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Basha O'Reilly

A horsewoman from the age of three, in 1994 Basha O’Reilly accompanied Colonel John Blashford-Snell and the Scientific Exploration Society on an expedition to Mongolia. In 1995 Basha rode her Cossack stallion, Count Pompeii, from Volgograd to London. Then she rode from Mexico to Wyoming along the legendary Outlaw Trail. In recognition of her equestrian explorations, Basha was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorer’s Club.

Basha went on to become one of the Founders of the Long Riders’ Guild, the world’s international association of equestrian explorers. As director of the Long Riders’ Guild Press, she has published more than 200 equestrian and travel books in five languages. Basha is the Executor of the Tschiffely Literary Estate and is the webmaster of the largest collection of equestrian travel information in history.







It seemed like a perfectly natural thing to do. Go to Russia, 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 the author of this remarkable book.

“Bandits and Bureaucrats” unfolds in 1994 when a swirling political landscape allowed the author to travel through a recently off-limits country. What she 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.

Unexpected discoveries quickly followed. Because of decades of communist repression, ordinary people had never seen a woman in the saddle and in a landscape devoid of fences Basha rode from Russia into Belarus simply by crossing the river.

Though she relished the simplicity of this new life, the author had to contend with the harsh realities of equestrian travel including KGB interviews, risky rapists and horse-hating bureaucrats. With its rich details, the book qualifies as an important addition to the history of equestrian travel. Yet there is more to this tale than reaching a distant geographic goal.

Written by one of the foremost female equestrian explorers alive today, Basha’s story explains how the journey encouraged her to change the direction of her life. When the western obsession with possessions was replaced with a love of personal liberty, what appeared to be the end of a journey was only the beginning of a life lived at the gallop.

Sometimes our soul's song stirs. The ice that has confined us begins to crack. Lethargy burns off in the heat of a newly discovered passion. Gypsy blood, long denied, sings to a moon, long ignored. And our life is suddenly taken away from where we lived, from what we knew, from who we were. Here is the tale of how a brave woman discovered a horse that took her past frontiers, both physical and spiritual, into a new history, a new life, and a new name.

The result is that what might have been a simple travel tale becomes the remarkable story of a woman’s transformation and the magnificent Cossack stallion that went on to become the symbol of the international Long Riders' Guild.

To order the book, please contact The Long Riders’ Guild


This is a story book for children who love horses! It was written by one of the foremost female equestrian explorers alive today. Basha O'Reilly rode Count Pompeii, the Cossack stallion, more than 2,500 miles from Russia to England. She then made a second trip through the cowboy country of the USA and helped form The Long Riders' Guild, the world's first international association of equestrian travellers. A dedicated horse woman, a mother, and a talented writer, Basha brings all these skills to bear in the exciting new "Little Long Rider Series." Designed for children aged seven to ten, each of the books is based on the historical journey of a real life Long Rider and his or her horse hero. The books are delightfully illustrated with large black and white drawings which can be coloured in by the Little Long Riders.

To order the book, please contact The Long Riders’ Guild


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