Around the world in four years
When Manfred Schulze set out from Geisenheim, Germany, a small town on the Rhine River, he wanted to see the world.
More than three years later, Schulze has documented and photographed most of his journey around the world on horseback.
“As soon as the foal can travel along, I’ll continue my ride from the American West Coast,” he said. The small colt is stabled in Carson City for now.
Schulze continued his journey Thursday morning, heading south toward Las Vegas. He expects to be home in the year 2000.
The 53-year-old Schulze has been riding since April 7, 1996. He’s paying for his trip partly through an advance from a German book company.
He also relies on the kindness and generosity of residents in the towns where he passes.
Schulze started out his adventure heading east, riding his Hucul breed of horse: Puschkin, a 10-year-old gelding, and Panca, a 8-year-old mare. He has passed through Russia, Siberia, and Mongolia.
“Then, the Chinese authorities forced me to haul my horses through the country within three days. Riding was strictly prohibited because of dubious security reasons,” he said.
From there he road through Korea, and the seaport of Tianjin. There authorities claimed that Puschkin had a contagious disease and should be put down and burned, or taken out of the country.
“With the help of the German and the American embassy as well as the American quarantine authorities, I managed to fly my horses to the states,” Schulze said.
Once in the American quarantine center, veterinarians examined the horses and found them to be healthy and sound.
“But, they detected quite a surprise,” he said. “Panca was pregnant and due to foal in April of this year.”
The sire, Schulze speculates, is a Mongolian stallion.
“He’s Ulan Bator, a nice chestnut with flaxen mane and tail,” he said. Timugin, the foal, was born on a horse ranch between San Francisco and Sacramento.
He said his journey across the United States is dependent on how fast the colt can travel.
“So far this journey was worth every single day,” he said. “People around the globe have helped me to understand why it is so important to promote the idea of one world without frontiers. Regardless of race, confession, nationality, sex or age, I found it possible to build a deep understanding with people of every country.”
While traveling across America, he said that he is looking for sponsors and support drivers to complete his journey.
Alex Kersh, of Carson City, a German immigrant, said he has spent several days with Schulze, and looks forward to help publicize his trip.
“I was just really interested in his story, and I wanted to help him out,” Kersh said. “He’s all by himself, and can use the help.”
He said that anyone wishing to help can call 883-5589.
Schulze said the horses have been key to opening doors for him.
“They opened hearts and minds along the way,” he said. “I therefore deeply believe that horses can help us build a better world and reduce prejudices among humans.”
He said he expects to arrive in New York by 2000, and from there travel to France before making his way back to his hometown in Germany.