|Li Jing has now been found in Russia and connected
to the international Long Riders’ Guild
One of the most interesting escapades of my years in China has been the search for Li Jing, China’s mysterious long-distance rider who completed a monumental horseback ride of over 9,000 kilometers from Moscow to Bejing a decade ago, and then seemed to vanish as far as the international equestrian community knew. The background story is told in my previous post, “Where Horses Can Take You, and My Quest for Li Jing (李荆),” where I explain how my article on horses and the Book of Mormon for Meridian Magazine resulted in a connection with the illustrious international society dedicated to long-distance riding, the Long Riders’ Guild, whose colorful and eloquent president, CuChullaine O’Reilly, asked me if I cold help them in their nine-year quest to find Li Jing. That previous Mormanity post, along with efforts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, my Chinese network and Chinese social media, including both Chinese and English comments posted on two Chinese social media sites apparently owned by Li Jing, were part of my effort to help connect Li Jing with the Long Riders’ Guild. I had also learned in my searching of Chinese-language websites that Li Jing had moved to Russia, apparently Moscow, and was still riding.
Wonderfully, Li Jing has now been found! A few days after my efforts, CuChullaine O’Reilly was contacted by a Russian organization with information about Li Jing. The President of the National Equestrian Tourism Center (NETO Russia) has connected Li Jing with the Guild, and the Guild will now be able to help support future rides and projects, and share precious information about Li Jing’s ongoing work with its international membership.
The news is already spreading around the world. From New Zealand, for example, there is this dramatic story: “World’s most elusive Long Rider finally found, riding toward the Arctic Circle,” May 2, 2018, from HorseTalk.co.nz. My minor efforts even get an undeserved mention there.
In an overly kind act, the Guild has officially named me as one of the Friends of the Guild, though I have pointed out that in my recent communication with the leader of the Russian organization, he was not aware of my efforts here in China to connect the Guild with Li Jing. His reaching out to the Guild, which he was already aware of, may have been completely fortuitous. But perhaps the prodding led to a chain of events or conversations that helped make the connection. In any case, I’m thrilled that Li Jing has been found and that another chapter in the great story of horses and humans can be more fully written.
I also hope to meet Li Jing one day, and have contacted NETO Russia to explore such opportunities. Li Jing, a native of Wuhan, China, in the heart of this land, embodies the spirit of adventure and passion that has resulted in so many great things out of China. His story needs to be told more widely here as well as around the globe. I also hope that the Guild’s newly kindled interest in the story of horses among the religions of the world will lead to more treasures of knowledge for all of us. Many thanks to Li Jing, to Gennadii Semin of NETO Russia, and especially to CuChullaine O’Reilly of the Long Riders Guild!