The Long Riders' Guild

Count Pompeii's Journey From Russia

It seemed like a perfectly natural thing to do. Go to Russia in 1994, befriend the Cossacks, buy a stallion and then trot him more than 2,500 miles back to England. Of course the Soviet Union had just collapsed and no one had ever been allowed to ride out of that communist empire. But such minor obstacles didn’t deter Basha O’Reilly. Her book Bandits and Bureaucrats explains how she rode through a swirling political landscape.
What Basha found was a nation in unexpected transition. Emerging from decades of brutal governance, for a brief moment in time Russia’s rules were no longer enforced and a rare opportunity existed to cross the secretive nation on horseback. In a landscape devoid of fences Basha rode from Russia into Belarus simply by crossing the river.

Yet there is more to this journey than reaching a distant geographic goal.

Count Pompeii, Basha’s magnificent Cossack stallion, went on to become the symbol of the international Long Riders' Guild.

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