. The planning and logistics for this journey are extremely difficult. Nirwan is hoping to use the local breed of horses, known as Sandalwood Ponies, which are known to be hardy.  Nirwan has just completed an important training ride, during which time he used the first adjustable pack saddle seen in Indonesia. This critically important piece of equipment was provided by Custom Pack Rigging in Canada.

In 2005 French Long Rider Louis Meunier set off to make a dangerous ride across war-torn Afghanistan. The journey began in the northern town of Maimana, then cut across the seldom travelled centre of the country to the distant city of Herat. The journey ended when Louis almost died of a rare disease that attacked his liver. The story of his incredible journey can be viewed here.  Since then Louis has gone on to become an award winning documentary film maker and has recently completed a brilliant book about his further adventures in Afghanistan. An interview about his travels and artistic work can be viewed here. Louis was kind enough to provide this Testimonial regarding the support he received from the Long Riders' Guild.
Long live Basha and CuChullaine O’Reilly! Without their tremendous efforts, huge chunks of equestrian knowledge would sink into oblivion. They were the only ones to encourage me during my ride through Afghanistan. I am very grateful for their help and I am proud to be a Member of the Long Riders’ Guild.

Five new editions of Randonner à Cheval with articles by Basha O'Reilly.

That rare thing - the Road Horse

The Romans had different categories of horses; venedi for hunting, cantherii for pleasure riding and itinerarii for travel. Read more...

Cheval de voyage - créature rare

Les Romains possédaient différentes catégories de chevaux : venedii pour la chasse, cantherii pour le plaisir et itinerarii pour le voyage. Lisez la suite...

Katie Cooper completed her journey across the American south-west with her mule, Sir Walter.


Katie Cooper a achevé son trajet à travers le sudouest américain avec sa mule, Sir Walter.

A Frenchman in Afghanistan

The French Long Rider, Louis Meunier, after graduating from business school, decided to go on an adventure rather than follow a career mapped out in advance. Read more...

Un Français en Afghanistan

Le long-rider français Louis Meunier, tout juste diplômé d’une école de commerce, décide de partir à l’aventure plutôt que de suivre une carrière tracée d’avance. Lisez la suite...

Aimé Tschiffely was born in Switzerland in 1895 and worked in England as a teacher, professional footballer and boxer. Read more...

Aimé-Félix Tschiffely est né en Suisse en 1895 et a travaillé en Angleterre comme professeur, footballeur professionnel et boxeur. Lisez la suite...

Insects - A Deadly Peril

Before setting off on an equestrian journey, most travellers realise they will be required to endure many hardships and survive danger. Common worries include deadly traffic and murderous criminals. Few people think of the dangers of insects,  The list of horse travellers who became victims of deadly insects includes Alexander the Great and Charles Darwin. Read more...

Insectes, péril mortel

Avant de partir pour une expédition équestre, la plupart des voyageurs comprennent qu’ils seront obligés de faire face à de nombreuses épreuves et de survivre à certains dangers. Parmi les voyageurs équestres célèbres qui en ont été victimes de l'insecte, on peut citer Alexandre le Grand ou Charles Darwin.  Lisez la suite...

Filipe, from Canada to Brazil!


Filipe Masetti Leite's father read him Tschiffely's Ride when he was a child.  When the young man had completed his studies in Toronto he decided to return home on horseback.  "When the journey is over, the person who left is not the same one who comes back."

Le père de Filipe Masetti Leite lui a lu Tschiffely's Ride quand il était petit.  Quand le jeune homme a termine ses études en Toronto, il décidait revenir chez lui à cheval.

Robin Hanbury-Tenison: master explorer!

Robin Hanbury-Tenison, explorer and equestrian traveller par excellence, was hailed by London’s Sunday Times as "the greatest explorer of the past twenty years." Read more...

Robin Hanbury-Tenison : le maître explorateur !

Robin Hanbury-Tenison, explorateur et voyageur équestre par excellence, a été salué par le Sunday Times de Londres comme « le plus grand explorateur des vingt dernières années ». Lisez la suite...

Asian Courage

Ian Robinson, New Zealand Long Rider, has made three equestrian journeys, alone, in the isolated and intransigent regions of Mongolia, Tibet and Afghanistan.  Read more...

Folies d’Asie

Ian Robinson, long-rider néozélandais, a réalisé trois voyages équestres, seul, dans des régions isolées et intransigeantes : Mongolie, Tibet et Afghanistan. Lisez la suite...


Reality versus Romance

You think you’re ready. So you take a deep breath, put your foot into the stirrup, swing into the saddle and ride towards the unknown horizon that’s been beckoning to you for so long.

Only things don’t work out as you planned. The dream you had longed to enjoy becomes an unexpected type of equestrian nightmare.

Du Fantasme a la réalité

Tu penses que tu es prêt. Tu respires profondément, mets ton pied a l'étrier et fais face a cet horizon inconnu qui t'attire depuis si longtemps.  Mais les choses ne se déroulent pas comme tu l'avais envisagé. Le rêve que tu as si longtemps caressé devient un cauchemar équestre inattendu...

To the four corners of England

The furthest one can travel in Great Britain is about 1,000 miles between  Land's End in Cornwall and John O'Groats in Scotland. But William Reddaway went to all four corners of England with his horse, Strider.

Aux quatre coins de l’Angleterre 

La plus grande distance qu’on peut voyager en Grande Bretagne en ligne droit est environ 1.000 miles (1.600 km) entre Land’s End en Cornouaille et John O’Groats en Ecosse. 

Lady Long Rider Honours Champion of Liberty

North American Long Rider Bernice Ende is currently on her eighth equestrian trip, an 8,000 mile ride that will take her “ocean to ocean” in both directions. Bernice is using the journey as an opportunity to discuss the struggle women underwent to obtain their political rights. Having reached New York, Bernice made a special pilgrimage to the grave of Susan B. Anthony, one of the early champions of women’s rights.

“'I've got to go see this place,' " Bernice said. "I've got to see this bed where the seeds were planted, this state, these people, these women that changed the course of our country and our lives and gave me the ability to do, see and be — me, a single woman alone riding across the country — I'm here to say thank you to these women who gave their lives to us.”

First attempt to ride across Japan by modern Long Rider begins!

Kohei Yamakawa has set off on what is believed to be the first attempt to ride across the entire nation of Japan. The 3,000 kilometres (1800 miles) journey from Wakkanai in the northern end of the country to Okinawa Island in the far south is expected to take at least six months. Kohei is seen with his mentor, Hideyo Tsutsumi, the first Japanese Member of the Long Riders’ Guild. Because of the historical importance of the journey, Kohei has been granted the honour of carrying the LRG flag. Click here for additional details about this historic equestrian expedition.

The Long Riders’ Guild welcomes its first Member from Japan!

In 1971 Hideyo Tsutsumi made a round trip journey in Japan. Starting in Sapporo, he rode to Asahikawa, Abashiri, Shiretoko, Nemuro, Obihiro, Hiroo, and Tomakomai. Based upon that journey the Guild has welcomed Haideyo as an Associate Member.

A life long horseman, in 2013 Hideyo gave a lecture about his journey to a university riding club. Among the audience was a 23-year-old veterinarian student named Kohei Yamakawa. The young horseman became so inspired by Hideyo’s journey that he began plans to make the first known equestrian journey to travel the length of Japan. Kohei departed on August 30th. Hideyo will act as one of Kohei’s Long Rider mentors. New Zealand Long Rider Ian Robinson, who made solo rides in Tibet, Mongolia and Afghanistan, and now resides in Japan, is also acting as a mentor for this historic ride. Both Hideyo and Kohei chose to ride Hokkaido horses, a hardy native breed from the north of Japan.

Guild Flag to accompany first attempt to ride “ocean to ocean” in both directions on the same trip.

Bernice Ende, often referred to as the “lady Long Rider,” began her equestrian travels back in 2005. Since then she has ridden 22,000 miles during seven consecutive journeys in the United States and Canada. Her current trip will cover 8,000 miles and take more than two years to complete.

What makes this ride unique is that Bernice is attempting to become the first person to ride "ocean to ocean" in both directions, and reach both oceans, on the same trip!

The first person known to have deliberately set off to ride "ocean to ocean" was a former cavalryman named Willard Glazier. He set off in 1875 to ride his horse, Paul Revere, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Along the way he was captured by Arapahoe Indians, and nearly murdered, but escaped and made it to San Francisco. And the first woman to ride "ocean to ocean" was Two Gun Aspinwall, who set off from San Francisco in 1911 and made it to New York on her horse, Lady Ellen. Since then other Long Riders have ridden "ocean to ocean" in one direction or the other. Only one Long Rider has ever made the journey in both directions. In 2002 Howard Wooldridge rode from the Atlantic to the Pacific. A couple of years later he rode the same horse from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

But to the best of our knowledge neither man nor woman has ever reached both oceans during one journey. For this reason the Guild is granting Bernice the honour of carrying the LRG flag on this exceptional equestrian expedition.

During her journey Bernice is lecturing about how women have struggled for their political rights. She is currently headed to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York, where the first Women’s Rights Convention was held in July 1848. 




Special Acknowledgment for new Friend of the Guild

Emma Brazier has been named as a Friend of the Guild in recognition of the tremendous effort she has displayed for the past four years, during which time she provided the tactical support which has helped Long Rider Filipe Leite complete his historic 10,000 mile journey from Canada to Brazil.

Lore Master of the Pacific Crest Trail passes away.

Long Rider Ed Anderson was more than seventy years old when he rode his horse, Primo, the length of the Pacific Crest Trail. Even though the PCT is a notoriously difficult and dangerous trail, Ed made the ride solo and unsupported. He immediately began sharing the potentially life-saving information he had gathered about the PCT, noting all of the challenges which Long Riders would encounter along the Mexico to Canada journey. He first published a valuable “Story from the Road” on the Guild website, which has become an all-time favourite. Ed also published an educational article entitled, “Tips for riding the Pacific Crest Trail.” In addition he was always eager to assist would-be Long Riders from around the world by answering emails and contributing valuable information. Wise, generous and friendly, Ed died unexpectedly of a heart attack while preparing to set off with Primo into the wilderness that he loved.




Long Rider Legend

A noteworthy magazine in Argentina has included Swiss Long Rider Aimé Tschiffely in a series of articles about the greatest travellers of all time. In the August issue of the monthly travel magazine, Lugares, Tschiffely appeared alongside James Cook, Amelia Earhart, Alexander von Humboldt, David Livingstone, Sir Richard Burton, Sir Ernest Shackleton, Bruce Chatwin, Roald Amundsen and Historical Long Rider Charles Darwin. A special painting by Argentine artist Diego Tripodi illustrated the article.

Annual Tschiffely Trail Ride

The third annual Tschiffely Trail Ride was a success, with thirty riders from Germany, Switzerland and France in attendance. The highlight of the event was the lecture given by Günter Wamser, one of the Founding Members of the Long Riders’ Guild. This renowned equestrian explorer, who recently completed his historic equestrian journey from Patagonia to Alaska, presented a dramatic slide show about his journey.



The Guild would like to welcome new Associate Members Ingrid Verdaasdonk (left) and Eva Hietkamp, a mother and daughter team of Long Riders, started in Valencia and then rode across Spain and onto Saint Jean Pie de Port, France.

Ingrid Verdaasdonk has kindly sent the LRG a Testimonial.

"When my daughter Eva (15 at the time) wanted to plan a trip with a horse, she contacted the Long Riders Guild for information. She had extensive mail contact with CuChullaine O’Reilly. Because of that she started her horse journey in Europe, instead of South America.


When I decided to join her for her first journey, after eight years of travelling the world, a daughter with enough horse experience, and the Internet /Youtube with all the information you want/need, I didn't feel the need to contact the Guild. We really enjoyed our journey through central Spain, from Valencia to Santiago. In the last weeks I had the plan of going to The Netherlands to show Eva her country of birth on horseback. We would find transport, I thought.

We were advised by a man to come to France. There it would be easier and cheaper. Once there we got stuck in a country with this man for whom we had the feeling he wanted to rip us off or even steal our horses. That brought tears into this strong woman's eyes. Then Eva thought we should contact CuChullaine O’Reilly at the Long Riders’ Guild. I did. And what he did felt so good. To know that there is someone in the world who really cares and understands. It was like a stone fell from my heart.


We regained our confidence thanks to his support and advice. It's such a great feeling that when you find yourself in a very difficult situation, and you see no light at the end of the tunnel, that there are people in the world who will support and help you because they know how it is. They have been there.
Thanks again!"

Legendary Long Rider is inspiration for Thrilling New Book

The annals of the Historical Long Riders include men and women of astounding bravery, remarkable resourcefulness and enduring optimism. Then there is Gabriel Bonvalot, whose astonishing ride “through the Heart of Asia” marks him as the most influential French Long Rider of the 19th century. American author Sophie Schiller has just completed a novel about the journey made by Bonvalot, and his companion, Prince Henri d'Orléans, from Paris to Tonkin via Tibet. The novel is called "Race to Tibet", and it is a thrilling tale of the courageous explorers who are in a race to the death to reach the Forbidden City of Lhasa. The book has been described as being perfect for fans of Rudyard Kipling, George MacDonald Fraser and H. Rider Haggard. The book is not for sale yet, but you can read more about it on Goodreads:


America's influential "Outside" magazine interviews Filipe Leite about his historic 10,000 mile ride from Canada to Brazil.  "It took six pairs of boots, 240 horseshoes, and 24 months for Filipe Leite to ride on horseback from Canada to Brazil. The cowboy traveled 10,000 miles through 10 countries to reach his home in South America, an epic journey that has earned him a spot in the historic Long Rider's Guild, an international association of equestrian explorers that requires its members to ride at least 1,000 continuous miles." 

Helene Musso has just departed on an extended journey through France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Germany and then back to France.

The Guild would like to welcome new Associate Member Murray Campbell, who rode from Lago Blanco, Chubut Province, Argentina to El Calafate, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.

Irish Long Rider Caitriona O’Leary made a journey through Rajasthan, India in 2007. In 2012 she suffered fatal injuries during a riding accident in England. A passionate horse woman, an avid Long Rider and a keen protector of animal rights, Caitriona was loved by many. The Guild has been informed by the O’Leary family that a special tribute has been constructed in India in memory of the lost Long Rider.  TOLFA (Tree of Life for Animals) works to protect animals in need in Rajasthan.  The charity has created a special equine shelter designed to provide shade for equines from the fierce desert heat. This act of kindness bears the name “Caitriona O’Leary,” in honour of the Long Rider who rode horses in that country and worked to protect them during the rest of her life.

Legendary Long Rider Passes Away

Catherine Waridel was one of the Founding Member of the Long Riders’ Guild. A native of Switzerland, at an early age Catherine read about the historic journey made by William of Rubruck, a Franciscan monk who rode to Mongolia in the 13th century. Soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Catherine decided to follow in William’s hoofprints to Mongolia. The solo journey lasted several years, subjected her to severe hardships, and took her from the Crimea to Karakorum in Mongolia. One of the highlights of Catherine’s journey occurred in Mongolia, when the Swiss Long Rider met the legendary wagon master David Grant, author of the “Wagon Travel Handbook,” who was travelling around the world with his horse and wagon. After her journey was completed, Catherine returned to Geneva and was very active in the Guild. She attended the London Long Riders’ meeting held in 2004, at which time she brought maps to show Australian Long Rider how she had crossed the deserts of Kazakhstan. Later Catherine petitioned the Mongolian government to impose restrictions on the outlaw endurance race known as the Mongol Derby. Shortly before her death, Catherine completed writing the story of her ride to Mongolia. The Guild will soon be featuring portions of her work on the LRG website.

Filipe Leite nears the end of his epic journey. After more than two years of constant travel, despite having ridden some of the most fearful portions of Latin America, and having managed to cross several of the most hostile international borders known to man, Filipe has arrived in his native Brazil. He still has several thousand kilometres to ride before the journey will conclude at his family home in Sao Paolo. But Brazil has taken notice of this remarkable ride and a historic conclusion is being planned to this epic ride.

Horse Talk, the most widely-read international equestrian news service, has also published a superb review of Khyber Knights:

Khyber Knights is a page-turning account of an epic and at times harrowing adventure.

It would be a mistake to assume that a tale from the frontiers of northwest Pakistan from 30-odd years ago has lost its relevance today.

Far from it. CuChullaine O’Reilly’s account of life on the frontier provides an arguably unique insight into this remote portion of the world which has never been far from the headlines since he penned the book.

Indeed, for centuries little has changed in some parts of this remote tribal region.  Read more....

And Khyber Knights by CuChullaine O'Reilly has received an excellent review by Kraig Becker on his Adventure Blog .

Looking for an enthralling book filled with high adventure to keep you entertained this summer? Then consider picking up the incredible Khyber Knights by CuChullaine O'Reilly. It is a book filled with daring feats, epic challenges, and tales of human frailties, both good and bad. It is a story of travel on horseback through one of the most remote, and rugged, regions of the world, during a time of war. It offers insights into a culture that is mysterious and little known here in the west. And best of all, it is a fictionalized account, of a true story that will leave you breathless as you turn every page, until you reach the very end.  Read more....

Superb review of "Southern Cross to Pole Star - Tschiffely's Ride" by Aimé Tschiffely

One of London's most respected publications, The Spectator, has just released an extensive review of the new English edition which Basha O'Reilly recently authorized.  "A horse ride from Buenos Aires to New York? No problem! If you can brave bandits, disease and revolution in search of ‘variety’, you might be a doublehard bastard."  Read more....

Lithuanian Free Riders 

Lithuania may not be a large country in terms of geographic miles; but it continues to demonstrate a remarkable sense of international equestrian leadership.

In 2013 the Guild reported on “Lithuania’s Riding Renaissance.”

This article explained how in 2010 a group of Lithuanian Long Riders undertook a journey from the Baltic to the Black Sea. This ride was made in memory of King Vytautas the Great, Lithuania’s national hero who first made the ride 600 years ago.

The Lithuanians lost no time in making a second journey. This time the group of Long Riders travelled along “The Road of Love,” a journey from Lithuania to Krakow which was done in honour of the great love story of Sigismund Augustus and Barbora Radvilaite.

Once again the Lithuanian Long Riders have made an equestrian journey. Only this time, instead of riding their native Žemaitukai horses, they used these remarkable animals to pull two beautifully restored 19th century carriages almost a thousand kilometres across several European countries.

The details of this latest journey can be viewed in English, and several other languages, on a website which provides information and photos about this historic carriage journey.

These journeys have ignited interest in the Lithuanian public about equestrian travel. It has also alerted the public about the necessity to protect the endangered Žemaitukai horses and the need to preserve the nation’s horse heritage.

Gintaras Kaltenis, one of the Long Riders who has been involved in each of these journeys, has written to the Guild to announce the formation of the “Lithuanian Free Riders.” Inspired by the Long Riders’ Guild, this new national group is dedicated to promoting the harmony which exists between horses and humans who participate in equestrian journeys.









The story of Louis Meunier’s incredible Afghan adventures, both in the saddle and in the country, has now been released in a new book entitled “Les Cavaliers Afghans. “

In 2005 the French Long Rider Louis Meunier set off on a perilous ride across war-torn Afghanistan. His intention was to ride from the northern city of Maimana, south through the heart of the country to the ancient minaret of Jam, then west to Herat. Accompanying him was the Afghan Long Rider Hadji Shamsuddin. Their adventures, and Louis’ near death, marked one of the most remarkable equestrian journeys of the early 21st century.

At the conclusion of his ride, Louis stayed in Afghanistan, where he undertook many special projects including helping organize the first Afghan ascent of that nation’s highest peak and directing an award-winning film about the Kyrgyz who reside in the remote Wakhan Corridor.

Louis also became deeply involved with buz khazi, the fabled and often violent national equestrian sport of Afghanistan. Riding his Afghan stallion, Tauruq, Louis participated in many buz khazi tournaments in Kabul.

Long Rider Catherine Thompson has kindly sent the LRG a Testimonial.


“I can't imagine my long ride happening without the Long Riders' Guild. Very close to the beginning of my ride preparations, which perhaps might better be called the beginning of my dreamings, I stumbled upon the LRG website and instantly buried myself within it spending hours reading and imagining; seeing other people's perspectives of what a long ride can be from both practical and philosophical angles.


This was a wonderful time, this imagining, but really, it was when my ride came closer into being, and I came into more direct contact with CuChullaine and Basha O’Reilly, that I learned of what an amazing thing they have created and what a true gift to the world of equestrian exploration they and the Guild are.


When many of those around me were telling me with a sort of knee-jerk negativity that what I dreamed of doing was not possible (and why would I want to do something so silly in the first place?), I would receive a lovely gentle encouragement from Basha or CuChullaine at various times that told me that not only was what I envisioned possible, but that it could be life changing, deepening, opening.


To me, they and the Guild represent a way of being in the world that brings together a quiet elegance with a vibrancy to create a way of being in the world through what appears on the surface to follow a path from another era. An honourable path. A beautiful path. It is a path to a new world I think. From my heart, I thank them both and those other Members in the Guild that have helped me along my way.”



The international equestrian news service, Horse Talk, has released a special story about the recent death of a heroic Long Rider.


Death of horseman marks sad end of epic African Ride

“One of the great horseback adventures of the modern era has drawn to a sad close, with the death of respected South African Long Rider Billy Brenchley.

The death of Brenchley on May 10, at the age of 45, after a long battle with leukaemia, closes the last chapter in a remarkable journey of exploration on horseback. It was an adventure that claimed the life of his fiancée, Christine (Christy) Henchie, 29, early last year in a horror accident involving a bus.”


The Guild would like to welcome its newest Member, Benjamin Reynal who made an extensive journey through 15 provinces of Argentina. Using the same two Criollo horses, he travelled through Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Entre Rios, Corrientes, Chacho, Santiago del Estero, Jujuy, Salta, Tucuman, Catamarca, La Rioja, San Juan, Mendoza, San Luis and Cordoba. Here is a link to his news archive.
Long Rider Sea G Rhyder has kindly sent the LRG a Testimonial.

Sea rode "ocean to ocean" from California to Maine, following in the hoofprints of Historical Long Rider Messanie Wilkins. She wrote this:

As to this matter of the Glorious Guild of Equestrian Explorers which Basha and CuChullaine O'Reilly have manifested. If ever I wanted to be a member of a group (and I never had before) here was such a group.  Have you seen the photo of the gathering in London?  Like heroes from another age - these were my rock stars!


Not that I realistically thought that they would ever accept me as a Member. I knew when I was out of my league - me with my $1 pinto gelding and my outlaw pack pony - with no fancy degrees or patrons or sponsors or name-brand equipment. I was flying by the seat of my pants, scared and more than a bit defensive. I certainly wasn't keen on following rules and being judged by people who had no idea what I was dealing with. In short, at 46 years of age, I was an adolescent Long Rider - caught on the horns of bravado and insecurity.


Which of course the Guild understood perfectly as they/you gently pulled me in to a fellowship the likes of which I thought had passed centuries ago, a fellowship of encouragement as well as accountability, one that shares hard won wisdom across continents and centuries.


The word "solidarity" springs readily to mind. From Messanie Wilkins, riding Tarzan across the USA in 1954, before there even was a Long Riders' Guild - who wrote a book about her journey, which kicked through the rest of my excuses when I read it the summer before I finally packed my ponies and started my own ride; to Katie Cooper, now a Long Rider in her own right, reaching out to me with incredible grace and compassion when I was at the lowest point of my own ride with an injured animal and her first attempt had just dead-ended for the same reason, befriending me during my long lay-up, and gently nudging me to contact the Guild, calming my fears; to Basha O'Reilly, patient with my prickly e-mails as she vetted me for Membership in the Guild, inquiring into the welfare of my ponies, my methods of funding, who I was and what I stood for, getting to know me and making sure I understood what the LRG stands for; to Doug Preston and Walter Nelson, the first Long Riders I met in person, inviting me to Walter's birthday party in Abiquiu, New Mexico as I rode through and welcoming me into the Guild as a peer; to CuChullaine O'Reilly, sending timely historical photos and stories to remind me that no matter what was happening it wasn't the first time and I wasn't alone; to Lucy Leaf, playing trail angel in Massachusetts when the ponies and I were so very weary of the trail and then coming to the Messanie Wilkins celebration and parade in Minot at Journey's end; to Jeremy James, the best pen pal and source of wisdom and laughter a Long Rider could ever hope for, reminding me to be gentle with myself when I stepped down from the saddle and re-entered "normal" life.


And always, always the remembrance of what's truly important, that which the Guild embodies and helps its Members to always hold sacrosanct. It's not the name, the fame, the hardships endured, the mountains summitted, the miles or seasons or borders crossed. It's the relationship with our equine partners that matters.


I think about the idea of a "lineage," not the literal sort of blood lineage that produces kings and cretins, but the spiritual lineage of, for example, a lama or martial arts master. (Though these tend to produce a sense of hierarchy - of which the LRG feels blessedly free.)  The art and act of mentoring is one of the most important human relationships - and behind the immensity of valuable, fascinating, historical and practical information collected and made accessible by the LRG stand the conscience and wisdom and invested intelligence of true mentors, not only CuChullaine and Basha O'Reilly, but (largely because of them) the entirety of the Guild, reminding us that we are not riding alone, sharing the stories of other Long Riders past and present, each with our place in this planet-spanning tribe, passing the gift on as we have received it, not for money, not for glory - but because it's the right thing to do! I humbly find myself now a member of this lineage, blessed by the mentorship inherent to the form. I have become a better human being - in and out of the saddle


I recognize and deeply appreciate how critically instrumental the help of the O'Reillys, and my fellow Long Riders, has been in this Sea Change. Their inspired and erudite mentorship steadied me when I wavered and trimmed my sails when I'd lost the wind. They called me to my highest, gently and persistently, believing that's who I most want to be, tactfully ignoring my failings while shining like the sun on what little virtue and grace I do possess, encouraging me to grow in positive directions. I have been so blessed, spiritually and morally, by their attention and guidance.


Thank you, Basha and CuChullaine, for two years of encouragement, advice, camaraderie, understanding, patience and psychic first aid. Most of all, thank you for envisioning and upholding the Long Riders' Guild.


South African Long Rider Billy Brenchley passes away

The Guild regrets to report that the legendary South African Long Rider Billy Brenchley passed away on Saturday 10 May, after a long battle with leukaemia.


The Guild deals with hundreds of equestrian travellers, from all parts of the world. That's not to say that their trips are not important to them on a personal level.


But what Billy and Christy attempted to do was Homeric in terms of its scope. The couple set off in 2005, determined to complete the first ride from the most northern point of Africa, Cap Blanc in Tunisia to the most southern point of Africa, Cape Agulhas in South Africa. Ten countries and an untold number of hardships awaited them.


They were detained in the Sahara desert for 75 days while the Libyan government debated whether to allow them to enter. Egypt, with its sandstorms, tick bite fever and heat waves proved difficult.


After riding across Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and northern Sudan, Billy and Christy were halted by the impassable swamp known as the Sudd. If the equestrian explorers wanted to progress they would have to load their two horses onto one of the few remaining cargo barges and float south to the distant city of Juba. Their thousand mile nautical journey is unique among modern equestrian travellers.


 As they made their way through Southern Sudan, they passed areas where major battles had been fought. The landscape was littered with unexploded mines.


It was in Uganda that Christy and Billy made an astonishing discovery. Horses had disappeared from the country during the reign of Idi Amin. The unexpected sight of two Long Riders mounted on mysterious animals caused pandemonium in the countryside. They were followed by hundreds of curious people. Billy can be seen in the photo (above) speaking to a group of school children who asked, “Is that a kangaroo? Does it grow horns? Does it eat people?


Soon after their arrival in Uganda, Billy became very ill. He was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and immediately flown to South Africa for emergency treatment. After a lengthy sixteen month treatment, he and Christy returned to Uganda and resumed their journey, determined this time to reach South Africa.


The Long Riders had travelled into Tanzania when tragedy struck. In the worst accident in the history of modern equestrian travel, English Long Rider Christine Henchie, 29, was killed instantly on Monday, January 28 2013 by an out-of-control bus in Tanzania. Her fiancé, South African Long Rider Billy Brenchley, 43, escaped death by inches but suffered a broken leg.


A crowd of enthusiastic locals who had turned out to cheer the Long Riders past their village were also killed and injured by the reckless driver. Charles Mahugija, 60, and Willy Masanja, 55, were slain and twenty-five bystanders, including many small children, were brutally mown down by the speeding vehicle.

As soon as the Guild learned the news, it published this special report.


That story was in turn printed by Horse Talk, the international equestrian news service, which spread the news round the world like wildfire.


Within hours, Long Riders began sending in messages, registering their shock and loss.


This in turn led to the creation of a special condolence document for Christy. When Long Riders from around the world heard about Christie Henchie's death, they rushed to send their heartfelt condolences.


Christie’s memorial service was held in South Africa, where the injured Billy had been flown in time to attend. But soon afterwards his leukaemia struck again. In emails to the Guild he explained that no matter how much time he had to spend in hospital, he was determined to regain his strength and finish the ride in honour of Christy.


That desire was not to be.


In February he rallied his strength enough to pay a final visit to see the couple’s horses. They have been cared for by friends in Tanzania. After seeing his horses a final time, Billy returned to South Africa.


Life is full of forgettable people, who fill the world and our lives with trivialities and trouble.  A handful of us were blessed, for too short a time, to say we were enriched by knowing Billy and Christy. They were heroes on so many levels.


Hollywood Starlet confirmed as Historical Long Rider

Few Long Riders ever attracted more spotlights than did the would-be movie star who called herself Vonceil Viking. The year was 1927 when the attractive blonde announced to the press that she was going to ride her horse, “Broadway,” from New York to Los Angeles. Whereas other equestrian travellers have told reporters that they were setting out on horseback to find fame, fortune, love or just a job, Viking’s mission was to ride to Hollywood, where she hoped to become a movie star. According to a photo caption from the Los Angeles bureau of the Associated Press, Viking arrived in Los Angeles on February 10, 1928, after having “covered 4,000 miles in sixteen states.” But details about the journey have long been shrouded in mystery.


Thanks to historical research undertaken by Dr. Alfred Willis, newspaper accounts have just been discovered which indicate that Vonceil did in fact make the entire journey “ocean to ocean” as she planned.

“Vonceil reportedly left New York City on 3 October 1927.  On 8 November 1928 she was reported via wire service to have passed through Washington, DC, on an unspecified date, possibly late October? Two 1927 press photos show her and her mount in front of the US Capitol.  She spent two days in Lynchburg, Virginia, then passed through Danville, Virginia, on 7 November 1927, per a local Danville report. From Washington to Danville via Lynchburg is a distance of about 250 miles.  A retrospective feature published in Lexington, North Carolina, on 1 March 1928, recounts her journey through North Carolina in the past November. This article contains a report of three accidents and includes details about two of them. The worst of the three accidents had occurred in Concord, North Carolina. From Danville to Concord is a distance of about 120 miles. On 30 December 1927 the Victoria, Texas Advocate reported that Vonceil Viking had left Fort Worth, Texas, on the 29th, thus 74 days into her ride.  On 6 January 1928, the Las Vegas, New Mexico Optic announced her imminent arrival in Roswell, New Mexico. Her arrival in San Bernardino, California, was reported in the local paper on 8 February 1928, thus shortly before her arrival in Los Angeles on the 10th.  From San Bernardino to central Los Angeles is a distance of about 60 miles.” 

Dr. Willis has promised to supply more details about Vonceil’s ride as and when they are found.

Bohemian Artists and Historical Long Riders, Jan and Cora Gordon, focus of new website

Though few today remember either their journeys or their books, Cora and Jan Gordon were top notch English travel writers of the Jazz Age whose exploits took them to a variety of exotic locales. In 1923 they travelled through Spain with a donkey cart. The photo above shows an amused Cora standing beside their donkey, “Colonel Geraldine". Then in 1925 the Gordons undertook a perilous equestrian journey through the mountains of Albania. The Guild has now been asked to inform our readers about “the oldest and only primary source of information and research on the net about Jan and Cora Gordon.” This website is a treasure trove of information, photos and pictures regarding the life and travels of this colourful couple.

A new edition of Tschiffely's Ride has just been published in England! This is the finest edition we have ever seen, and includes contributions from Robert Cunninghame Graham, Robin Hanbury-Tenison and Basha O'Reilly.

Brazilian Long Rider Filipe Leite has reached Bolivia, after overcoming a diplomatic nightmare in Panama.


Prior to his departure on this historic ride, the LRG warned Filipe that it wasn't bandits and bears that posed the greatest threat to his dream of riding from Canada to Brazil. It was, as accurately predicted, the hostility of bureaucrats at the borders which would threaten to halt his progression.


The unreasonable antagonism which Filipe encountered at the Panamanian border marks a low mark in modern equestrian travel history. Panama has already unfairly halted many other travellers from continuing to ride either north or south. In one particularly infamous incident, Panamanian authorities threatened to shoot a Long Rider's horses on the airport tarmac, if they were unloaded from the plane which had just brought them from Ecuador.


Anyone reading Filipe's recent blog entry about this difficulty can sympathize with the tactical and emotional crisis he found himself in.


"With the Panamanian door literally slammed in my face, I was left winded and searching for a new plan of action. I felt so hopeless. So scared. And I feared the worst: having to leave Frenchie, Bruiser and Dude behind."


Those of us who have followed and supported Filipe's efforts from the beginning joined in his anxiety as weeks of delay turned into months of a paperwork nightmare, all the while he struggled to find a way to rescue his horses from the clutches of pen-pushers and office-wallahs.


Thankfully, he and his equine pals are now safely in Bolivia and their journey is once again on track.


Upon reflection, this incident reminded us of a scene from an old John Wayne movie. In that film a young man found himself worried, consumed with doubt, fearful that he when the moment of truth came he might not have the courage needed to overcome fearful odds.


In his rough way, the Duke expressed his confidence in the young man's bravery.


Wayne said, "You're going to find yourself standing your ground when you ought to run. Speaking out when you ought to keep your mouth shut. Doing things that seem wrong to a lot of people, but you'll do them all the same. You're not the type to run. You're going to spend the rest of your life getting up one more time when you're knocked down."


And that's what Filipe Leite has done.


He has stood his ground, done the right thing, had the courage to get up when life knocked him down, to swing back into the saddle and ride on to Brazil.


Panama may bow its head in shame. But Brazil should be proud to welcome this hero home.


To learn more about Filipe’s extraordinary journey from Canada to Brazil visit his website.


Long Rider Artefacts and Photos to be preserved by Eton College


Robin Hanbury-Tenison, explorer, Long Rider, author, and photographer has been honoured by having the valuable collection of artefacts and photographs he collected during decades of travel placed on permanent display at Eton College’s Natural History Museum.


Often described as the “Doyen of British Explorers,” Robin is also one of the founders of Survival International. As such, he has been a tireless champion of the rights of indigenous peoples and, in the early years of his travels, an obsessive photographer of their homelands as they were eroded by the modern world.


Hanbury-Tenison photographed extensively and collected objects from remote tribal people while travelling during the 50s, 60s and 70s. These objects and images were unearthed recently to create the exhibition, many having not been looked at for fifty years.


Following the very successful two month exhibition of the photographs and artefacts at the National Theatre last year, they went on to the Dimbola Gallery on the Isle of Wight for four months and will then be going to Aberystwyth University for July and August before returning to Eton.


Thanks to a very generous donation of £12,000 to Survival by a Benefactor, Robin’s valuable collection of artefacts are now all on permanent display at Eton's splendid Natural History Museum. The Museum is open to the public (free) every Sunday afternoon.
Threats to the Trails

The Guild receives a constant stream of news from equestrian and wagon travellers from all points of the globe. In Europe, we are happy to report, extraordinary progress is being made to not only encourage equestrian travel but to make it easier for horse travellers to cross international borders with increasing ease.


In stark contrast, three reports have arrived within a few days of each from the United States and Canada, all of which should be of great concern to the citizens of those countries.


American Long Rider Jayme Feary (pictured above) wrote to share news about a development which has terrible implications for recreational, trail and Long Riders.


“I am contacting you about a matter of some importance to Long Riders and other persons who travel horseback in the U.S. The National Park Service is proposing a rule change for Bryce Canyon National Park that could spread to all national parks. The new regulations, if approved, would require all horseback riders riding in--or passing through--Bryce Canyon National Park, to pay for a guide employed by the park's official concessionaire. The fee would depend on the number of riders. This essentially means that Bryce Canyon National Park would become the equivalent of a dude ranch. If these rules are accepted in Bryce, they may spread to other national parks. Can you imagine a day rider or equestrian traveller having to hire a guide and pay $100-$345 every time he or she enters a national park? Here is a link to a brief from the National Park Service that summarizes the proposed rule changes. . It includes an email address for any persons who wish to provide written comments.”


Nor was Jayme the only American to notice the chilling hostility which is being sent out against equestrian travellers.


In 1994 American Long Rider Hetty Dutra made a journey along the entire length of the Nez Perce National Historic Trail. To mark the twenty-year anniversary of her journey, Hetty planned to re-ride her route in the summer of 2014. But she wrote to say that her plans had been wrecked when the Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park refused to grant her permission to ride and camp within the park.


Because of this official antagonism the historic Nez Perce National Trail has been effectively rendered obsolete by a park official bureaucrat.


Finally, hostility to horses has been detected north of the border as well.


For the last few years Danielle Hess and her family have enjoyed spending their summers travelling across their native Saskatchewan, Canada using a horse-drawn wagon. But Canadian Conservation Officers have used increasingly stringent Wildlife Park Acts to either prohibit the wagon travellers from entering the national parks or to escort them out.


Danielle wrote, “I am so thrilled to have stumbled across the Guild website. My husband and I have that same drive to travel with our horses that so many of your Members talk about. It's a yearning deep inside and I find it disheartening that so many people are anti-horse and have forgotten that if it wasn't for these four legged friends we wouldn't be where we are today. Sadly it is so soon forgotten the progress they helped us achieve.”


Brazil Loses a Hero

The photo shows Jorge and his stallions, standing next to Mancha and Gato, who are on display in the national museum.


Legendary Brazilian Long Rider Jorge Dias de Aguiar has passed away at the age of 86.  He is survived by his brother, Pedroca Luis de Aguiar. Along with their friend, José Reis, the three men set off in 1991, determined to make an epic 17,000 kilometre long ride throughout their native Brazil. The journey lasted more than two years and forced them to endure extreme hardships.


Known as the “Brazilian Buffalo Bill,” because of his long white hair, Jorge enjoyed a life full of adventures. In 1969, dressed as a beggar, he wandered across the Brazilian countryside to see how people would treat him if they knew he was not from a wealthy family. Between 1979 and 1981 he travelled the world, riding camels in Pakistan, an elephant in Nepal and walking 1500 kilometres across India in the company of a Buddhist spiritual guide.


But in addition to completing his famous ride through Brazil, Jorge made another deeply important equestrian journey. Accompanied by his two milk-white Manga Larga stallions, Jorge rode from his home in Brazil to the Lujon Museum in distant Argentina. He undertook the journey in honour of Swiss Long Rider Aimé Tschiffely and the two legendary Criollos, Mancha and Gato, who accompanied him.


From Suffragettes to Lady Long Riders After having spent the best part of ten years exploring the western portion of the United States, master Long Rider Bernice Ende has racked up more than 20,000 miles under her saddle.


Bernice’s team consists of Essie Pearl, a Fjord mare and Montana Spirit, a Fjord/Percheron mare.

In the past she has ridden through all parts of the American West, and even ventured over the border into Canada. But Bernice has now undertaken her greatest challenge, a two-year, 8,000 mile ride that will take her from Montana across the northern portion of the USA to the Atlantic, then across the border into Canada and all the way to back to Vancouver.

Many would be tempted to focus on the mere mileage of such an endeavour. But Bernice is unique among Long Riders. Instead of talking up the hardships, she is using the ride to remind people that this is the 100 year anniversary of women winning the right to vote in Montana. Having entitled her journey “From Suffragettes to Lady Long Riders,” this mounted champion of female liberty is carrying a message in honour of all those women who sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom.

To learn the details about Bernice’s ride, visit her blog:  :

To learn how lady Long Riders fought for their political and equestrian rights click here:

And the Long Riders’ Guild would like to issue a special thanks to Russ Barnett, owner of Outfitters Supply. This company has provided top quality equestrian travel equipment at the very best prices to Long Riders for years. But beyond that, Russ and his staff have been instrumental in helping bring about the renaissance of modern equestrian travel by providing emotional support to Bernice and many other Long Riders. We urge you to visit and support this fine and trusted company:


Bernice’s two-year planned journey across the United States and Canada.



There have been three new Testimonials by Long Riders and friends of the Guild.


To help encourage equestrian literary accuracy the Long Riders’ Guild Academic Foundation commissioned the creation of the most precise and detailed Equestrian Writer’s Guide ever created. Leading the project was author Susan Craft, who had incorporated the LRG-AF’s equestrian advice into her own fictional work. Assisted by an international team of published, best-selling Long Rider authors, the result is an extraordinary set of equestrian facts, figures, distances and writing rules which reflect the honesty of true equestrian experience.

As an author of historical fiction, researching for my novels brings me the same excitement Alan Quartermain must have felt hunting for King Solomon's mines. I've been known to spend an entire day in a library scribbling notes from someone's diary, spending a wallet of quarters making copies of maps and old newspapers, and trekking from one book or document to the next with a perseverance Lewis and Clark would have applauded. I enjoy the chase when a clue leads me from one historical treasure to the next.

Imagine my delight when I discovered the Long Riders Guild website and began communicating with CuChullaine and Basha O’Reilly as I tried to “get it right” about horses in my American Revolutionary War novel, The Chamomile.  And what an honor to be asked by the LRG Foundation to compile A Writer’s Guide to Horses, an effort to provide authors comprehensive information about horses to assist them to accurately portray horses in their works.

As word spread over the past two years, the Guide has seen success and not only through my own works (I wrote two sequels to The Chamomile, which will be published in 2015.  I relied on the Guide
for both novels. One novel, entitled Laurel, involves a 300-mile journey on horseback through the North Carolina mountains and across the South Carolina backcountry, and the other, Cassia, includes the glorious horses that have run wild on the Outer Banks of North Carolina since the 1600s.) Several members of the Colonial Quills, a group of authors who write about Colonial America, have bookmarked the link to the Guide and have used information from it in their own novels.  Visitors to my blog have left comments about how valuable the Guide proved for them.


British Long Rider Hugh MacDermott made a series of equestrian journeys in Argentina and Chile, during which time he crossed the Andes Mountains on several occasions, forded raging rivers and traversed severe desert landscape.

There isn’t much CuChullaine and Basha O’Reilly don’t know about long riding and a huge amount of their knowledge is on the brilliant Long Riders' Guild which they created. I was 21 when I set out on my own long ride. I didn't know much about anything and I knew nothing about equestrian travel. CuChullaine and the Guild’s website were invaluable and saved me and my horses a considerable amount of  suffering. It is an honour to be a Member of the Guild and the worldwide network of Long Riders that Basha and CuChullaine have brought together.

Tim Mullan and Sam Southey rode from Arburd Sands in Tov Aimag to Khatgal in Khovsgol Aimag, Mongolia.

When we told people we were going to attempt a long ride across Mongolia we received many responses.  "I'd love to do that" when they didn't even ride and "Wow!  What a great holiday"  were two that popped up more often that one would like.

When we contacted The Long Rider's Guild, Basha and CuChullaine O'Reilly put us through our paces, checking we had done our research, planning and that we understood the huge responsibilities involved.  We were overjoyed to hear from people who appreciated the enormity of what we were about to do.

The Long Rider's Guild have supported us through tough times and through the celebrations when we finished our ride. They never doubted us, they always offered their services, their support and any help required.  They made us feel valued.

The Long Rider's Guild inspired us to take our love of horses and riding to a whole new level and we have never regretted it. New doors of opportunity have opened for us since completing our ride, which we have welcomed with open arms.  We will always be grateful for Basha and CuChullaine's support and friendship and we will continue to be inspired and wowed by normal people doing amazing things under the group name of The Long Riders' Guild.


Main Testimonials Page

In an equestrian world all too often awash with stories of commercialism, corruption and cruelty, the public yearns for a positive perspective and classic heroes. The Long Riders’ Guild is an equestrian honour society dedicated to protecting the horse from abuse, the public from being misled and the media from being deceived. Testimonials have been gathered over the course of many years and now appear in a special collection. They cover a broad range of activities connected to the various activities of the Long Riders’ Guild, including exploration, ethics, spirituality, historical research, literature and social justice.


Equestrian Ethics

Unlike the entrenched equestrian sports world, which often turns a blind eye to abuse and cruelty so long as it does not disrupt their income stream, the Long Riders’ Guild is intent on maintaining the highest ethical standards in the equestrian world. It encourages harmony between horse and human. Its mission is to care for the vulnerable and speak up for the voiceless. Admittance is never a foregone conclusion based upon the accumulation of mere miles. because it s job of the Guild to reassure the public that they can trust the word of a Long Rider, the Guild has published a strict set of ethics. A new section on the Guild website articulates these ethical guidelines.


Carrying the Long Riders’ Flag

During the twenty years since the Guild was formulated Long Riders have successfully journeyed across every continent except Antarctica. These trips required intrepid teams of humans and horses to survive innumerable dangers, overcome tremendous hardships and endure intense emotional challenges. Certain expeditions have an extraordinary extra quality about them. Such rare endeavours are granted the honour of carrying the Guild’s flag to the far corners of the planet. A new feature on the Guild website explains which Long Riders have been entrusted to carry the organisation’s flag and why each person was specially chosen.


European News Coverage

The world’s first bi-lingual collection of equestrian travel articles has been published on the Guild website. The articles were commissioned by Europe's leading equestrian travel magazine, Randonner à Cheval. They offer interviews with the world's leading equestrian explorers, information and images from expeditions around the world and never-before-seen extracts from the forthcoming Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration. The stories are available in English and French.


Welcome New Long Riders

Thanks to an explosion of international interest, the Long Riders’ Guild continues to grow by the inclusion of equestrian travellers whose journeys represent the past and present. The Guild would like to welcome the following new Long Riders.


Mary Jo Alfieri, José María Argento, Arita Baaijens, Rick Blackburn, Augustin Blanchard, Chris Bradbury, Katie Cooper, Alfons Cotti, Jim and Tom Dickinson,  Hetty Dutra, Sonja Endlweber, Suellen Fintari, Hugo Gassioles, Phil Jakubowski, Beth Jamison, Noor Mohammad Khan, Jo Kimmins, Pam Kline, Luis Corsi Leite,  Paddy Lennon, Jamie Maddison, Clay Marshall, Tim Mullan, Grant Nicolle, Brian O’Connor, David O’Connor, Sally O’Connor, Juan Francisco Perfumé, Marc von Polier, Wayne Poulsen, William Reddaway, Dirk Schleibaum, Bianca Schmidt, Nicole Sousek, Sam Southey, Lorern Stubbs, Samantha Szesciorka, Matt Traver, Richard Waltrapp, Peter Wanfor, Gryph Wulfkil and Erin Zwiener.


Historical Long Riders

The Guild has now identified and documented details of nearly a thousand Long Riders both past and present. Many important Historical Long Riders have been recently discovered. This includes Count Vittorio Alfieri, the Italian poet who defied Napoleon and made a journey with fourteen of England’s finest horses over the Alps; Fynes Moryson the Englishman whose journeys in the 1590s resulted in some of the earliest written details about European equestrian travel; and Ludwig Leichhardt, the German equestrian explorer who disappeared in Australia in 1848. Other new discoveries include Nick Beucher, Tex Bunteen, Evelyne Burnaby, John Talbot Clifton, Pascal Coste, Will Drew, Edith Durham, Eugene Flandin, Thora Gauthier, Christopher Gist, Wilhelm Karl Herrmann, Raymond Joyce, Martin Luther, Francois Andre Michaux, Claude Sosthène Grasset d'Orcet, Robert Ker Porter, Ross Salmon, Otto Schoerner, Naomi Scully, John Lloyd Stephens, Annie Royle Taylor and Arthur Young.


Missing in Action

The Guild began with five Members from three countries. Since then it has expanded to more than 40 countries and documented the journeys of hundreds of living equestrian travellers. Most of the “Missing in Action” Long Riders have been found. But the Guild has now expanded its search for MIA Long Riders to the Orient. Leading the list is the Chinese Long Rider Li Jing, who rode 9000 kilometres from Votkinsk, Russia to Beijing, China in 2009. There are other Long Riders in China and Japan who are also being sought. If you have any information on how to reach Li Jing, please contact the webmaster.



The Long Riders’ Guild has mentored or assisted more than 150 equestrian expeditions. Exciting new journeys are about to begin, including the first ride across the length of Japan by the veteran New Zealand Long Rider Ian Robinson. Plus, many remarkable journeys have recently been completed. German Long Rider Gunter Wamser completed his epic 20,000 mile ride from Patagonia to Alaska. British Long Rider William Reddaway rode to the four corners of England, during which time he visited 30 historic cathedrals and abbeys. American Long Rider Sea G Rhydr completed her "ocean to ocean" ride across the United States. Dutch Long Rider Arita Baaijens completed the first modern circumnavigation of the entire Altai Mountain Range on horseback.


National Geographic honours Long Rider

National Geographic has honoured Australian Long Rider, Tim Cope, who made an astonishing 6,000 mile solo journey from Mongolia to Hungary.  Nat Geo aired a television programme entitled On the Trail of Genghis Khan - which is also the name of Tim's book.


11,000 Riders Set World Record

Though it doesn’t qualify as a journey, two Associate Members of the Long Riders Guild participated in the world's largest equestrian gathering. Robyn Hepburn and Nigel Brown joined an estimated 11,200 horses and riders in an astonishing equestrian event held in Mongolia.


New Stories from the Road

In an alarming article entitled, “Nightmare at the Border,” Long Rider Filipe Leite explains how crossing international boundaries has been the most difficult hazard during his epic 10,000 mile ride from Canada to Brazil.


A vital report entitled, “Ticks and Travel – A Deadly Peril,” has been released by Long Rider Lucy Leaf. It is the first equine travel study to document how ticks carrying Lyme Disease represent one of the most frightening threats faced by Long Riders today.


Renowned Long Rider author Jeremy James understands that to travel on horseback connects us to our surroundings in a way no other form of travel can. In his remarkable article, “The Mystic Mantle of the Horse,” Jeremy investigates how the horse becomes more far more than a form of transport.


Turkish journalist and horseman Uğurhan Acar has written “Uzun Yol Biniciliği – (Long Riding in Turkey)” the first equestrian travel story in that language.


Though many Long Riders have crossed a continent, only one has written an epic length poem about such a journey. “The Long Trail West” recounts how Canadian Long Rider Lorern Stubbs followed the trail of adventure across prairies and mountains to the distant sea.


Having lived in Greece for many years, British Long Rider Penny Turner has often saddled her horse and set off to explore the fascinating country. In a poignant article entitled “Exploring the Wild West of Northern Greece,” the renowned naturalist recalls how she encountered Nature’s beauties and Mankind’s evils.


A Word from the Founder

Equestrian Explorers face a new type of threat. Authoritarian governments, equipped with unethical powers over our privacy and an ability to track our movements on the internet, pose an innovative menace to Long Riders.


Equestrian Research

During their journey across Mongolia British Long Riders Tim Mullen and Sam Southey undertook a survey of the incidences of colic among Mongol Horses. The first “Mongol Colic Study” reveals surprising discoveries.


How American Drugs corrupted English Horse Racing. Revelations of horse doping at a top British stable rocked that nation’s racing industry. CuChullaine O’Reilly, the founder of the Long Riders’ Guild, charts the introduction of doping to Britain's racetracks more than a century ago, revealing that cocaine and other illicit stimulants were introduced from across the Atlantic by unprincipled American trainers.

Aimé Tschiffely

Historical Long Rider Aimé Tschiffely continues to exert a powerful influence on the world of equestrian travel.


Two new editions of Tschiffely's Ride have been authorised.  Skyhorse has released the classic book in the USA and Head of Zeus will publish a new edition in the UK in May 2014. A French edition is also under way.


According to numerous stories in the British and European press, it is alleged that some contestants in the endurance racing world routinely bribe vets, trainers and other competitors.  As details of the scandal emerged Aimé Tschiffely was unexpectedly held up as an example of equestrian ethics.


A company called Bohemia Junction Limited has been launched in London "as a meeting place for creatives in music, film & the arts inspired by the 1950 auto biography Bohemia Junction by renowned novelist & Long Rider Aimé Felix Tschiffely."


For more news about the famous Long Rider visit his official website


The Long Rider Anthem

Famous Canadian cowboy song-writer Corb Lund has written and recorded a song about Aimé Tschiffely. Here are the first few verses:


The Only Long Rider I Know


He might have needed a longer look

He might have read old Tschiffely's book

The truth will come with ten thousand miles in the saddle


He's seen a few good years

Between Criollo ears

And all he knows is the trail goes on and on


He's the only one I know

Pure as the driven yayo

Drifting past the ghosts of Mancha and Gato


The LRG News Archive

The LRG News Archive contains the world’s largest collection of equestrian travel news. It has now been re-formatted so that all hundreds of news stories are listed alphabetically under the name of the Long Rider.


Hall of Shame

The Long Riders' Guild was formed to advance the ancient art of equestrian travel, to educate people on how to make an equestrian journey, to ensure that horses are never abused, to lay false claims to rest, to protect the public from mounted charlatans and to alert the media that care should be taken when interviewing so-called horse travellers. Sadly, just like any human effort, there are occasional outlaws who appear in the world of equestrian travel. Details have been published regarding the activities of the English travellers who killed or wounded 81 horses in 49 days, the French travellers who starved their horses for 80 days in the Arctic Circle, the Hungarians whose horses were confiscated by the police and the Americans who were convicted of 21 counts of abusing their horses.


Walt Disney and Hidalgo

In 2004 the Walt Disney studio released an infamous film entitled “Hidalgo.” Supposedly “based on a true story,” the movie promoted the lies of a counterfeit Long Rider known as Frank Hopkins. In the intervening years since, the Hopkins Hoax and the Hidalgo movie have come to be viewed as an act of deliberate cinematic deception. All the while it has continued to be commonly assumed that Walt Disney himself would not have condoned this blatant disregard of the truth.


Disney the man has escaped any criticism – until now. Evidence has been discovered which demonstrates that the studio's contempt for academic truth was in fact set in motion by Walt Disney and that Hidalgo was only the latest example of a company policy originated by Disney himself.


Lost Heroes

It saddens us to report the loss of several of the Guild’s mounted heroes.


Jean Claude Denys made many long rides throughout France.


Steve O'Connor rode from Seville, Spain to Penzance, England. He also made the first modern ride to all four corners of Ireland.


George Patterson rode from Tatsienlu, Tibet to Dibrugarh in the Naga Tribe territory of Northern India.  Author of "Journey with Loshay", "Gods and Guerrillas and "Patterson of Tibet"


Pat Schamber spent 30 years collecting equestrian travel articles and rode from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.


Ginny Shumaker rode across the USA, twice, starting in 1941.

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