Aimé Tschiffely - Long Rider

 

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Tributes to Aimé Tschiffely from around the world

Many people, not just Long Riders, have been inspired by Aimé's heroic journey.  Here are a few (in alphabetical order) -  if you have your own story to tell, please contact us!

 

 

Pedro Luiz Aguiar, who made a journey in Brazil with two other men using six Mangalarga stallions.

"At the age of 15, I was invited by a friend to visit his family farm. Nevertheless, although living on a farm, I did  not have a good horse to ride the 150 km distance back and forth. 

As my friend's father was a Mangalarga horse breeder, he offered to lend me a horse called “Gato” to make this trip.  Extremely curious, I asked him the reason for that name.  So, he acquainted me with the journey made by Tschiffely, Gato and Mancha. Their history became part of my life's dream.  The dream came true 45 years later when I set off on a 20,000 km. (12,000 mile) equestrian journey around my country.  This ride to all four corners of Brazil lasted 2 years and 45 days."

Verne Albright, author of The Long Way to Los Gatos

In 1967 Verne rode two Peruvian Pasos from Peru to California, thus introducing these popular horses to North America.   One evening in Ecuador he was for the first time unable to find lodgings for himself or his horses, until an excited man beckoned them into his ranch.  The horses were safely lodged in a corral and Verne was ushered into the house.   The Long Rider was told that, when he had been a boy, another man riding to the USA had stayed with his family.  He couldn't recall the name of the man, but he remembered that the horses had been called Gato and Mancha.  "Not only was I following in the footsteps of A. F. Tschiffely, but my mares were lodged in a corral where Mancha and Gato, two immortals of the equine race, had once spent a night," Verne wrote.

Ana Beker, author of The Courage to Ride

In the 1940s Ana went to one of Tschiffely's lectures in Argentina, and talked to him afterwards.  She told him that having been inspired by his journey, she was  planning to ride 17,000 miles from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Ottawa, Canada, the longest capital to capital ride ever undertaken at that time.  Tschiffely expressed the view that if she succeeded her feat would surpass his own - because she was a woman!  But succeed she did.

John Coleman:  His book, Coleman's Drive from Buenos Aires to New York in a vintage Baby Austin, published in 1962, begins as follows:  "When I was a schoolboy sixteen or seventeen years ago I was in bed with the flu one Christmas holiday.  I was given various books to read.  I have forgotten the titles of most of them now, but one I will never forget:  the famous Tschiffely's Ride, which was originally called Southern Cross to Pole Star.  The pages became vivid to me as I lay in bed reading the simply told, unaffected story of what is probably the greatest ride ever made on horseback."  John Coleman repeated Tschiffely's epic, but with a vintage baby Austin car instead of two horses.

Jane Dotchin, who has made many Long Rides around the British Isles, wrote to say that she too was inspired to become an equestrian traveller after having met the famous Swiss Long Rider:

"I remember as a teenager going to a talk with slides given by Mr. Tschiffely.  He was fascinating."

Robin Hanbury-Tenison  has made several Long Rides with his wife Louella in France, China, New Zealand, Spain and Albania and is the author of numerous books.

"Many of my early expeditions were in South America: the first land crossing at the widest point by jeep; and     the first river crossing from north to south through the interior.  However, I always felt that far and away the best way to travel there and everywhere was by horse, and I was eventually inspired by reading Tschiffely's extraordinary book of his epic journey to make this my preferred method.  Since then, Louella and I have been on seven long distance rides in different parts of the world.  Thanks, also, to the further inspiration provided by the Long Riders' Guild, we are still at it - and publishing yet more books on our travels."

 

Basha O'Reilly, author of Count Pompeii: Stallion of the Steppes

"In 1995 I was riding my Cossack Stallion from Russia to England.  When we arrived at the fabled River Don, I was aghast to find the sturdy old brick bridge had been swept away, and was replaced by a floating pontoon of metal planks, with huge holes.  'I can't take a horse across that,' I thought.  But then I remembered Aimé's crossing of the rope bridge.  'If he can get his horses across that rope bridge, surely I am brave enough to take Count Pompeii across this one!' I thought.  And I did."

 

Gill Suttle, author of Between the Desert and the Deep Blue Sea

Gill made a long ride in Syria and had this to say: 

"I read and was inspired by Tschiffely!  I read his book forty years ago, and one of the things that stuck in my mind was that he carried (I think) three rifles!"

 

 

Raul and Margarita Vasconcellos rode from their adopted home in the US to their native Argentina.

Margarita was very much impressed by Tschiffely's Ride!   She convinced Raul of the "fantastic" adventure which she had held in her mind "like a dream." 

 

Günter Wamser, currently riding from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska and author of Der Abenteuerreiter

"By completing his unbelievable ride, Tschiffely made the South American Criollo horses famous. Tschiffely wrote a book about his ride and I got hold of it at the right moment. At this time I was living in Guatemala, trying to acquire knowledge about horses. I got inspired by the three heroes. Tschiffely, Mancha and Gato had proven that such a long distance ride was indeed possible. On the other hand, this ride took place 80 years ago, so, much had changed since then. But maybe it was still possible today, I thought? It’s the word “maybe” that in my eyes stood for the challenge and the adventure. Walt Disney once said: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

 

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