January 18, 2021
Basha O’Reilly wasn’t born in the saddle, but it didn’t take her long to climb on a horse and begin a life filled with adventure and romance.
From the moment she climbed aboard her first pony, Mustard, she was destined to be an equestrian explorer.
Basha, who died in France on January 13 after a brief illness, found solace in the saddle, feeding what came to be an insatiable appetite to see the world on horseback.
Her obituary is not a notice about death. It is instead a lesson in love.
Born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1947, Barbara (Basha) Cornwall-Legh began riding at the age of five. She went on to ride at Olympic-level dressage, before being drawn to the adventures of equestrian travel.
After beginning her travels in Mongolia with Colonel John Blashford-Snell of the Scientific Expedition, in the summer of 1995 Basha visited the Russian Steppes.
There she fell in love with a blazing red Cossack stallion named Count Pompeii. That was the start of a 2500-mile expedition in which she beat off a would-be rapist and an attack by robbers...