Beker Ana (w1698)

Alias-Pseudonimo-Pseudonyme: -
Nationality-Nazionalità-Nationalité: -
Birth/death-Nascita/morte-Naissance/mort: -
Means of transport-Mezzo di trasporto-Moyen de transport: On horseback-A cavallo-A cheval
Geographical description-Riferimento geografico-Référence géographique: North America-America del Nord-Amérique du Nord, South America-America del Sud-Amérique du Sud

Ana Beker, the daughter of Lithuianian immigrants, had been a keen horsewoman almost from the day of her birth in Argentina.  “One day,” Ana writes in her book, “Courage to Ride”, from which this extract is taken, “I went to hear a lecture by the Swiss-born Aimé Felix Tschiffely, who had been a schoolmaster in the Argentine town of Quilmes, and had performed the feat of riding from Buenos Aires to New York with his two horses Mancha (‘Spot’) and Gato (Cat’) who all became world-famous after their achievement of the journey.  He gave a full account, accompanied by pictures, of his progress over 10,000 miles of marshes, rivers, mountains, fenland, forest and desert in the New World.  

After the lecture I obtained an interview with ‘Chifeli’, as he was generally called.  I told him I was planning to ride Ottawa, Canada, a 17,000 mile journey that would surpass his own.  Tschiffely stared at me for a moment in amazement.  Then his characteristic, indulgent smile appeared.  He expressed the view that it would be impossible for me to succeed in my plan because I was a woman!”

Undeterred, the young Long Rider headed towards Canada.  Sadly, Principe and Churrito, the two horses she set out with, died in Bolivia – coincidentally within a few days of each other.

Rest not
Life is sweeping by
go and dare before you die.
Something mighty and sublime,
leave behind to conquer time.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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