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CuChullaine O'Reilly

(2 Hours, 24 Minutes)

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Traveling down a truly unique and fringe road, BoA:Audio welcomes equestrian researcher and long rider CuChullaine O'Reilly for a discussion on his groundbreaking book Deadly Equines: The Shocking True Story of Meat-Eating and Murderous Horses. Over the course of this two hour adventure, we'll discuss CuChullaine's powerful case for meat-eating horses, including historical accounts from ancient and contemporary times, the collective 'equestrian amnesia' that has befallen the 'civilized world,' and the reaction to his research from the equestrian community. Plus, we'll discuss murderous horses, a separate, but equally bizarre anomaly that CuChullaine has uncovered. Along the way, we'll also spend considerable time discussing the mind-bending world of long riding.

Fascinating, enlightening, and awe-inspiring, this conversation is a proverbial 'long ride' of esoteric insights on both equines and humans with the remarkable CuChullaine O'Reilly.

Full Preview: We kick things off by first finding out about CuChullaine's organization The Long Riders Guild and we learn about the remarkable world of long riding. CuChullaine details the birth and evolution of the Long Riders Guild as well as what sets a long distance equine travelers apart from the rest of the horse community. This leads to some discussion about how the massive drop in the horse population in America has resulted in a form of 'equine amnesia' in our culture. Looping around to our more traditional opening question, we get the bio / background on CuChullaine O'Reilly and find out how his research evolved and how he ended up discovering the meat-eating aspect of horses. Staying within the realm of the 'equine amnesia' which has afflicted modern culture, CuChullaine details how amazingly prevalent and relied upon horses were in cities at the turn of the century before the automobile rendered them obsolete.

Diving in to the 'O'Reilly Anomaly,' CuChullaine explains how he stumbled upon stories of meat-eating horses and then struggled with how to properly bring this startling information to light. CuChullaine talks about some of the reports of meat-eating horses that he first discovered, including an article in National Geographic. Next we look at some specific accounts of meat-eating horses, starting with some tales from ancient times, including King Diomedes' savage equines, the Dappled Demon of Japan, and how Alexander the Great had a legendary encounter with a murderous horse.

Clarifying one critical aspect of CuChullaine's book, we talk about how he has uncovered two separate, distinct traits of horses: meat-eating and murderous (i.e. predatory), which are not necessarily dependant upon each other. To that end, CuChullaine dispels the popular notion that horses are animals of prey, talking about how reports of aggressive horses are more prevalent that listeners may think. We also have CuChullaine share one of the stories from the book, he talks about the 180's tale of the Maneater of Ode, where horses had been given by an English king to a royal in India. This horse, according to the story, raged through the streets of the town, was captured, and then forced by the royal to fight a tiger.

Sharing another story found in the book, CuChullaine talks about Lisette, a vicious mare that allegedly killed numerous Russian soldiers during the Napoleonic war. He also reveals another story of a similar murderous wartime horse that has come to light since the book was published. We then look another key part of Deadly Equines, which is the surprising number of meat-eating horses that were used by the explorers who first explored the North and South poles. CuChullaine also notes that this connects with further written evidence from the time, where the British War Manual also indicated that horses can eat meat.

Getting meta on the idea of meat-eating horses, CuChullaine ponders why people should even care what horses eat. Continuing to unravel the meat-eating horse enigma, we examine how accounts of horses in Tibet suggest that such behavior is not necessarily a matter of necessity, but can be a regular part of the equine diet. This segues into some discussion on how the teeth, jaw, and digestive system of a horse is surprisingly similar to omnivorous humans.

Next we find out about the reaction to Deadly Equines from average horse owners. CuChullaine talks about how both the cryptozoology and skeptic community have both been surprisingly receptive to the concepts found in the book. We also learn how the equestrian community, part of a million dollar industry, reacted to CuChullaine's controversial ideas and we hear stories of surprising openness to the subject as well as outright censorship of the concepts. CuChullaine speculates on why these publications would censor the story of meat-eating horses.

In light of the vaguely 'paranormal' aspect of CuChullaine's research, we find out how the scientific community has responded to the concept of meat-eating horses. CuChullaine expands upon the idea of 'equestrian amnesia' and explains how it goes beyond merely horses' diet. Getting back to the meat-eating trait, we examine the possibility, suggested by case reports, that such a diet would give horses additional strength and durability. This segues into how CuChullaine dissuades readers and listeners from actually feeding their horses meat and he explains his stance on that issue.

For those who cannot fathom the idea of an aggressive horse, CuChullaine details how an equine could (and, according to some reports, has) attack and kill a human or other animal. Going down a slightly different road, we find out how zebras fit into the concept of meat-eating horses. This leads to CuChullaine talking about wolves and how they, too, are shrouded in misconceptions. We then pull the camera even further back to examine how disconnected mankind has become from the animal kingdom.

This leads to some talk about the widespread 'equinocide' which happened at the turn of the 1900's when the automobile displaced the nation's horse population of 21 million creatures. CuChullaine shares the grim story of what became of these millions of unwanted horses. The conversation then turns back to long riding and CuChullaine talks about how equestrian travelers are a solitary breed and quite different from other horse related communities. We then talk about how long riding, today, is actually more difficult due to the widespread swath of civilization. CuChullaine shares some stories from long riders who have made tremendously arduous journeys.

The conversation then turns to a veritable jam session as we cover a number of different aspect of CuChullaine's research, including additional stories and cases of meat-eating horses being used in Arctic exploration. We also explore the shadowy world of 'horse whispering' and CuChullaine explains why he is not of fan of this training practice and how it is rather cult-like. We also find out if the animal rights groups have responded to CuChullaine's work and he talks about his research into animal abuse.

Heading towards the close, CuChullaine takes Binnall on a virtual long ride from Boston to Chicago, explaining how the process works. We also find out where folks can pick up a copy of Deadly Equines. And, right before we close things out, we find out that CuChullaine is planning a long ride that will span the entire globe, which he then details for us.

CuChullaine O'Reilly Bio

CuChullaine O’Reilly has spent more than thirty years studying equestrian travel techniques on every continent. After having made lengthy trips by horseback across Pakistan, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers’ Club. Upon completing Khyber Knights, he founded the Long Riders’ Guild, the world's first international association of equestrian explorers. The organization has Members in forty countries, all of whom have made a qualifying equestrian journey of at least one thousand miles. The Guild has supported more than a hundred equestrian expeditions on every continent except Antarctica.

The author is married to the Swiss Long Rider, Basha Cornwall-Legh, who rode her Cossack stallion, Count Pompeii, from Volgograd to London, becoming the only person in the twentieth century to ride out of Russia.

The O’Reillys are the webmasters of The Long Riders’ Guild website. At two-thousand plus pages, and still growing, and having now been visited by more than a million people world-wide, this website is the repository of the largest collection of equestrian travel information in human history.

Additional material from the O'Reillys can be found at the Long Riders Guild Academic Foundation.

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