Once they were famous from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
If you had asked any American school children in 1911 who Bud and Temple Abernathy were, they would have given you a look of disbelief. "Everyone knows the Abernathy Boys," they would have said. And they would have been correct, because the mounted adventures of the little Long Riders from Oklahoma Territory had taken the United States by storm.
On their first equestrian journey in 1909 the tiny travelers, aged nine and five, encountered a host of Old West obstacles, including wolves and wild rivers, when they rode more than 1,000 miles from Oklahoma to Sante Fe and back - ALONE!
The following year the intrepid brothers set their sights on New York City, which they reached after a month of hard riding. Along the way Orville Wright offered to take them up in his new-fangled airplane and President Taft gave them a warm welcome when they reached the White House.
Kids envied them. Women adored them. Grown men pulled hair from their horses' tails to keep as souvenirs. This public frenzy culminated when Bud and Temple rode their Oklahoma ponies alongside Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders in a victory parade witnessed by more than a million cheering New Yorkers. Even though they were only six and ten years old, Temple and Bud Abernathy were a national sensation.
In the summer of 1911, they did the impossible. They rode nearly 4,000 miles, from New York to San Francisco, in only sixty-two days. Once again, the Abernathy Boys had made a historic ride without any adult assistance and accomplished an equestrian feat which has never been equaled.
Now this superbly-written version of their remarkable story, penned by a member of their family in 1910, has been reissued in conjunction with the creation of a life-sized statue being raised in honor of the world's youngest equestrian travelers.
"The Abernathy Boys were mounted heroes whose memory deserves to be cherished by a new generation of children and horse lovers," said Basha O'Reilly, a Founder Member of The Guild and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, who rode from Russia to England.
This new edition celebrates the equestrian legacy of Bud and Temple Abernathy.