The Long Riders' Guild


Long Riders Launch International Search for Equine DNA during World Ride


Long Riders from every part of the globe are being invited to become the first horse owners to participate in the world’s largest international equine DNA experiment.


Though DNA research will eventually unlock a hidden universe of scientific secrets in the equestrian world, the world’s leading genetic research facility currently possesses samples from less than one hundred of the estimated seven hundred equine breeds on the planet.


Working with the world’s leading equine hereditary specialists, Long Rider Founder Basha O’Reilly is constructing the world’s first uninterrupted equine DNA chain. While she is collecting hair samples from the breeds encountered on the forthcoming 25,000 mile World Ride, a simultaneous international appeal will be broadcast to horse-owners world wide. Thus by the conclusion of the four-year journey even horses in countries not on the World Ride route – South America and Australia, for example – will ultimately be represented.


“The DNA part of the World Ride offers a wonderful opportunity to create a meaningful legacy by supporting an original mission which will advance knowledge about horses, as well as highlighting the potential to help save geographically isolated populations that are at risk of extinction. I look forward to being part of this historic project, said noted equine geneticist, Professor Gus Cothran.


Yet before the DNA appeal goes public, Long Riders from various countries are being invited to contribute hair samples from their horses so that the mounts which made equestrian travel history will become the animals chosen to represent many of the breeds featured in the immense DNA catalogue.


Two Founder Members of The Guild, Robin and Louella Hanbury-Tenison have helped Basha launch this historic Long Rider scientific enterprise by providing the first DNA hair samples, tail hairs taken from Tibert and Tiki, the Camargue geldings they rode from France to Cornwall.

Click on photo to enlarge.


In order to participate in the program, Long Riders are asked to print off the “Directions for obtaining DNA” form and the “Equine DNA Biographical Information” form. The first document explains how to obtain tail hairs from your horse in the correct and painless manner so that the DNA is left intact. The second form confirms the Road Horse’s biographical details including breed, age, height, colour, name and geographic location of animal and owner. In addition to providing the hair samples containing the DNA, a photograph of the horse and Long Rider is also needed. In this way Long Riders around the world, and the horses that carried them on their adventures, will become the genetic representatives of a wide variety of equine breeds.


The data from this ground-breaking project will be guarded by The Guild’s explorations comrades at the Scientific Exploration Society near London while the World Ride is under way and the completed results will ultimately be housed in an open-source academic facility available to all scientists.


The World Ride website will feature the photos of every horse chosen to represent that breed. So if you are interested in participating, please contact Basha at –


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