The misadventures of Texas resident Cyril Bertheau, 24, is well documented on his own social media. His goal, expressed last April on TikTok and Instagram accounts with the handle 2raw2ride was to ride “from Austin, Texas to Seattle, Washington by horse in less than 100 days.” It’s a journey of 2,300 miles or 3,700 kilometres.
There is scant evidence that Bertheau knew what he was doing, or how to train a horse for such a long ride, or even that he trained at all. He had no prior experience and bought two horses to make the journey. Shiock was first and was purchased off Craigslist, and then later Bertheau added Pete to alleviate some of the burden.
Given he chronicled his every move on social media, he amassed an outpouring of concern and criticism including allegations of animal abuse from citizens, among them equine professionals, over the health and welfare of the two horses forced to make the trek with him.
CuChullaine O’Reilly, the founder of the Long Riders’ Guild, told Insider that she wasn’t convinced Bertheau prepared enough for his journey. She explained that many long riders and their horses take many months – if not a year or two – to prepare for trips like the one Bertheau is on. “Any authentic Long Rider knows that just because you buy it, doesn’t mean the horse is ready for the road,” O’Reilly told Insider. “This is an act which reveals the magnitude of Bertheau’s equestrian travel ignorance.”
Bertheau never made it to Seattle, forced to end his ride early when police stopped him after receiving an animal welfare call from a concerned citizen. He was cited for the misdemeanor offense of not having a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection for his two horses. “I also observed Pete to have a large open/oozing and swollen saddle sore approximately 4 inches long on his right rib cage, and his left hind fetlock was significantly swollen,” one of the responding officer’s reported, adding that Pete also appeared unsound.
After this interaction, Bertheau agreed to take the horses to a vet for care. He continued the journey for another two weeks, then stopped. But he considers his journey a success, telling Insider, “I got cited and went on to continue and finish the trip a whole 2 weeks after. I didn’t abandon my trip, I finished and changed the destination midway. It was never about finishing in Seattle, it has no significance.”
Now that his ride is over, he’s put both horses on the market to be sold together; asking price is $60,000 USD. We can only hope a more sensitive and horse-savvy person buys them – although he’s stated that “I’m also open to trades of automobiles & real estate of all kinds.”