The Long Riders' Guild

Long Rider and Equestrian Art

The Horseman rides by the river.

Clouds of dust rise up to either side.

With men there are also journeys.

In life is an image of the source.




In the whirling of dust on the river road

the world-fields and star-systems form.

Sparks from the stones of the ground fly up

in the shape of brilliant suns.

There are cyclic movements

in the masses of dust.

There are countless grains of light.

And all the accidents of perfection come to pass

in an ancient culmination of dreams.

The Horseman rides by the river.

Clouds of dust rise up to either side.

With men there are also journeys.

In life is an image of the source.



This beautiful equestrian poem is by Aidan Andrew Dun, who has kindly given us permission to put it on our website.


(Click on any image to enlarge it)

Canadian Long Rider Bonnie Folkins presented a lecture at The Annenberg Space in Los Angeles regarding her photographic work among the nomads of Mongolia’s Altai Mountains. Entitled “Riding with the Eagles,” the lecture highlighted Bonnie’s work among the Kazakhs who hunt using golden eagles.

A special photo exhibit was held at England’s National Theatre to highlight the extensive travel photo collection created by English Long Rider Robin Hanbury-Tenison. Entitled “Echoes of a Vanished World –  A Lifetime in Pictures,” the images depicted the remote tribal people Robin photographed while travelling during the 50s, 60s and 70s.  Robin (centre) can be seen discussing the photos with actress Julie Christie (left). These photographs will now be on permanent display at Eton College.

French equestrian artist Phillipe Meyrier has created a special collection of ten portraits depicting famous Long Riders throughout history. This image shows one of the Founding Members of the Guild, French Long Rider Jean Louis Gourard, during his ride from Paris to Moscow in 1990.

Artist Linda Hull painted North American Long Rider Clay Marshall. Entitled “Dry Camp,” it depicts the equestrian traveller during his ride through the deserts of the American Southwest.

Long Rider Nicole Sousek has made several journeys across Mongolia. She finds artistic inspiration among equestrian cultures around the world and creates paintings based upon her travels.


George Kalamaras is Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he has taught since 1990.  He is the author of seven books of poetry and seven poetry chapbooks. He was recently appointed Poet Laureate of Indiana.  After he read South Pole Ponies Professor Kalamaras was interviewed, and this is what he had to say about the book:


I became enamored with the Manchurian ponies that Shackleton took on his 1914 expedition to the South Pole, described beautifully in a book from the late 1970’s, The South Pole Ponies (Theodore K. Mason). The ponies, transported from Siberia, had been touted as more suited for sledding in the extreme climate of the South Pole than dogs, which proved to be wrong. Their extra weight caused them more easily to sink in snow, and—unlike dogs—they sweated through their coats (and not through panting), which would obviously then freeze, so their frozen hides would need to be “chipped” each day so they wouldn’t overheat. If anyone knows anything about that fated expedition, all the dogs and ponies were eventually shot. I have a poem about these ponies in my second book of poems, Borders My Bent Toward, in which I call eight of them by name, telling part of their story, which felt important to embody them again and give them presence. Though I was greatly saddened by their story I keep it now in the bookcase by our living room fireplace to finally “give the ponies a warm home.”


Here is George Kalamaras's moving poem to the brave little horses.


Fourteen Hands High


               for the Manchurian ponies of Antarctic exploration


They came like wind

or snow cold as the North,

each fourteen hands high.


They came like snow

all the way from Harbin, Siberia,

weeks up the River Amur

to Khabarousk, going as far south

as one could—all twenty-nine

with their pure Manchurian mood.


Each, fourteen hands, yes,

each, fourteen hands high.

If I said Nobby, Snatcher, Sox,

even poor Jimmy Pigg, who now would hear

their hindquarter and limp?


Let me open the book, examine

their photo, and nibble the itch

right out of their mane.


Let me trace with my finger

what they have nourished most

in my own snowy mood.


So, call me Quan.  Call me Snippets,

Jehu.  Call me Bones.  Call me something

truly noble.  Like Manchurian wind,


like cold as cold as the furthest South,

their hoof print remains

solid, frozen, in a tender

yet tentative way.

Hoof print in snow,

hoof print in snow, in my chest,

                                          yes, in our chests.


Click on picture to read a wonderful poem, The Little Jade Horse, by Carlotta Barrow.  Her father, David Barrow, planned to ride from Peking to Palestine in the 1930s but in the end he was prevented from fulfilling his dream.

Bridget Tempest, a longtime supporter of The Guild, is a painter and printmaker whose love of Turkmenistan’s Akhal Teke horses is evident in her oil paintings and lithographs. The freedom of water colour and the discipline of anatomical drawing characterise the unusual and original work of this Yorkshire Dales artist. 

A fantastic book about horses has been published in French, English and German, with breathtaking photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and text by Long Rider Jean-Louis Gouraud.  If you love horses, you must look at this book!

Click on photograph for more information. 

In London's beautiful Canning House there is a statue of Robert "Don Roberto" Cunninghame Graham.  The original is owned by his great-niece, Jean Cunninghame Graham, and this copy was presented to Canning House by the most famous Long Rider of the 20th Century,  Aimé Tschiffely.

Sandy Lewis, one of The Guild's friends at The Society of the Military Horse has discovered a portrait of Lieutenant Jonathan Boniface, author of "The Cavalry Horse and his Pack"  Sandy has kindly sent a copy of the portrait to us.

Click on picture to enlarge.

A bronze statue of a horseman has been discovered in Belgium - and thanks to The Guild it has been proved to be French Long Rider Charles Cottu!  Charles Cottu rode his mare, "Irish Lass," from Vienna to Paris and back in 1899.

We received an email out of the blue:

Click on photo of sculpture to enlarge


Dear Long Riders.
I am so happy to discover your site!
I am a horse fan, a rider and a equestrian sculpture collector and dealer. I have just acquired a beautiful bronze by Pierre Tourgueneff, French sculptor of Russian origin (1853-1912) marked VIENNE -PARIS, signed and dated 1899. After some research I found your site and the picture of Charles Cottu. This picture has obviously been the model for the bronze celebrating this event with title Vienne Paris and the date 1899!
Please help.
Thanks and best regards
Thierry Van der Veken
Waterloo, Belgium

Click on photo of picture from a 1904 newspaper to enlarge


We agree - the sculpture was clearly modelled on the photograph from The Guild's files!  We asked Thierry for more information about the sculptor and the Long Rider art, and got our answer in French and English:

TOURGUENEFF Pierre Nicolas,France, Paris 1854 - 1812

Sujet: « Charles Cottu sur Irish Lass » Record Paris – Vienne - Paris à cheval en 1899   

Description : 49,5 x 50 cm, signé, daté 1899 et titré VIENNE- PARIS sur la terrasse

Fonte: superbe édition ancienne en bronze

Patine: médaille nuancée 

Prix : sur demande

Litt. :    The Long Riders Guild; Dictionnaire des Bronzes du XIXème siècle – Pierre Kjelberg, p. 627

Animals in Bronze, C. Payne.

Note: Ce bronze exceptionnel est une commande célébrant l’exploit de Charles COTTU, qui établit un record de voyage équestre de Paris à Vienne et retour sur sa jument Irish Lass en 1899. Notre Charles Cottu est vraisemblablement apparenté au lieutenant de vaisseau Charles Cottu. Ce dernier fut l’ami de Charles Ferdinand de Lesseps et l’auteur de nombreuses chroniques de voyages en Méditerranée et en Afrique publiées dans la Revue des Deux Mondes au milieu du XIXème s.

Grâce à The Long Riders Guild nous avons retrouvé l’extraordinaire document photographique d’époque ci-dessous qui servit objectivement à Tourgueneff pour exécuter cette commande.

Elève de Frémiet, Pierre Nicolas Tourgueneff, né à Paris d’une famille d’origine russe, se spécialise dans les œuvres de commande : portraits équestres et portraits de chevaux. Il expose au Salon de 1880 à 1911 où il remporte plusieurs prix.


TOURGUENEFF Pierre Nicolas France, Paris 1854 - 1812

Subject: « Charles Cottu on Irish Lass » Record ride Paris to Vienna and back on horseback in 1899.

Description: 19 ½’’x 19 5/8’’, signed, dated 1899, and titled PARIS VIENNA on terrace.

Cast: superb antique bronze edition 

Patina:  rich light-brown

Price: on request

Lit:    The Long Riders Guild; Dictionnaire des Bronzes du XIXème siècle – Pierre Kjelberg, p. 627

Animals in Bronze, C. Payne

Note: This exceptional bronze is a commission celebrating Charles COTTU who established an equestrian record in 1899 riding his mare Irish Lass from Paris to Vienna and back. Our Charles Cottu is probably related to Lieutenant Charles Cottu , naval officer, who was a  friend of Ferdinand de Lesseps (Suez canal founder) and author of numerous travel chronicles about East Mediterranean and Africa travels published in the French “Revue des Deux  Mondes” mid XIX c.

Thanks to the Long Riders Guild, we have found this extraordinary photographic period document which obviously helped Tourgueneff to execute this commission.

Pupil of Fremiet, Pierre Nicolas Tourgueneff, born in Paris from a Russian family, specialized in commissions: equestrian portraits and horse portraits. He exhibited at the Salon des Beaux Arts from 1880 to 1911 and received numerous awards.



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