The Long Riders' Guild
New study uncovers
equine DNA link between Canada and Siberia
The first DNA study of wild horses in the remote Chilcotin area of
British Columbia has revealed a surprising discovery. The Canadian
horses share DNA traits with the Yakut horses of Siberia. In their
report, Dr. Gus Cothran of Texas A & M University and Wayne P. McCrory
RPBio wrote, “This raises the possibility that horses from Russia may
have contributed to the feral herds at some time in the past, which is
not outside the range of possibilities.”
interaction, the study hypothesised, may have occurred when “the Yakut
horse bloodlines arrived in the remote Brittany Triangle of British
Columbia from Russian fur traders along the adjacent Pacific Coast.” A
special illustrated report
published by the Long Riders' Guild Academic Foundation explains how the
wild horses protected by the Xeni Gwet'in and Yunetesi'in Native
Americans may reveal a previously undetected link between North America
Longest 20th Century Horse Journey Honoured
In 1912, four riders embarked on a 20,000 mile trip to all 48 American
state capitals. The idealistic young men dreamed that their gruelling
three-year odyssey through deserts, mountains and swamps would make them
famous. Instead, they rode into oblivion. Known as the Overland
Westerners, their tragic tale became a Long Rider legend. Thankfully a
brilliant investigative article by noted Washington journalist Tristan
Baurick has brought this neglected story out of the shadows. Complete
with photographs taken during the journey and enriched by explanatory
videos, the article entitled “The
Longest Ride” is the finest example of equestrian travel
reporting seen in many years.
Rare Film Footage of Tschiffely’s Ride
In 1925 Swiss Long Rider Aimé
Tschiffely set out on an epic ride with two Criollo horses, Mancha and
Gato. The explorer's goal was to travel ten thousand miles from Buenos
Aires to Washington, DC. The mounted odyssey lasted two and a half
years, forcing horses and rider to survive near-impossible conditions,
including crossing an infamous swinging bridge in the Andes Mountains.
The Lujan Museum near Buenos Aires, which protects many important
Tschiffely artefacts, has released
a special film which shows Tschiffely, his horses, and the ticker
tape parade they received upon their entry into New York city.
Argentine Long Rider Benjamin Reynal has kindly shared the short film
with the Guild.
Land’s End Long Riders
Traditionally travellers who wished to
journey from one end of Great Britain to the other made their way from
Land’s End in western Cornwall to John O’Groats in the extreme north of
Today the celebrated route is
traversed by pedestrians, runners, cyclists, even skate boarders. Yet
Long Riders have been travelling the 970 kilometres (603 miles) since
1892, when Evelyn Burnaby made the journey and wrote about his
equestrian adventures in “The Country Gentleman” magazine.
Subsequently other Long Riders went
across the nation, including Arthur Elliott who rode Goldflake in 1955.
In 2006 the mother and daughter team of Vyv and Elsie Wood-Gee made the
trip. And in 2007 Grant Nicolle (right) continued the tradition by
travelling from John O'Groats to Land's End with his horse, Marv.
Despite the historical connection between equestrian travel and the
celebrated route, no entry for Long Riders existed on the Wikipedia
page. Grant Nicolle has rectified that problem and created a
special entry which now lists Long Riders who have made this
Historical Long Rider Honoured in Switzerland
Even though Switzerland is not a large country in terms of geography, it
can take pride in being the home of some of the most extraordinary Long
Riders in history. For example, Aimé Tschiffely rode from Argentina to
the United States and Otto Schwarz rode 48,000 kilometres on five
continents. Predating them was
Henri de Büren. In 1853 this Swiss Long
Rider made a gruelling ride across the Andes Mountains in Peru. Henri’s
de Büren has written an excellent book about his ancestor’s journey
through North and South America. The book, entitled “The
Journey of Henri de Büren” was recently honoured at a reception
held at Le Musée d’ethnographie de Neuchâtel in Switzerland.
New Testimonial -
North American Long Rider Debra Bumpus-Brown rode through the American West.
“I salute Basha and CuChullaine O’Reilly, and all those who have made the
LRG such an outstanding, completely unique, responsible, informative and
honourable organization. I don't know what your dream was when you first
ventured into the complexities of organizing the Guild, but I imagine
neither of you had any idea how far this would go! I stand amazed and
extremely appreciative of your countless hours and expense (mental,
emotional, time, as well as monetary). You have given birth to something
that will last through the generations.”
Expedition News –
British Long Rider
is riding from Columbia to Peru. His journey across Columbia has required
Marc to exercise extreme caution. “We have
been in a delicate area, lined one side by a heavy presence of Colombian
military and the other by guerillas; so night time can be a gamble. Over the
last two months I have been carefully selecting my routes. Sadly Colombia is
second in the world for land mine victims, only behind Afghanistan. The
majority of the mines are close to areas inhabited by the indigenous people
of Colombia.” The photo sent by Marc
shows a Columbian military check point.
New Testimonial -
North American Long Rider Orion Kraus rode from Mexico to Costa Rica.
“When I heard back from the Long
Riders’ Guild I was breathless. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It
was exactly what I was looking for. Not a crutch, but encouragement from
someone who had done what I am doing….I want to thank you for providing a
website like the Guild. It is an all-in-one package for people like me, and
it has added fuel to an already roaring
fire inside of me.”
Expedition News –
American Long Rider
is making the first known journey “ocean to ocean” in both directions during
the same ride. Bernice had an unexpected encounter with Long Rider history
while riding across Ontario. “As
I neared the
end of my ride in Ontario I rode westward along a dirt road with long
shadows attached to our tails. A pickup coming out of the setting sun drove
up and stopped. The driver rolled down his window and the woman passenger
leaned over to get a better look. The elderly gentleman asked if I had heard
of the book called ‘Saddlebags
I said, of course I had. It tells the story of the legendary ride made
across Canada in 1939 by British Long Rider Mary Bosanquet. Well, he told
me, Mary came down this road and she wintered here in Dayton, YOU are in
Dayton he said. There were no buildings remaining and he was not sure who
the family was that she stayed with but it didn’t matter to me. My jaw was
hanging in disbelief as he drove off. WOW I mean, I had just been told I was
on the same route that Mary rode in 1939.”
New Testimonial -
North American Long Rider Linda Losey rode “ocean to ocean” across the
“Basha and CuChullaine, your help
during my life-changing journey was truly life-saving. Thank you from the
bottom of my heart for founding The Long Riders’ Guild.”
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
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
For further information contact:
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
Two more articles by Basha
O'Reilly for Randonner à Cheval.
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....
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....
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....
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.
Voyage au Sommet
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.
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.
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.
Michael Pugh vient de terminer un voyage à cheval entre Moscou et la
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
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
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
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
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
photographs can be viewed on the Tschiffely Literary Estate website.
LRGAF Publishes Historic Study on Pack Saddles
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
Riders’ Guild welcomes new Members: Sabine Keller and Dagmar Blöß
rode from Germany, across France and on to Spain.
Journey Recounted in
(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
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
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
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
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
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
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