Few lives have been filled with so many enormous events. When Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952 Joseph Stalin ruled the Soviet Union. That mighty empire disappeared and the world changed but for 70 years there was one political and emotional stability in millions of people’s lives: Queen Elizabeth II.
The longest reigning British monarch in history, she was Commander in Chief of the Army, Head of the Church of England, attended 21,000 public engagements, gave her Royal Assent to 4,000 Acts of Parliament and raised more than £1.4 billion for worthy causes. She met five Popes and thirteen US Presidents. She greeted 15 British prime ministers from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss.
Yet politics never dimmed her passion for horses. She first mounted at the age of 3 and spent the next 93 years of her life, riding, raising and racing thousands of horses. This unique biography offers the first chronological equestrian review of this remarkable royal horse woman.
It took more than five years to complete this intensive examination that documents how horses deeply influenced the personal and professional life of England’s most famous author. Her Majesty was the first to inspect this treasure trove that contains a rare pictorial biography, the first illustrated list of equine actors and an outstanding collection of articles.
Shakespeare and Horses: Facts and Findings is a special summary article designed to provide the average reader with an easy to understand but vitally important list of facts about how horses exerted such a strong influence on Shakespeare’s personal and professional life. It contrasts the remarkable differences between the equestrian worlds of Queen Elizabeth 1 and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Let me ask you a question. What do these six men have in common: Jonathan Swift, Lord Byron, Charles Darwin, Oscar Wilde, William Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene?
If you answered, “They are all famous English authors” you would be partially correct. If you neglected to add that they were all enthusiastic Long Riders whose equestrian journeys influenced their lives and literature, then you will have missed a vital historical fact.
Darwin reveled in the horseback adventures he made in the jungles of Brazil, across the pampas of Argentina and through the Australian outback. If the father of natural selection has been stereotyped as a geriatric with dyspepsia, then could the Bard of Avon likewise have been misinterpreted? This portion of the Shakespeare Equestrian Collection considers that possibility.
After completing his journey across Europe, Scottish Long Rider Louis Hall is preparing to ride “Ocean to Ocean” across the United States. His route will take him from Florida’s Atlantic to California’s Pacific.
He said, “I aim to travel across America by horse because this animal has no time for creed or colour. The horse does not judge you or receive you from where you come from, which political party you align with, your sexual preference, but it measures you equally by what you give to the world around you. It lives off peaceful hearts and minds and cultivates companionship and, above all, connection. This connection is one that unifies people from all walks of life. The horse brings people closer together by opening us up to ourselves. As I have discovered in my previous rides, the nature of the horse sees through the troubles that humans create, thus uniting us in a pure and untainted way.”
Will we stand aside and watch as humanity in its arrogance continues to ruthlessly ravage the fragile ecological balance and thereby transform the planet into our coffin? If children are to have a chance, we have a blindingly obvious individual duty to save the Earth by abolishing the harmful habits that have brought us to the brink of collective suicide.
Rising temperatures around the planet present a danger to millions of equine lives. Yet the vital facts of how heat can injure or kill horses is not widely known or understood. The most extensive international study of this threat is contained in the Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration, written by CuChullaine O’Reilly, Founder of the Long Riders’ Guild. He has adapted the illustrated chapter which contains the collective wisdom of Long Riders past and present. The author has authorised HRL magazine to encourage the public dissemination of the article in the hope that this vital information may help save equine lives.
It was the 1920s and a new product called Ken-L-Ration dog food was an instant hit. The only problem was that the plant’s owner needed hundreds of thousands of horses to fill the cans of dog food he was selling. The result was horse slaughter on an unimaginable scale, with the Ken-L-Ration company bleeding the country dry of horses in its quest for even greater profits. That’s when one man single handedly attempted to stop the equinocide.
The real story of America’s first cattle drive would shock many an old cowboy and bring a self-justified, sly grin to any eastern tenderfoot. It is one of the lost secrets of the cattle drive story and it could not have occurred in a more unlikely place.
Though children, women and men have ridden “ocean to ocean” across North America, no one has ever dared attempt to ride from Russia’s Pacific to England’s Atlantic. The first solo equestrian journey across Eurasia will require Nikita Gretsi to travel 15,000 kilometers and survive minus 60 degree Siberian cold. The first such attempt is now underway.