Sunday, April 12, 2009

Beijing to London: The Long Horse Ride

The Long Horseride

Supported by EnduranceGB

Partnered by the Chinese Equestrian Association

photo: With members of the Chinese Equestrian Association
at Cha Dao village, Badaling Great Wall the end of the first stage, and start of the second stage..

The Long Horse Ride is a journey on horseback from Beijing to London. It is scheduled to start out shortly after the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and to arrive in London in time for the 2012 London Olympics.

The ride will bring a message of goodwill from Beijing in the Beijing Olympic year to London in the London Olympic year. It also aims to raise money for disadvantaged children through its chosen charity Schoolchildren For Children.

photo: Megan and Rowena
with Bei Bei & Jing Jing
at the China Children Charity Monument
Badaling Great Wall
October 2008

Starting from the China Children Charity Monument on the Great Wall at Badaling, it will cross the steppes, deserts and mountains of China and Central Asia, following the Great Wall and the ancient Silk Routes. In the path of the Mongols and Huns, it will skirt the northern shores of the Caspian and Black Seas, before the final leg through the fields and forests of Europe.

The second stage of the ride started on April 18th 2009
with the Opening Ceremony of the 2nd Guangting Endurance Competition. Starting from near Badaling, they will continue to follow along the Ming Great Wall of China to the other end at Jiayuguan. They expect to arrive by the beginning of August 2009

from Megan Lewis, TheLongHorseRide.blogspot:

We are now staying at a hotel and riding centre somewhere south of Beijing, and here are the horses (really ponies) we have been generously been provided with by the Shandan stud in Gansu - they travelled for 2 days on this truck to get here - this is how most horses travel in the East! The lorries don't have ramps - they are just backed up to a bank to load and unload as you see here.

This excting event coincided with a big endurance event at which about 80 horses from all over China participated. The race was run along a very sandy twisting dry river bed. Having spent the whole day being waylaid for media interviews, this was followed in the evening by a press conference for the Long Horse Ride (Sino- British Friendship Ride!) with a roomful of reporters and TV crews. Wutzala was also able to display the official certification we have now recieved from the Chinese Association for Friendship with Foreign Cities. Then a dinner and prizegiving at which I was roped in to present the prize for the champion horse!

And I almost forgot to mention our plush new trailer provided by the Chengzhan trailer company - it has two fold down beds in the stalls, a sink and cooker, an outside point to attach a shower, and an awning for us to drink our Pimms in the evenings - and I thought we would be roughing it!

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