Grieving Long Rider determined to continue African journey

Billy and Christy with Nali and Chami.
Billy and Christy with Nali and Chami.

The Long Rider whose fiancée died in a horror bus smash in Tanzania late last month is determined to finish their ride through Africa.

English Long Rider Christine Henchie, 29, was killed instantly on January 28 by an out-of-control bus.

Her fiancé, South African Long Rider Billy Brenchley, 43, suffered a broken leg in the accident.

Locals from the village of Isela, Charles Mahugija, 60, and Willy Masanja, 55, also died, and 25 bystanders, including children, were mown down by the vehicle.

Brenchley has reported to the Long Rider’s Guild that both horses had survived the ordeal and were recovering, as he formulated plans to continue the ride. First, he needed to get treatment for his leukaemia.

“My leukaemia has relapsed and will require two chemotherapy treatments followed by an allogeneic stem cell transplant,” he said.

He said many people could not get into the church for Christy’s funeral.

“The wake was also well attended, with many stories and remembrances of a remarkable woman.

“Christy was cremated the following day, which was incredibly hard for me.”

He said their horses, Chami and Nali, were still at the crash site and would not be moved until he was 100 per cent sure Nali, who was also struck by the bus, was well enough to travel.

Brenchley said the horses were in the care of local horseman Don McBride. Their groom, identified as Peter, had travelled south to help in the care of the animals. He has pitched a tent next to them.

“Don has built a shelter over Nali,” Brenchley says.

“The local vet attends to them every day and changes the dressings on Nali’s leg.

“Nali moves off but never goes further than 100 metres from his shelter or Peter’s tent. Chami is free range and in good health. Nali and he are too attached for them to separate.

“Once I overcome this little hurdle I will be back to re-start the journey that Christy and I started. I think she would want that.”

Nali, he said, would have to travel in a horsebox, which would accompany him while riding Chami, who was Christy’s horse.


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