The renaissance of equestrian exploration and long distance travel is directly related to its ease of access – you do not need costly equipment or an expensive mount. A healthy horse and a dose of personal courage enable any human to undertake a life-changing equestrian journey. This explains why in less than ten years, equestrian exploration has expanded by a staggering 4000%!
Amid this frenzy of growth, The Long Riders' Guild has spread to countries in North, South and Central America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. As this wide variety of geographic locations demonstrates, the lure of equestrian exploration has universal appeal. Dedicated to protecting, preserving and promoting the ancient art of equestrian travel, The Guild originally began with five equestrian explorers from three countries. The organization has now expanded to 39 countries, includes every major equestrian explorer alive, and has been recognized by the Royal Geographical Society and the British Horse Society as being the preeminent authority on equestrian exploration and long-distance travel.
To put the potential media impact of the World Ride into context, consider these statistics from just three countries.
There are 9.2 million horses in the United States alone, 2 million Americans own horses, 28 million people in the US participate annually in a horse-related activity and the horse industry has a direct economic effect on the U.S. of $39 billion per annum. Meanwhile, two and a half million Britons rode last year, with half of them reporting they rode outside the UK. Even more surprising is the discovery that 50% of these riders were men who chose adventurous destinations. Also of interest is the fact that horseback riding is the second most popular sport in Canada.
What this proves is that horses represent a universal market and have an international appeal. Now consider the excitement generated by history’s first interactive equestrian epic.
Thanks to its extensive links to various international media outlets, The Long Riders’ Guild, its attendant websites, literary collections and equestrian explorers enjoy a prominent profile around the world. The Guild’s primary website has, in the last twelve hours, drawn visitors from America, England, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Japan, Ireland, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Mongolia, India, Finland, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, South Africa, Malta, Portugal, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Norway, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Only the magic of the horse could draw people from 29 countries together this way.
Though Basha and CuChullaine have deliberately kept their equestrian travel plans largely private while they devoted themselves to creating the Long Riders’ Guild, they have fielded queries, granted interviews, provided inspiration and helped create equestrian travel stories for newspaper journalists, magazine editors, book publishers, documentary film makers, radio producers, exploration webmasters and equestrian bloggers from every corner of the globe. The latest development is the intense curiosity displayed by a number of new 24-hour equestrian cable channels. The World Ride has even inspired the possible birth of a new magazine designed to cover the emerging Long Rider phenomenon. Entitled World Rider, the proposed cover story is Around the World in 1095 Days – Husband and Wife team plan an epic journey.
Because he taught journalism for Boston University, CuChullaine has a strong background in media relations. He will be working with Karen Marchbank, England’s leading exploration promotion expert, to plan media events in every country along the route. This strategy will result in massive audience figures resulting from intense exposure in newspapers, magazines, radio and television programs.
In 1908 an estimated 25,000 people lined the streets of Denver to watch contestants of America’s first endurance race come cantering in from distant Wyoming. In the late 1990s when Long Rider DC Vision made his journey across the United States, he was interviewed by more than 600 local newspapers and a hundred television shows. More recently when Australian Long Rider Tim Cope completed his ride from Mongolia to Hungary, in the hoof-prints of Genghis Khan’s army, a hundred horseback archers, a horde of Hungarian riders, and mounted ambassadors from Mongolia and Kazakhstan, rode out to witness the young Long Rider’s finish. In addition to stories in the world press, the Australian Geographic magazine published an eighteen-page cover story, the largest single article in the history of the magazine, in response to the power of horse travel.
Thanks to such efforts, experts have suggested that due to this two-year internet, television, radio, newspaper and magazine campaign, an estimated ten million people will witness, read, view or listen to Basha and CuChullaine’s return to Paris. Because the World Riders will be guided back to the Eiffel Tower by a mounted escort of Long Riders, and a cavalcade of French horse-lovers, this equestrian event will generate the most excitement since Lindberg landed.
To read published Articles about The World Ride, Basha and CuChullaine O'Reilly, The Long Riders' Guild, The Long Riders' Guild Academic Foundation, Horse Travel Books, and Classic Travel Books please click on one of the links below.