“These Accusations Are So Ridiculous”: Weeks After Receiving Saddening Advice for His 100-Day Horse Riding Trip, 24-Year-Old Man Defends His Actions

Published 05/16/2023, 4:08 PM EDT

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The equestrian community is extremely protective of their horses. For them, horses are not just a means to an end, rather, individual personalities in their own right that deserve to thrive. This is probably the reason why Cyril Bertheau, who is riding a horse from Austin to Seattle, which is a 2,300-mile journey, came under fire.

The 24-year-old bought a horse from Craiglist, and then promptly began the insanely long trip. Questions have already been raised about his ill-preparedness for the journey. And now, the allegations have escalated to negligence and animal abuse, as many have started claiming the horse is in the wrong hands. This is how the youngster has addressed these concerns.

Equestrian community speaks out against dicey horse rider

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Cyril Bertheau’s journey started with an elaborate media send-off and continued with frequent social media updates about how the ride was going. Everything seemed fine for a while. However, soon, allegations started arising that claimed that Bertheau was not treating his horse, called Shiok, properly. A petition was introduced on Change.org, where people demanded that Bertheau should stop his journey. Insider reached out to Bertheau for comment, however, the rider refuse to answer questions about the journey, or how his horses were been taken care of.

 

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According to Insider, the only comment made by the 24-year-old about his journey was that, “Me & my horses are being supported remotely by a team and all my horses’ needs are being met & carefully monitored continuously.” Berhteau, after facing stark scrutiny from the online equestrian community, added, “These accusations are so ridiculous that I will not explain myself as i only share content on social media for the people who support me either online or in person & enjoy my story and the adventures i encounter on a daily basis.” The young rider revealed that due to the ‘rumors’ circulating, people had harassed and physically threatened him.

Around two weeks ago, Cyril Berhteau had posted a video on his Instagram account, where he took the opinion of a sheriff and some cowboys, who claimed that Shiok was in good condition, and there seemed no reason for any worry. This video was not received well by his audience, who claimed that Bertheau was lying, and wanted to cover up his tracks by providing false and staged information. Several claimed that a lack of a proper report on the horse’s health from a veterinarian further supported this fact. One of the major reasons for the lack of trust was that the rider was not ready to reveal his plan for the journey.

Will a lack preparation cost this rider all respect?

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When the professional equestrian couple, Pete Breidahl and Luisa Breidahl, got wind of Bertheau’s plan for this arduous journey, they appreciated his vigor but were concerned at the same time. The couple spoke out about ethical riding and animal wellness on their YouTube channel, and according to them, such a long journey would take months to prepare for. In their opinion, not only does the rider need to establish a connection with the horse, the animal’s health and other needs need to be extensively mapped out and taken care of.  Any questions from Insider about his pre-travel plans or the way he trained Shiok, were met by silence from Bertheau.

Although, experts claim that he is silent because he has nothing to say. The report by Insider revealed that CuChullaine O’Reilly, the founder of the Long Riders’ Guild, was of the opinion that, “Any authentic Long Rider knows that just because you buy it, doesn’t mean the horse is ready for the road. This is an act which reveals the magnitude of Bertheau’s equestrian travel ignorance.” In his defence, Bertheau told Insider, “Not everything i’ve done is perfect but horse well being is my #1 priority and i’ll do anything needed to complete my journey safely.” Insider further reported that eye-witness accounts, such as one from a Texas rancher who hosted Bertheau and the horse, revealed that Berhteau did not feed Shiok theentire time he was there.

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Watch this story: “People Are Acting Like Zombies”: Viral Video of Bloody Kentucky Derby Brawl Leads to Brutal Reactions From Sports World

There seem to be too many contradictory stories and allegations around this issue. Only time will tell which of these are actually true.

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Written by:

Apoorva Behl

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Apoorva Behl is a sports writer for EssentiallySports. With a range that would make Bruce Lee proud, Apoorva’s writing embodies the philosophy of "Be Like Water," flowing seamlessly between a diverse range of sports and sensitive angles. Her articles are known to resonate with her audience, earning her a common spot on the Editor’s Pick list.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh