The Long Riders' Guild

A Call for Richard Dunwoody, former champion jockey, to withdraw as a competitor

One of the greatest shocks encountered by The Long Riders’ Guild was the discovery that England’s respected horseman, Richard Dunwoody, had become an active participant in an equestrian malignancy that will reduce endurance racing to the status of a dog-fight.

This disgraceful race transcends borders, undermines the chances of endurance riding becoming an Olympic sport and places the participants in extraordinary danger, making a virtue out of bad planning and equestrian deficiencies. Worse than anything, it steals the sanctity of nearly one thousand small Mongolian horses, so as to enrich the money cult who have organized this dreadful event.

In an interview with the Times of London newspaper, Dunwoody was quoted as saying, “We are here for a good time, not a long time.” That philosophy of bonhomie is now being employed to entice raw amateurs into participating in a race whose menace would tax the skills of the best equestrian explorers or the riding abilities of talented endurance racers.

That a trusted public figure, and a noted horseman, such as Dunwoody would jeopardize his reputation and mislead the young into danger is unsporting and un-English.

This is a call to Dunwoody to remember that no matter how far down the wrong road you have ridden, it is never too late to turn around. He needs to prove that he is still a champion by publicly withdrawing from this dishonourable equestrian event.

New:  Unfortunately, according to a cover story in the July 2009 edition of Geographical, the journal of the Royal Geographical Society, Dunwoody was also involved in a "challenging horse trek through the High Pamirs of Tajikistan."  The subheading reads, "The search for new and exciting travel opportunities - not to mention good dinner party stories - has led to a rise in the popularity of truly adventurous holidays."  The last paragraph includes this phrase:  "By now, several of the horses are lame and, after 16 consecutive days riding, most are close to exhaustion."    The Long Riders' Guild is shocked at the idea that any horseman, let alone a former champion jockey, should consider exhausted and lame horses as good subjects for dinner-party stories.

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