2017 - News!
The Big Fellow from Down Under has ridden on
This New Year began in grief, as the Guild mourns the passing of Australian Long Rider Colin Mitchell. In 2002 Colin rode 5,654 kilometres (3,513 miles) from Darwin, in the Northern Territory, to Cockle Creek, Tasmania.
This was no mere gathering of miles done to satisfy an ambitious ego. Like many Long Rider legends who rode before him, Colin swung into the saddle to champion a noble cause. He took part in an equestrian journey known as the “Campfires against Cancer.” That hard ride raised more than half a million dollars for cancer research.
Even though millions of people worldwide own horses, Colin represents that tiny handful of horse humans known as Long Riders who set off on a life changing equestrian journey. Colin inspired us to find our own courage. He rode thousands of miles to prove that dreams can be fulfilled.
Adios, Long Rider
I sat beside you at the campfire,
far on our travels,
as the night time unravelled,
with the sky burning orange and red.
As you slept, wrapped in memories,
I wondered if you missed the fields and the rolling hills,
and the journeys you left behind on that summer’s day.
I held your hand in mine,
holding back the tears,
afraid to believe,
that the dreams you had taught me,
were all dead.
I could see the traces of all your adventures,
engraved upon your gnarled palm.
Here was the hand that held the reins,
that rode the horse,
that crossed the miles to a distant sea.
And now I sat beside your bedroll,
And watched the evening of your life coming to an end,
You broke camp before dawn,
left while I slept,
gone to chase a prize that you could never find.
My hand still held yours,
but your footsteps,
were far, far away.
That’s when I discovered,
what you had left me.
Beside your memory,
were the things that took up no space in my saddlebag,
your friendship and affection,
and the courage to ride the road to adventure.
I stood to leave,
one last time,
reluctant to let go of the hand,
and the memory.
of a life that could not be described in a paragraph or on a page.
That’s when I saw you smiling at me,
from the other side of the extinguished campfire of your life.
You stood there young again,
a weathered wanderer in a battered hat,
and whispered the last loving words that you said.
“I never saw myself as a hero,” you told me softly.
No, you didn’t, but we all did.
Equestrian Freedom or Political Repression?
Millions of people around the world are justifiably frightened. A savage war in Syria continues to slaughter helpless civilians. Europe is being torn apart by violent civic unrest. Resurgent dictators threaten the liberty of weaker nations. The American presidential election invoked a sense of global apprehension. A special “Word from the Founder” urges humanity to remember that our oldest ally, the horse, has a part to play, for good or evil, in the days to come. As Long Rider history proves, the horse can be a messenger of liberty or a tool of tyrants.
Rare film shows Long Riders crossing Tibet in 1942
In the spring of 1942 the Japanese had
conquered the eastern portion of the previously impregnable British Empire.
With India threatened, and their allies in China surrounded by hostile
Japanese forces, Roosevelt and Churchill hatched the idea of using the
mountainous kingdom of Tibet as a transit station for supplies to be moved
overland from India to China.
After surviving many adventures, Tolstoy wrote a detailed story about the remarkable ride, which includes a photo of a mounted Tibetan aristocrat (right). Dolan survived the journey but was later killed in combat. What was not known was that before his death, Dolan also recorded his version of events in a film entitled Inside Tibet.
Unfortunately, because the film had been created for America’s Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the modern CIA, Dolan’s unique contribution to Tibetan and Long Rider history was classified as secret and remained effectively lost for many decades. Thanks to Roger Croston, a British scholar who studies Tibetan history, this unique film was rediscovered and may be viewed on You Tube.
The colour movie shows the Long Riders travelling across India and Tibet. It includes astonishing footage of the unspoiled countryside and depicts beautiful palaces which have since been destroyed. Plus, the equestrian information is incredible. The girthless Oriental pack saddle is clearly depicted being used by pack horses in Dolan’s caravan. Additionally, there is a stunning sequence involving the Tibetan national cavalry. And there is even footage of a Tibetan Appaloosa horse!
Lithuanian Long Rider Travels to Asia
Restless equestrian traveller Vaidotas Digaitis has made another remarkable journey. The Lithuanian Long Rider has already made two important trips. In 2010 Vaidotas participated in what has been called Lithuania’s Riding Renaissance, when he journeyed 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) from the Baltic to the Black Sea. In 2012 Vaidotas became the first Long Rider to reach the Arctic Circle since the 1950s. During this 6,000 kilometre (3,700 miles) journey, Vaidotas began the ride at his home in the village of Laukuva, Lithuania. He crossed Russia (Kaliningrad), Poland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, reached the Arctic Circle and then rode home.
When Vaidotas recently set on his third journey, he once again used Žemaitukai horses. These Lithuanian horses are famous for being strong travellers. In the company of his two horses, Azuolas and Ceklis, Vaidotas rode 3,000 kilometres (1,800 miles) from Lithuania, across Russia, over the Ural Mountains and into Asia. The photo shows him at the point where Europe meets Asia. The journey was concluded at Surmenevsky, in the district of Chelyabinsk
|The Guild would like to welcome Carsten Nordenhof as a Member. The Danish Long Rider began his equestrian travels in 1994, when he rode from Zealand, Denmark to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. During the subsequent twenty-two years, Carsten has made fourteen horse trips and ridden 35,000 kilometres (22,000 miles) through Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. He is now writing a book about his mounted adventures in Europe. Welcome to the Guild, Long Rider.|
Long Riders meet during historic trip
Vyv Wood-Gee continues to link up Great Britain’s equestrian past. The route of the 2,400 kilometre (1,500 miles) journey is the first to connect eight white horses carved into the country’s hillsides. Having reached southern England, Vyv was greeted by another equestrian pioneer. Mounted on his horse, Strider, Long Rider William Reddaway recently completed the first journey to thirty of Great Britain’s historic cathedrals and abbeys.
Trouble while riding to the End of the World
Filipe Leite, who is on a journey from Brazil to Patagonia, has ridden 2,200 kilometres (1,370 miles). In addition to enduring serious illness, Filipe had to travel along a terrible road.
“I have never seen a main road in such a horrific state. Some of the holes looked like they were created by meteors. If a car was to hit one of these craters at full speed, it would most certainly mean serious injury for those inside or even death.”
Despite the adversity, Filipe wrote, “It’s great to know that although I am riding alone out here, there are fellow Long Riders all over the world blazing their own trails. Distance and time may separate our physical beings but the saddle and our love for the horse unites our souls. We all ride together. Long live the Long Riders Guild.”
A Demonstration of Equestrian Ethics
The Guild would like to welcome Katrina Littlechild as a new Associate Member. When she set off in the company of her horse, Cognac, their goal was to ride from John O’Groats, Scotland to Land’s End, England. Though Katrina had ridden nearly one thousand miles, this exemplary Long Rider prematurely concluded her journey just short of her goal rather than imperil the welfare of her horse.
“After looking at all our options, I didn't feel I could make him comfortable enough to continue, so I made the difficult decision to take him home and rest him for a good few months.”
Long Riders collectively realize that accidents occur to our horses without premeditation or warning. In such a case the Guild requires that the journey be halted so as to allow the horse the time it needs to heal. Katrina’s decision to put Cognac’s welfare before her ego is a strong demonstration of sterling equestrian ethics. Welcome to the Guild, Long Rider.
New Zealand Long Rider Ian Robinson has already completed some of the most
inspiring equestrian journeys in this new century. He began his equestrian
explorations by riding alone across Mongolia. Ian next crossed Tibet
by riding from east to west. During that journey he was
who were determined to capture him. More recently Ian explored the
of Afghanistan. He has now set off on the first modern equestrian
exploration of Siberia, a feat last done by Cossack Long Rider
1913. In a message sent to the Guild, Ian explained that he has already
encountered one of the many bears that inhabit this sparsely populated
Chasing Fame from the Saddle
For nearly a century they were known
of equestrian travel. A ground-breaking investigation has now brought them
out of the shadows of the past.
With the aid of a riding horse and two pack burros, Eliza Allen and her ten-year-old daughter, Zaydee Kiagoes, set off to make a 3,500 mile journey along Australia’s Bicentennial National Trail. Having completed half the trip, Eliza has written a valuable “Story from the Road” explaining how parents can travel safely successfully with children.
In April, 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. In his book, Search for a Shadow , Barry explains how the group rode 4,286 kilometres (2,663 miles) from Mexico to Canada. Barry Jr. was 12 when the journey began. Bernadette was 10 and Colette 8. The Murray family reached the Canadian border in October, 1970. In the subsequent decades the PCT has become increasingly popular. But as the new book explains, it was thanks to the Murray’s pioneering efforts that portions of the trail were built.
Samantha Szesciorka doesn’t just talk
about protecting mustangs. She is riding a thousand mile journey through the
Nevada desert country
to demonstrate the incredible stamina of these legendary horses. Sage is the
nine-year-old mustang who is accompanying Samantha.
Lisa Stewart (right) is one of
America’s most dedicated Long Riders. After riding more than 3,000 miles
across the USA in the early 1980s, Lisa helped launch one of that country's
most successful saddle companies. She is the author of a special study
the 21st Century
and has continued to explore the nation on her horse, Chief. Thanks to her
years in the saddle, her miles on the road and her knowledge of travel, Lisa
responded to a request to act as the mentor for a historically significant
Some Long Riders, such as
are so enchanted by equestrian travel that they make multiple journeys by
horseback. Only a few, such as
leave the saddle and become avid wagon travellers.
is another Long Rider. He not only made an “ocean to ocean”
ride across the USA, he then travelled by wagon from Canada to Mexico. The
Lost Sea Expedition
is a documentary film which recounts how Bernie made a 2,500 mile journey to
rediscover the lost sea that once existed in the centre of the North
American continent. With the help of his small mule, Polly, the trip crossed
The Guild has offered its "congratulations" to some remarkable men and women, who completed many a challenging journey in diverse and dangerous countries all over the world. But this is the first time we have ever congratulated someone for having opened an entirely new page in equestrian travel history.
The first person known to have ridden “ocean to ocean” was Willard Glazier, who rode from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1875. In 1911 Two Gun Nan Aspinwall became the first woman to ride “ocean to ocean.” Hundreds of Long Riders have repeated the journey, in both directions, in the intervening decades. Yet no one had ever ridden “ocean to ocean” in both directions on the same journey - until now.
Bernice Ende had ridden 35,500 kilometres (22,000 miles) during seven consecutive journeys in the United States and Canada. Yet this was to be her biggest challenge. In the company of her two Fjords, Essie Pearl and Montana Spirit, Bernice set off from her home in Montana. The team reached the Atlantic Ocean on October 8, 2015. After wintering over on the East coast Bernice resumed riding. She reached the Pacific Ocean (top) on June 17, 2016. By the time she rode back to Montana, Bernice had been in the saddle for two and a half years and had ridden 8,000 miles.
Long Rider history is filled with examples of travellers who drew inspiration from others. Bernice is no exception. Having entitled her journey “From Suffragettes to Lady Long Riders,” this mounted champion of female liberty carried a message in honour of all those women who sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. When she reached New York, Bernice made a special pilgrimage to the grave of Susan B. Anthony, one of the early champions of women’s rights (bottom).
Due to the historic nature of this journey, the Guild has placed Bernice in the LRG Records.
To learn more about Bernice’s “ocean to ocean” ride, visit her website.
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:
|The Guild would like to greet new Member Zaydee Kiagoes who has ridden along Australia’s Bicentennial National Trail.|
Exploring Britain's horse history on horseback
Having previously ridden from John O’Groats in Scotland to Land’s End in Cornwall, Long Rider Vyv Wood-Gee knows her way around great Britain. She has now departed on a unique new journey. Her goal is to ride to eight of the enigmatic white horses carved into Britain's hillsides.
Vyv began her journey at Scotland’s only white horse hill figure; the Mormond white horse north of Strichen. From there Vyv rode south to the Kilburn white horse carved into the Yorkshire Moors. She will also visit the Uffington white horse, which was carved 3000 years ago. Wherever possible she is following routes historically used by pack ponies, pit ponies, Reivers, Romans and others in the days when horse were the main means of transport. The journey is being documented on Vyv’s blog and via Facebook
In 2012 Filipe Leite set off to ride 10,000 miles from Canada to his native Brazil. That journey was completed two years later. Filipe has now departed on an 8.000 kilometre (5,000 miles) ride across Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and on to the tip of Patagonia. The journey has proven to be difficult. Filipe’s website details how he and his horses have ridden through rain drenched jungles (right) and were nearly crushed by a wild truck driver.
In 1925 Aimé Tschiffely set off on a 10,000 mile journey from Buenos Aires to New York. Accompanying the Swiss Long Rider were Mancha and Gato, two Criollo geldings who were destined to become the world’s most celebrated road horses. After overcoming incredible challenges, the travellers were given a tumultuous welcome when they arrived in the United States.
To celebrate the memory of these equine heroes, the Breyer company has worked with the Tschiffely Literary Estate to create special commemorative models of Mancha and Gato.
“After hearing the amazing story of Aimé Tschiffely and the faithful Mancha and Gato we knew we had to make them into Breyer models! How could we not honour such an amazing feat?” said Rowena Reid, a company official.
The unveiling of the two models will take place at the Breyer Fest. An estimated 10,000 people are expected to attend the event being held July 22 – 24 at the International Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.
As a mark of their historical importance, the company has announced that the number of models of Mancha and Gato will be strictly limited.
The Breyer Company website published two stories (dated May 17 and 18) about the exceptional Long Rider models.
Tschiffely and his horses' legacy continues today: the Argentinean Congress passed a law in 1999 declaring September 20th of each year as ‘Día Nacional Del Caballo' (National Day of the Horse), as this was the date Aimé arrived in New York in 1928. The book Tschiffely's Ride has sold more copies than any other equestrian travel tale in history and has inspired five generations to get in the saddle and head for the horizon.
Three French Long Riders confronted an
unexpected danger during their journey across Argentina. Capucine Lelièvre
informed the Guild that the area between Carrenleufu and Lago Winter is
infested with venomous
Giant Silkworm caterpillars
(right - top).
|The Guild would like to welcome new Member Capucine Lelièvre who rode across Patagonia and southern Argentina.|
Safety Vest could Save Long Rider Lives
In 2013 the
worst accident in the history of modern equestrian travel took the
life of a female Long Rider, left her companion seriously wounded and
gravely injured their horses. English Long Rider Christine Henchie, 29, was
killed instantly 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.
The Guild would like to greet new Members Pia Gjedde Hejgaard and Callum Back, who completed a journey along Australia’s Bicentennial National Trail.
Little Long Riders Explore the World
The Long Riders’ Guild is proud of its
extraordinary Members. Among them are Hadji Shamsuddin of Afghanistan, who
rode a thousand miles through that war-zone, Jean-Louis Gouraud of France,
who rode 3,000 miles from Paris to Moscow, Tim Cope of Australia, who rode
6,000 miles from Mongolia to Hungary, Claudia Gottet of Switzerland, who
rode 8,000 miles from Arabia to the Alps, Adnan Azzam of Syria, who rode
10,000 miles from Madrid to Mecca, and Vladimir Fissenko of Russia, who rode
19,000 miles from Patagonia to Alaska.
One day after work Charlotte Simsar
visited the library. There she saw Australian Long Rider Tim Cope’s book
On the Trail of Genghis Khan. It recounted how he had ridden on
horseback from Mongolia to Hungary. Suddenly she thought, “Why not live
lives of adventure rather than just read about adventurous lives?”
While the majority of Americans are
familiar with the political aspirations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump,
it may surprise people to learn that another political campaign has also
been launched in the United States and that this movement is about the need
to preserve equestrian freedom.
John Sears and his three mules
recently walked to the
Millions of people ride horses. Only a
few become Long Riders. What is truly rare is to discover a "lost" Long
Rider of great historical importance. During his recent journey across
Agustín María Mayer made such a discovery. While riding through the
small town of Bolivar, he was told about Marcelino Soulé (right). To
understand the significance of that Argentine Long Rider you must first
appreciate the man who inspired him.
When Nirwan Ahmad Arsuka (top) set off
in 2014 on the
Equine Equator Expedition he had no idea that his journey across
Indonesia would inspire the creation of a horse-powered book delivery
system. Nirwan made his journey with the aid of unique horses. He rode a
purebred Sandalwood pony, one of the indigenous equines from Sumba Island. A
larger KPI (Kuda Pacu Indonesia) horse carried the Canadian adjustable pack
saddle endorsed by the Guild.
In 2012, inspired by writer/adventurer
Aimé Tschiffely’s 1925 long ride from Buenos Aires to Washington, D.C.,
Filipe Leite set out from Calgary, Canada and rode 16,000 kilometres (9,940
miles) to his native Brazil. The ”Journey
Across the Americas” lasted two years and required him to cross ten
(right) rode her mare, Shyla, 4,286 kilometres (2,663 miles) from the
southern terminus of the
Pacific Crest Trail all the way to Canada. The experienced Long
Rider, who is currently making her
second journey along the PCT, wants to contribute to the success of
others who are hoping to experience the PCT on horseback by gathering
information for a guidebook.
Preston Stroud and Kathryn Holzberger
set off in May, 2014 to ride the length of Australia’s
Bicentennial National Trail. They spent nineteen months travelling
5,330 kilometres (3,311 miles) from Cooktown to Healesville.
The Long Riders’ Guild is accustomed to dealing with brave men and women.
However some equestrian journeys involve circumstances that force us to
reconsider our previous definition of “bravery.” Such an example is
connected to the newest Member of the Guild, Alina Grace Dudding (right).
Andreas Wagner, a documentary film
maker working for German/French public broadcaster Arte Television,
contacted the Guild in 2014 with an unusual request.
French Long Rider maps route across Patagonia
The Guild would like to welcome new Member Charlotte Simsar, who was part of the team that created an equestrian route across southern Argentina.
New Film Recounts Ride Across Czech Republic
There are plenty of headlines describing the political turmoil which is currently causing tension in Europe. That is why a new film by Czech Long Rider Dalibor Balut comes as such a pleasant surprise. In the company of his mare, Sheila (right), Dalibor made a thousand mile journey to the four corners of his country. Though he travelled alone, Dalibor filmed his journey. The resulting movie, which is set to inspiring music, depicts a beautiful country populated by a hospitable people.
undertook a historic 4,200 kilometre (2,600 miles) journey in 2013 when he
visited 30 cathedrals and abbeys throughout Great Britain.
Strider’s Ride Around England documents this unique journey. William
is one of the hundreds of Long Riders who contributed valuable information
to the forthcoming
Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration. One of William’s
observations concerned attaching small flashing lights to the saddlebags.
This tip was deemed so important that it is being shared without delay, so
as to enhance the safety of other equestrian travellers.
English Long Rider Robin
Hanbury-Tenison has packed a lot of life into his 80 years. He made the
first land crossing of South America at its widest point, led twenty-four
expeditions, was awarded the Patron's Gold Medal by the Royal Geographical
Society and was hailed by The Sunday Times as "the greatest explorer of the
past twenty years." When he wasn't in a jungle, Robin was turning his hand
to helping others. He is President and co-founder of
Survival International, a charity which helps tribal peoples defend
their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures.
In 2007 Simon Mulholland (left)
surprised the equestrian world when he revealed his remarkable “Saddle
Chariot.” The light-weight chariot was easily pulled by a small pony
but proved its strength when the British inventor used it to travel the
length of Hadrian’s Wall. Simon believed the chariot presented a potential
employment for the many ponies in Great Britain.
In an increasingly urbanized environment, the development of a national
equestrian trail is of international importance; especially when the trail
takes Long Riders through some of the world’s most beautiful mountains.
Three new Long Riders, Charlotte Simsar, Capucine Lelièvre and Charlotte Vandeputte, have provided the Guild with a map which documents their route across Argentina. Entitled the “Hoofprints Across Patagonia Trail,” the route begins at San Carlos de Bariloche and concludes 900 kilometres (550 miles) later at Perito Moreno. Riding through the mountains and pampas of Argentina provided what Charlotte Simsar described as “an intense adventure.” Prior to departure, the travellers studied with French Long Rider Stephane Bigo. At the conclusion of their journey, they were greeted by Argentina Long Rider Benjamin Reynal. Details of the new route are available on the Long Riders’ Routes page.
The Guild regrets to report the death of William Waterway. From January 1976 to October 1977 he 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.” The writer and environmentalist had a lifelong passion to promote clean water around the world. After he became a Member of the Guild in early 2015, William wrote, “I am most honoured to join such an illustrious group of equestrians. I much enjoyed reading the stories of my fellow Long Rider brothers and sisters. As I read their brief bios, I now know that, thanks to your efforts - our stories will continue to live.”
A new book recounts how Basha
O’Reilly, one of the Founders of the Long Riders’ Guild, made a 2,500 mile
journey from Russia to England.
In 2015 Dalibor Balut made the first modern ride to all corners of his native Czech Republic. The journey took him along the borders of Poland. Germany, Austria and Slovakia. In the first equestrian travel article in the Czech language, Dalibor recounts how his journey took him on the route previously ridden by Jan Žižka (right), a national hero to the Czech people. Considered to be among the greatest military leaders of all time, Žižka is one of the few commanders in history who never lost a battle.
One of the most popular, but
challenging, equestrian journeys is along the 2,663 mile long Pacific Crest
Trail which runs from the Mexican to the Canadian borders.
Sharon Muir Watson (left) and Ken Roberts were the first to ride the entire length of the Bicentennial National Trail, a 4,225 mile journey from Cooktown, Queensland, to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, starting in 1990. In 2005 the legendary Australian Long Riders attended a special global meeting held at the Royal Geographical Society by the Long Riders’ Guild. During the intervening years Ken and Sharon have offered valuable advice to equestrian travellers who wished to journey along the Bicentennial National Trail. Kimberley Delavere (right), who has set off to ride the length of the Bicentennial National Trail, is the first person to carry the Guild’s flag across the Australian continent. Sharon met Kimberley on the BNT to share stories and offer encouragement.
An article in Britain’s Your Horse
magazine (right) describes Canadian Long Rider
Folkins' journeys across
Across Australia on Horseback
The Guild welcomes new Members Preston Stroud (left) and Kathryn Holzberger (right) who rode 5,200 kilometres along Australia’s Bicentennial National Trail. The couple travelled from Cooktown, Queensland south to the trail terminus at Healsville, Victoria.
Aimé Tschiffely Tee-shirt
Five generations have swung into the saddle and headed towards the horizon because of Swiss Long Rider Aimé Tschiffely. After repeated requests from Tschiffely fans and Long Riders, the Tschiffely Literary Estate has created tee-shirts featuring the famous equestrian explorer. If you would like to purchase one of these high-quality T-shirts, please click here.
Over the mountains and across the pampas
The Guild welcomes new Members Agustín María Mayer (left) and Sebastian Perkins (right) who rode across Patagonia and Argentina.
new book recounts “a big story about a big country and big-hearted
people and their horses.” The
5,654 kilometre (3,513 mile) journey, which stretched from Darwin, Northern
Territory to Cockle Creek Bay Tasmania, was done by
Danny Phegan, Colin Mitchell and Ian James. Known as “Campfires Against
Cancer,” the equestrian travel campaign raised more than half a million
dollars for medical research.
who wrote the book and organized the ride, explained that “research funding
has lead to development of a drug fighting brain tumours in clinical trials
The Guild’s efforts to document Long Rider Routes continues, with the addition of important information regarding a ride through the Arctic Circle, a journey across the steppes of Kazakhstan, a perilous exploration of Afghanistan and a epic expedition from Canada to Brazil. The rare photo (right) shows members of the British Trans-Americas Expedition led by Colonel John Blashford Snell. They spent 99 days crossing the infamous Darien Gap jungle which lies between Panama and Columbia.
Mounted on her horse, Broadway, beautiful Vonceil Viking (right) set off from New York in 1927. Her destination was Hollywood. Her ambition was to become a movie star. Dangers lay just ahead, including being hit by a reckless driver. Yet after 120 days in the saddle, the platinum blonde, who became known as the ‘Queen of the Watering Hole,’ trotted into Los Angeles to a storm of publicity. An excellent article by Lorraine Jackson of Horse Nation magazine has documented how the Long Rider was immediately cast as the heroine in the film “Riding Romance.” Yet as Jackson explains, Vonceil’s fame and life were both tragically short. “Daring bets, tall tales, a drop dead gorgeous cowgirl-turned-starlet, a tragic demise and unsolved mysteries make this story one of the strangest in horse and Hollywood history.”
The Guild now archives the details of
a growing collection of Long Rider Routes.
This unique repository contains historical details and maps for more than
fifty equestrian journeys, which took place between 1414 and 2015.
Ian Robinson (right), who rode solo across Mongolia, Tibet and the Wakhan Corridor, was one of a group of Long Riders interviewed by Andy Wright. The article, which appears in Atlas Obscura, explains, "Members shouldn't expect to be awarded a silver trophy, a blue ribbon or a shiny big belt buckle from the Guild. Respect is the prize."
For information on earlier news stories, please visit the Archives pages.