2014 - News!
In an equestrian world all too often awash with stories of commercialism, corruption and cruelty, the public yearns for a positive perspective and classic heroes. The Long Riders’ Guild is an equestrian honour society dedicated to protecting the horse from abuse, the public from being misled and the media from being deceived. Testimonials have been gathered over the course of many years and now appear in a special collection. They cover a broad range of activities connected to the various activities of the Long Riders’ Guild, including exploration, ethics, spirituality, historical research, literature and social justice.
Unlike the entrenched equestrian sports world, which often turns a blind eye to abuse and cruelty so long as it does not disrupt their income stream, the Long Riders’ Guild is intent on maintaining the highest ethical standards in the equestrian world. It encourages harmony between horse and human. Its mission is to care for the vulnerable and speak up for the voiceless. Admittance is never a foregone conclusion based upon the accumulation of mere miles. Because it is job of the Guild to reassure the public that they can trust the word of a Long Rider, the Guild has published a strict set of ethics. A new section on the Guild website articulates these ethical guidelines.
Carrying the Long Riders’ Flag
During the twenty years since the Guild was formulated Long Riders have successfully journeyed across every continent except Antarctica. These trips required intrepid teams of humans and horses to survive innumerable dangers, overcome tremendous hardships and endure intense emotional challenges. Certain expeditions have an extraordinary extra quality about them. Such rare endeavours are granted the honour of carrying the Guild’s flag to the far corners of the planet. A new feature on the Guild website explains which Long Riders have been entrusted to carry the organisation’s flag and why each person was specially chosen.
European News Coverage
The world’s first bi-lingual collection of equestrian travel articles has been published on the Guild website. The articles were commissioned by Europe's leading equestrian travel magazine, Randonner à Cheval. They offer interviews with the world's leading equestrian explorers, information and images from expeditions around the world and never-before-seen extracts from the forthcoming Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration. The stories are available in English and French.
Welcome New Long Riders
Thanks to an explosion of international interest, the Long Riders’ Guild continues to grow by the inclusion of equestrian travellers whose journeys represent the past and present. The Guild would like to welcome the following new Long Riders.
Mary Jo Alfieri, José María Argento, Arita Baaijens, Rick Blackburn, Augustin Blanchard, Chris Bradbury, Katie Cooper, Alfons Cotti, Jim and Tom Dickinson, Hetty Dutra, Sonja Endlweber, Suellen Fintari, Hugo Gassioles, Phil Jakubowski, Beth Jamison, Noor Mohammad Khan, Jo Kimmins, Pam Kline, Luis Corsi Leite, Paddy Lennon, Jamie Maddison, Clay Marshall, Tim Mullan, Grant Nicolle, Brian O’Connor, David O’Connor, Sally O’Connor, Juan Francisco Perfumé, Marc von Polier, Wayne Poulsen, William Reddaway, Dirk Schleibaum, Bianca Schmidt, Nicole Sousek, Sam Southey, Lorern Stubbs, Samantha Szesciorka, Matt Traver, Richard Waltrapp, Peter Wanfor, Gryph Wulfkil and Erin Zwiener.
Historical Long Riders
The Guild has now identified and documented details of nearly a thousand Long Riders both past and present. Many important Historical Long Riders have been recently discovered. This includes Count Vittorio Alfieri, the Italian poet who defied Napoleon and made a journey with fourteen of England’s finest horses over the Alps; Fynes Moryson the Englishman whose journeys in the 1590s resulted in some of the earliest written details about European equestrian travel; and Ludwig Leichhardt, the German equestrian explorer who disappeared in Australia in 1848. Other new discoveries include Nick Beucher, Tex Bunteen, Evelyne Burnaby, John Talbot Clifton, Pascal Coste, Will Drew, Edith Durham, Eugene Flandin, Thora Gauthier, Christopher Gist, Wilhelm Karl Herrmann, Raymond Joyce, Martin Luther, Francois Andre Michaux, Claude Sosthène Grasset d'Orcet, Robert Ker Porter, Ross Salmon, Otto Schoerner, Naomi Scully, John Lloyd Stephens, Annie Royle Taylor and Arthur Young.
Missing in Action
The Guild began with five Members from three countries. Since then it has expanded to more than 40 countries and documented the journeys of hundreds of living equestrian travellers. Most of the “Missing in Action” Long Riders have been found. But the Guild has now expanded its search for MIA Long Riders to the Orient. Leading the list is the Chinese Long Rider Li Jing, who rode 9000 kilometres from Votkinsk, Russia to Beijing, China in 2009. There are other Long Riders in China and Japan who are also being sought. If you have any information on how to reach Li Jing, please contact the webmaster.
The Long Riders’ Guild has mentored or assisted more than 150 equestrian expeditions. Exciting new journeys are about to begin, including the first ride across the length of Japan by the veteran New Zealand Long Rider Ian Robinson. Plus, many remarkable journeys have recently been completed. German Long Rider Gunter Wamser completed his epic 20,000 mile ride from Patagonia to Alaska. British Long Rider William Reddaway rode to the four corners of England, during which time he visited 30 historic cathedrals and abbeys. American Long Rider Sea G Rhydr completed her "ocean to ocean" ride across the United States. Dutch Long Rider Arita Baaijens completed the first modern circumnavigation of the entire Altai Mountain Range on horseback.
National Geographic honours Long Rider
National Geographic has honoured Australian Long Rider, Tim Cope, who made an astonishing 6,000 mile solo journey from Mongolia to Hungary. Nat Geo aired a television programme entitled On the Trail of Genghis Khan - which is also the name of Tim's book.
11,000 Riders Set World Record
Though it doesn’t qualify as a journey, two Associate Members of the Long Riders Guild participated in the world's largest equestrian gathering. Robyn Hepburn and Nigel Brown joined an estimated 11,200 horses and riders in an astonishing equestrian event held in Mongolia.
In an alarming article entitled, “Nightmare at the Border,” Long Rider Filipe Leite explains how crossing international boundaries has been the most difficult hazard during his epic 10,000 mile ride from Canada to Brazil.
A vital report entitled, “Ticks and Travel – A Deadly Peril,” has been released by Long Rider Lucy Leaf. It is the first equine travel study to document how ticks carrying Lyme Disease represent one of the most frightening threats faced by Long Riders today.
Renowned Long Rider author Jeremy James understands that to travel on horseback connects us to our surroundings in a way no other form of travel can. In his remarkable article, “The Mystic Mantle of the Horse,” Jeremy investigates how the horse becomes more far more than a form of transport.
Turkish journalist and horseman Uğurhan Acar has written “Uzun Yol Biniciliği – (Long Riding in Turkey)” the first equestrian travel in that language.
Though many Long Riders have crossed a continent, only one has written an epic length poem about such a journey. “The Long Trail West” recounts how Canadian Long Rider Lorern Stubbs followed the trail of adventure across prairies and mountains to the distant sea.
Having lived in Greece for many years, British Long Rider Penny Turner has often saddled her horse and set off to explore the fascinating country. In a poignant article entitled “Exploring the Wild West of Northern Greece,” the renowned naturalist recalls how she encountered Nature’s beauties and Mankind’s evils.
A Word from the Founder
Equestrian Explorers face a new type of threat. Authoritarian governments, equipped with unethical powers over our privacy and an ability to track our movements on the internet, pose an innovative menace to Long Riders.
During their journey across Mongolia British Long Riders Tim Mullen and Sam Southey undertook a survey of the incidences of colic among Mongol Horses. The first “Mongol Colic Study” reveals surprising discoveries.
How American Drugs corrupted English Horse Racing.
Revelations of horse doping at a top British stable rocked that nation’s
racing industry. CuChullaine O’Reilly, the founder of the Long Riders’ Guild,
charts the introduction of doping to Britain’s racetracks
more than a century
ago, revealing that cocaine and other illicit stimulants were introduced from
across the Atlantic by unprincipled American trainers.
Historical Long Rider Aimé Tschiffely continues to exert a powerful influence on the world of equestrian travel.
Two new editions of Tschiffely's Ride have been authorised. Skyhorse has released the classic book in the USA and Head of Zeus will publish a new edition in the UK in May 2014. A French edition is also under way.
The annual Aimé Tschiffely Memorial Ride will take place in the summer of 2014. If you wish to participate please contact Long Rider Peter van der Gugten.
According to numerous stories in the British and European press, it is alleged that some contestants in the endurance racing world routinely bribe vets, trainers and other competitors. As details of the scandal emerged Aimé Tschiffely was unexpectedly held up as an example of equestrian ethics.
A company called Bohemia Junction Limited has been launched in London "as a meeting place for creatives in music, film & the arts inspired by the 1950 auto biography Bohemia Junction by renowned novelist & Long Rider Aimé Felix Tschiffely."
For more news about the famous Long Rider visit his official website.
The Long Rider Anthem
Famous Canadian cowboy song-writer Corb Lund has written and recorded a song about Aimé Tschiffely. Here are the first few verses:
The Only Long Rider I Know
He might have needed a longer look
He might have read old Tschiffely's book
The truth will come with ten thousand miles in the saddle
He's seen a few good years
Between Criollo ears
And all he knows is the trail goes on and on
He's the only one I know
Pure as the driven yayo
Drifting past the ghosts of Mancha and Gato
Long Riders’ Guild News Archive
The LRG News Archive contains the world’s largest collection of equestrian travel news. It has now been re-formatted so that all hundreds of news stories are listed alphabetically under the name of the Long Rider.
Hall of Shame
The Long Riders' Guild was formed to advance the ancient art of equestrian travel, to educate people on how to make an equestrian journey, to ensure that horses are never abused, to lay false claims to rest, to protect the public from mounted charlatans and to alert the media that care should be taken when interviewing so-called horse travellers. Sadly, just like any human effort, there are occasional outlaws who appear in the world of equestrian travel. Details have been published regarding the activities of the English travellers who killed or wounded 81 horses in 49 days, the French travellers who starved their horses for 80 days in the Arctic Circle, the Hungarians whose horses were confiscated by the police and the Americans who were convicted of 21 counts of abusing their horses.
Walt Disney and Hidalgo
In 2004 the Walt Disney studio released an infamous film entitled “Hidalgo.” Supposedly “based on a true story,” the movie promoted the lies of a counterfeit Long Rider known as Frank Hopkins. In the intervening years since, the Hopkins Hoax and the Hidalgo movie have come to be viewed as an act of deliberate cinematic deception. All the while it has continued to be commonly assumed that Walt Disney himself would not have condoned this blatant disregard of the truth.
Disney the man has escaped any criticism – until now. Evidence has been discovered which demonstrates that the studio's contempt for academic truth was in fact set in motion by Walt Disney and that Hidalgo was only the latest example of a company policy originated by Disney himself.
It saddens us to report the loss of several of the Guild’s mounted heroes.
Jean Claude Denys made many long rides throughout France.
Steve O'Connor rode from Seville, Spain to Penzance, England. He also made the first modern ride to all four corners of Ireland.
Pat Schamber spent 30 years collecting equestrian travel articles and rode from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
Ginny Shumaker rode across the USA, twice, starting in 1941.