The Long Riders' Guild

Steve O’Connor


“I was lucky to have been raised when horses were still a part of the working life of Ireland. But I only wish that I had known about the Long Riders’ Guild when I was trying to organise my 2000 mile long ride from Southern Spain to Penzance following medieval pilgrim trails through Portugal, the Pyrenees and western France.


Luckily I had made contact with Basha and CuChullaine O’Reilly before I began preparing my journey around Ireland. Thanks to their immense knowledge, they were able to advise me on so many of the practical aspects of horse travel that are no longer widely known. CuChullaine, who took a special interest in my ride, also generously supplied me with portions of his research into Ireland’s equestrian past.


But their support extends beyond one ride and one life.


In March 2005 I was one of the 29 Long Riders who gathered in London for a historic meeting. The O’Reillys had invited Long Riders from five continents to witness the donation to the Royal Geographical Society of a complete collection of the equestrian travel books in The Long Riders Literary Project. Like me, many of the Long Riders who attended this historic event had been sponsored to become a Fellow in the Royal Geographical Society by the O’Reillys. Along with Gordon Naysmith, the O’Reillys are responsible for making Long Riders part of the international exploration community. To Basha and CuChullaine I say, thanks for your continued support and inspiration.”


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