Man using cross-country on horseback responds to critics who say he's abusing his horse

  • Cyril Bertheau, 24, bought a horse on Craigslist and is using it from Austin to Seattle.
  • His viral journey has stirred anger among the many equestrian group, which is worried about his horse’s welfare.
  • Bertheau declined to reply questions on his horse’s well being and complained about “busybodies.”

A Texas man who has gone viral for his plan to trip on horseback from Texas to Washington dismissed criticism from equestrian consultants, who need him to get off his excessive horse and handle well being issues about his steed. 

Cyril Bertheau, 24, bought a horse on Craigslist and charted a path from Austin to Seattle, planning to make the two,300-mile journey in 100 days. After a send-off with in depth media protection in April, Bertheau promised to maintain his followers up to date about his journey on Instagram and TikTok. He selected the deal with, “2raw2ride.”

He additionally arrange accounts on Venmo and Money App. He stated any donations “will go to beer.” 

However shortly after his journey started, he began seeing feedback on these social media accounts from folks involved concerning the welfare of his horse, Shiok. A petition launched earlier this month accused Bertheau of “horse abuse” and demanded he give up his journey.

CuChullaine O’Reilly, the founding father of the Lengthy Riders’ Guild, for example, is satisfied Bartheau didn’t put together sufficient for his journey. Many lengthy riders and their horses take many months – if not a 12 months or two – to arrange for journeys just like the one Bartheau is on.

“Any genuine Lengthy Rider is aware of that simply since you purchase it, does not imply the horse is prepared for the highway,” O’Reilly instructed Insider by e-mail. “That is an act which reveals the magnitude of Bertheau’s equestrian journey ignorance.”

Reached by Insider for remark, Bartheau didn’t elaborate on how lengthy he skilled with Shiok previous to departure, what that coaching consisted of, or how a lot hay and grain he has been feeding the horse day by day. Bartheau additionally declined to reply questions on how he chosen his horse, his journey route, and his 100-day timeline. 

“Me & my horses are being supported remotely by a crew and all my horses’ wants are being met & fastidiously monitored constantly,” Bartheau instructed Insider in an emailed assertion. “Not every thing i’ve accomplished is ideal however horse nicely being is my #1 precedence and that i’ll do something wanted to finish my journey safely.”

Bartheau didn’t elaborate on who his “crew” consists of, nor did he reply questions on his earlier equestrian expertise. 

“These accusations are so ridiculous that I can’t clarify myself as i solely share content material on social media for the individuals who help me both on-line or in individual & get pleasure from my story and the adventures i encounter every day,” Bartheau instructed Insider by e-mail, including that he is been harassed, threatened, and even bodily confronted. He stated the incidents have been “fuelled by these critics & creators that declare they wish to assist & care about horse welfare.”

Bartheau declined to share particulars or data from his veterinarian visits with Insider, dismissing the issues and complaints he is acquired as coming from “busybodies who fake to care.” Bartheau beforehand instructed The Every day Beast that Shiok is “not injured and has been cleared by vets 3 times already.”


“There’s a stark distinction between horse folks i meet in individual (cattle ranchers, ranch cowboys, rodeo cowboys, …) whom i’ve had overwhelming help from& have seen my horses’ situation in individual versus the web horse group, who go off incomplete info and sometimes completely made up information,” Bartheau instructed Insider by e-mail.

A Texas rancher who hosted Bartheau and Shiok for just a few days early of their journey, nevertheless, instructed The Every day Beast that Bartheau “has no thought what he is doing.” 

“He did not feed his horse whereas he was right here,” the rancher instructed the outlet, including that they gave Shiok a few of their very own feed, for which Bartheau didn’t reimburse them. “His horse is harm, and his horse hates him. I watched that horse stroll away from him however once I went on the market, he walked as much as me.”

The rancher shared photographs and video taken of the horse with Barbara Godwin, who runs a web-based publication referred to as Horse and Rider Residing. Godwin shared these with Insider. She stated they do not present an emaciated horse — “not but” — however that Shiok’s legs have been swollen, he had lacerations, and he appeared “tender to the contact on his again.”

“I severely consider Bertheau is doing this trip solely for publicity and fame with out regard for his horse,” Godwin instructed Insider. 

Godwin famous that photographs solely present a part of the story, and it is tough to evaluate an animal with out seeing it in individual. Aviva Vincent, a veterinary social employee at Syracuse College, echoed that sentiment. 

“Footage do not do justice to truly perceive what’s going on within the anatomy of the horse or the consolation,” Vincent instructed Insider, including that the connection between Bertheau and Shiok is necessary. “He says early on, in one in all his movies, that his household has this concept round everyone has to take up a problem, and this was his, and he’s destined for this. If that’s true, that is very, very significant.” 

“What, then, is the position of the horse?” Vincent stated. “If the horse is simply the car to get from level to level, it isn’t moral as a result of the horse would not have any selection in that participation and what that appears like.” 

The Every day Beast reported that Bertheau — who seems on his social media clad in chaps, spurs, and a cowboy hat — could also be planning to promote footage of his journey to streamers like Netflix and in addition could also be planning to promote his horse. A current, cinematic video begins with a close-up of Bertheau’s face. The digital camera then slowly zooms out revealing Bertheau using one horse and main a second one, which he instructed The Every day Beast was a pack horse used to hold provides. 

He declined to reply questions from Insider about whether or not he supposed to promote the footage or his story. When requested by The Every day Beast about listening to provides to promote his horse, he stated: “I am not going to say sure, and I am not going to say no.” 

O’Reilly instructed Insider that Bertheau had “set off on a mute equine sufferer,” and that horse-loving People are “justified in expressing alarm at this unfolding tragedy.” 

“Bertheau is not the primary uninformed egotistical idiot that has put a horse’s life at risk,” O’Reilly stated. “However that does not imply his vanity and ego ought to routinely permit him to abuse a horse from Austin to Seattle.”