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The Long Riders' Guild

2015 - News!

Ride in the Alps. Celebrate the Legend.

The most famous equestrian journey of all time was accomplished by an unlikely hero. There was nothing in Aimé Tschiffely’s background that would have caused anyone to think that the young Swiss school teacher would undertake a daring 10,000 mile ride from Buenos Aires to New York. Despite being ridiculed as a “mad man” by the Argentine press, Tschiffely obtained two Criollo geldings and in 1925 departed on a Herculean journey.

The top photo shows Aimé dressed in the fashionable English riding clothes which he wore on the day he rode out of the Argentine capital. But the gruelling two year journey required Tschiffely and his horses, Mancha and Gato, to make their way across the infamous Horse Killer Desert and over the Andes Mountains. The bottom photo shows the three hardened travellers in the jungles of Central America.

To mark the 90 year anniversary of Tschiffely’s departure, Swiss Long Riders Peter van der Gugten and Alfons Cotti have organized a special three-day equestrian journey through the beautiful Swiss Alps. 

The journey begins on July 3rd in Glarus, winds it way over the mountain pass to Wäggital and culminates on July 5th at Klöntal.

A special invitation is extended to Long Riders from around the world to join the Swiss equestrians who will be making the journey. Horses are available for hire during the ride and a special Argentine asado (barbecue) is planned celebrate the culmination of this historic event.

Travel details and prices are available via the Weitreitergilde website. For further information contact: info@alpentrekking.ch

 

 

 

Riding to the Top of the World - A Rare Interview with Vladimir Fissenko

Many people travel on horseback. They have ridden on every continent including Antarctica. But one journey stands alone because of its incredible historical significance; the ride that took Russian Long Rider Vladimir Fissenko from the bottom of the world, Patagonia, to the top of the world, Alaska. 

The journey began in Ushuaia, Argentina and concluded in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, covered 30,000 kilometres (19,000 miles) and took five years to complete. It is not only the mileage which makes Vladimir’s trip unique. In addition to all of his other adventures, including nearly being killed by Indians, Vladimir rode through the terrible Darien Gap jungle that separates Columbia from Panama. This jungle is considered so dangerous that the Swiss Long Rider Aimé Tschiffely avoided it in 1926 and the French Long Rider Jean Francois Ballereau also went around it in 1987.

Two more articles by Basha O'Reilly for Randonner à Cheval.

Edition 62

Mars-Avril 2015

 

 

 

 

Ferrer votre cheval

La tradition de garder les sabots des chevaux n'a pas simultanément provenu parallèlement à l’équitation. En fait des protecteurs des sabots ne sont pas devenus indispensables jusqu'au temps que pistes asphaltées et routes dur ont provoquaient fréquemment l’endommagement des sabots des animaux. Ainsi, il a été l'avènement de terrain artificiel, tels que pavés et de gravier, qui ont aidé à stimuler au début l'homme rechercher les premières tentatives de ferrer les chevaux, mais ils n'étaient pas pratiquées depuis de nombreux siècles qu'après le cheval lui-même était en utilisation générale.  Lire la suite....

 

 

Kohei Yamakawa est un étudiant vétérinaire de 23 ans qui est monté en selle le 30 Aout 2014.  Son but est de voyager 3.000 km. entre Wakkanai au nord jusqu’à l’Ile d’Okonawa au plein sud. Lire la suite....
http://horsejourney.blog.fc2.com/

Kohei Yamakawa, a 23-year-old veterinarian student, swung into the saddle on August 30th, 2014. His goal is to ride 3,000 kilometres from Wakkanai in the northern end of the country to Okinawa Island in the far south. Read more....

 

 

Edition 61

Janvier-Fevrier 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riding to the top of the world

 

Many people travel on horseback. They have ridden on every continent including Antarctica. But one journey stands alone because of its incredible historical significance; the ride that took Russian Long Rider Vladimir Fissenko from the bottom of the world, Patagonia, to the top of the world, Alaska.  Read more....

 

Voyage au Sommet du Monde

Beaucoup de gens voyagent à cheval. Ils ont voyagé  sur tous les continents y compris l'Antarctique. Mais un voyage est unique en raison de son incroyable importance historique; le trajet qu'a pris Long Rider russe Vladimir Fissenko du bas du monde, en Patagonie, au sommet du monde, en Alaska.

Le voyage a commencé à Ushuaia, Argentine et a conclu à la baie Prudhoe, en Alaska, a couvert 30.000 kilomètres (19 000 miles) et a pris cinq ans à terminer. Il n'est pas seulement le kilométrage qui rend le voyage de Vladimir unique. En plus de tous ses autres aventures, y compris presque être tué par les Indiens, Vladimir voyageait à travers la terrible Darien Gap jungle qui sépare la Colombie et le Panama. Cette jungle est considéré comme tellement dangereuse que le Long Rider Suisse Aimé Tschiffely à évité de le faire en 1926 et le Français Long Rider Jean François Ballereau allait également autour d'elle en 1987. 

Michael Pugh has just completed an equestrian journey between Moscow and Romania.

Michael lived in Moscow for six years as a lawyer.  When he returned to England in June 2014, since his work life in Russia had been very intense, he wanted to make the most of the occasion by making a relaxing journey, without hurrying and to see the countries over which he had flown many times to understand how the people there lived and what secrets were hidden in the fields.

Michal Pugh vient de terminer un voyage à cheval entre Moscou et la Romanie.

Michael à vécu a Moscou pendant six ans comme conseilleur juridique.   Quand il retournait en Angleterre en juin 2014, puisque sa vie de travail était très chargé en Russie, il voulait profiter de l’occasion de faire un périple détendu, sans se presser et de voir les terres sur lesquels il avait voyagé par avion plusieurs fois pour comprendre comme vivaient les gens là bas et quels secrets se cachaient dans les champs.

Gauchos Gather to Honour Long Rider

Twenty gauchos rode their Criollo horses across the pampas of Argentina to mark the 90 year anniversary of Swiss Long Rider Aimé Tschiffely’s 10,000 mile ride from Buenos Aires to New York. The riders are members of the "Asociación de Escritores Tradicionalistas," a group dedicated to preserving the traditions, history and practices of Argentina’s gauchos.

The journey concluded at Estancia El Cardal, the ranch where Tschiffely obtained his Criollo horses Mancha and Gato. Oscar Solanet, whose grandfather provided the horses to Tschiffely, greeted the gauchos. After the gauchos placed a commemorative bronze plaque at the Long Rider’s final resting place, a traditional gaucho asado (barbecue) was held for 600 visitors.

The journey concluded at Plaza Colon in nearby Ayacucho, when the gauchos visited the monument dedicated to Tschiffely and his horses.

Rare Photos Discovered of Legendary Long Rider

Aimé Tschiffely is usually remembered for the remarkable ride he made from Buenos Aires to Washington DC in 1925. That journey served as the inspiration for his book, Tschiffely’s Ride, the most influential equestrian travel book of the 20th century. What is often forgotten is that soon afterwards the Swiss Long Rider made a second ride and wrote another equestrian travel tale entitled Bridle Paths.

An important discovery has been made about Tschiffely’s 1935 ride across Britain. While attending a charity sale in Australia, Jo Stewart discovered an inscribed copy of Bridle Paths. She was initially excited to discover that it was inscribed by the Long Rider author to the lady who loaned him Violet, the mare he rode from the south of England to Scotland.

While the discovery of Tschiffely's inscription would have been of interest, that was not the most important revelation. When Ms. Stewart opened the book, she was stunned to find that Tschiffely had carefully taped 14 small photographs onto the relevant page of the book! Inside were excellent photos of Violet the mare. But even more exciting was the discovery of images showing Tschiffely preparing to start the ride (right) and Don Roberto Cunninghame Graham sitting on Violet at the conclusion of the journey!

The back of each photo has Aimé's hand-written notes about the image. Luckily Ms. Stewart recognized the importance of this rare book and immediately made arrangements for it to be transferred to the Long Riders’ Guild. The complete set of photographs can be viewed on the Tschiffely Literary Estate website.

 

 

LRGAF Publishes Historic Study on Pack Saddles

The Long Riders’ Guild Academic Foundation is proud to publish the first extensive study done regarding the use of equine pack transportation during the American Revolutionary War, 1776 to 1781. This ground breaking research was undertaken by the scholar John U. Rees, who spent years uncovering a treasure trove of facts and images about this overlooked part of equestrian history. John’s detailed report, which contains extensive footnotes and a long list of primary sources, is the first detailed investigation into how equestrian travel influenced the outcome of the Revolutionary War. The image (right) depicts the pack saddle used by General George Washington during the conflict with Great Britain.

The Long Riders’ Guild welcomes its newest Members: Having completed many equestrian journeys in various parts of Europe, Pat Bohnert and Peter van der Gugten were both listed among the Associate Members of the Guild. After finishing a lengthy ride through Argentina, via the Andes Mountains, Pat and Peter have now been placed among the Members.

Long Rider and Champion of Women’s Rights

Isabella Bird (1831-1904) was a renowned Lady Long Rider who defied the rules. The daughter of a clergyman, she was a sickly child who suffered with terrible back pain. In 1871 her doctor suggested that Isabella should travel to improve her health. She sailed for Australia and then journeyed on to Hawaii. It was in that island kingdom that Isabella learned to ride astride. At a time when polite society was forcing women to ride in a sidesaddle, Isabella defied convention and rode astride during her equestrian journeys in the Rocky Mountains, Japan, Persia, China and Tibet. Isabella went on to write many best-selling travel books, which have been republished by the Long Riders’ Guild Press in a special collection. After the London Times described her as “the boldest of travellers,” Isabella became the first woman to be named as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Having taken up photography at the age of 60, Isabella took hundreds of photos during her extensive travels in China. Those historic images have been recovered and re-published in a special commemorative book.

The Long Riders’ Guild welcomes new Members: Sabine Keller and Dagmar Blöß rode from Germany, across France and on to Spain.
Historic Journey Recounted in Special Speech

Bernadette Murray (right) was only ten years old when she made equestrian travel history. Along with her parents and siblings, Bernadette set off in 1969 to ride the length of the newly-created Pacific Crest Trail. The journey brought its share of hardships including runaway horses, dangerous trails, hostile ranchers, raging rivers and quicksand. But along the way Bernadette discovered that her family had grown to include the horses who “would carry you like an egg that might break” through a host of hazards. To commemorate the Murray family’s historic journey, Bernadette was invited to address the Pacific Crest Trail Annual Meeting. The Long Rider’s talk, which includes dozens of beautiful images, was filled with wisdom.

New Member of LRG completes historic journey across Japan. The Guild would like to welcome its newest Member, Kohei Yamakawa, who set off in June, 2014 to make the first modern equestrian journey across Japan.

Because of the historical importance of the journey, Kohei was granted the honour of carrying the LRG flag.

Hideyo Tsutsumi, the first Japanese Member of the Long Riders’ Guild, acted as Kohei’s mentor. Custom Pack Rigging of Canada donated the adjustable pack saddle which Kohei used. Senior Long Riders from around the world helped by raising funds to cover the shipping of the equipment to Japan. 

After riding more than 3,000 kilometres from Cape Soya in the north (top photo), on 3rd March Kohei reached the historic stone which marks the other end of Japan (bottom photo).

Kohei chose two hardy Hokkaido geldings, Michi Yuki (Road Snow) and Michi Yanagi (Road Willow), to accompany him on the journey.

 

To learn more about Kohei’s ride, visit his page or visit his blog which has hundreds of fascinating photos.

In the Hoofprints of Genghis Khan. Australian Long Rider Tim Cope made an extraordinary 6,000 mile ride from Mongolia to Hungary. Renowned explorer and adventure journalist Alastair Humphreys has done a remarkable interview with Tim, wherein the equestrian traveller recounts how he made the challenging journey. Illustrated with many powerful images, the interview will be part of Alastair’s new book about exploration.

 

The Long Riders’ Guild welcomes new Member. From January 1976 to October 1977 William Waterway undertook a historic equestrian journey in the United States. Beginning in San Diego, California the young man ended his journey in Calais, Maine, after riding 7,500 miles. William’s mission was to promote what he called “The Ride for Nature.” He went on to champion environmental issues.

New testimonial from documentary film maker. Leon McCarron is a renowned international traveller who contacted the Guild in search of advice regarding an equestrian journey in Patagonia. Leon’s goal was to ride in the hoofprints of the famous Historical Long Rider Charles Darwin. Though he is known today as "the father of evolution," English biologist Charles Darwin was also an avid equestrian traveller. During the five years in which he made his scientific journey around the world, Darwin took every opportunity to explore the continents of South America, Australia and Africa on horseback. With the help of Argentine Long Rider José Argento, Leon completed the equestrian journey along the Santa Cruz River and is now preparing a documentary film. He shared the following Testimonial.

“When I began planning my first equestrian journey in Autumn 2014, I had no experience whatsoever of travelling with horses. Some friends suggested I contact the Long Riders Guild as a starting point, and I am eternally grateful that I did! CuChullaine O’Reilly listened patiently to my plans to ride across Argentina, and was hugely generous with his time and experience. He made insightful suggestions regarding the concept of my expedition and within a short amount of time he had connected me with a Long Rider in the region who subsequently agreed to join me on the journey and has become a very good friend. In short - my journey could not have happened without the assistance of the LRG and CuChullaine. It is a unique and wonderful organisation, and one that I consider myself lucky to have found.

Rare Long Rider Film released to the public

Sven Hedin was Sweden’s most famous explorer and Long Rider. Starting in 1894, when he rode in Persia, Hedin went on to lead three daring expeditions across Tibet and Central Asia. By 1908 he had discovered the source of the Indus River, explored the Pamir Mountains and found the remains of lost cities in the Lop Nur Desert. In 1927, at the age of 70, Hedin set off on his fourth major journey, a gruelling expedition through the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and Turkestan. In addition to scientists from six countries, Hedin was joined by the Danish Long Rider Henning Haslund-Christensen. Mounted on local horses, and accompanied by a caravan of 300 Bactrian camels, Hedin led one of the most remarkable expeditions of the age. A silent documentary film, nearly two hours in length, recorded amazing images of Hedin’s journey; including scenes of the camels in a snow storm in the Gobi Desert, remote walled cities and Chinese warlords. The film can be viewed for free here.

The Long Riders’ Guild welcomes new Member
Sharon Bridgeman rode 3,500 kilometres (2,100 miles) along Australia’s Bicentennial National Trail. The journey took Sharon from Cooktown in the far north of Queensland to Wallerawang in New South Wales.

Ride Across Japan passes 2,000 kilometres

Despite the onset of winter, Kohei Yamakawa has continued his historic ride across the length of Japan. He recently spoke about his journey in a televised interview.


Growing up on the Pacific Crest Trail

In 1969 Barry Murray, his wife and three young children set off on a journey that was to become a Long Rider legend. The Murrays were determined to be the first family to ride the length of the Pacific Crest Trail, a gruelling 4,286 kilometres (2,663 miles) long route that leads from Mexico to Canada. A special new “Story from the Road” tells the inspiring story of how husband, wife, children and horses rode into history.

Historical Thriller recounts adventures of France’s greatest Long Rider

In 1889 Tibet was known as the “Hermit Kingdom,” because of its reputation for excluding outsiders. Lhasa, the nation’s capital, was considered the most difficult city on earth for a foreigner to enter. Sophie Schiller’s new book, “Race to Tibet,” tells the story of Gabriel Bonvalot, France's most famous Long Rider, and his companion, Prince Henri d'Orléans, who join forces to reach Lhasa, the mysterious capital. During their equestrian journey, the explorers are besieged by freezing temperatures, volatile winds, mountain sickness, hostile Tibetans, duplicitous Chinese Mandarins, and a beguiling Tibetan Buddhist princess with a deadly secret.

The World’s Most Wanted Long Rider

While the Long Riders' Guild has been successful in finding the majority of living equestrian travellers, there is one in particular for whom we have long sought. He is a Chinese equestrian traveller named Li Jing, who made a remarkable 9,000 kilometre (5,592 miles) ride from Votkinsk, Russia to Beijing, China in 2009. Li Jing currently heads the list of “Missing in Action” Long Riders. There was a great deal of interest in the Chinese press when Li Jing arrived in Beijing. If you have any knowledge on how Li Jing can be located, please contact the Guild.

 

For information on earlier news stories, please visit the Archives pages.

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