Sad news coming our way from the Horse Talk website today where a story has been posted about an awful accident in Tanzania. Long Rider Christine Henchie and her fiance/travel companion Long Rider Billy Brenchley were struck by a bus earlier this week, claiming the life of Christine and putting Billy in the hospital with serious wounds. Their horses were also left in grave condition, fighting for life following the incident.
Christine and Billy have spent the last few years on one of the most ambitious equestrian adventures that you can imagine. The two set off in 2007 to ride their horses from the northernmost point of Africa – Cape Blanc in Tunisia – to the southernmost point located at Cape Agulhas in South Africa. Since that time they have faced a number of obstacles and challenges, both natural and manmade, while enjoying numerous encounters with local people and their cultures.
On Monday of this week, the two Long Riders stopped to visit with the inhabitants of a remote village in Tanzania known as Isela. While there, an out of control bus smashed into the gathered crowd, claiming the lives of Henchie and several bystanders. The Horse Talk article notes that “Charles Mahugija, 60, and Willy Masanja, 55, were slain and 25 bystanders, including many small children, were mown down by the speeding vehicle.”
Brenchley managed to survive the accident but suffered a broken leg in the process. He is now in a hospital in Kenya, where he is recovering from his broke bones and broken heart. The two horse, both of which survived the accident, are in the care of local villagers in Tanzania, who are feeding and caring for them while they wait to be retrieved.
The article has a lot more details on both the accident itself and the amazing journey that Christine and Billy were sharing with one another. From the sounds of things, it was an experience unlike any other, with dozens of local Africans following them at all times, fascinated by their horses. It is both an enthralling and tragic read, and it is a shame that it has ended in this fashion.
My condolences go out to Billy, as well as Christine’s friends and family. This is definitely a sad story.