Tschiffely Aimé Félix (w2722)
Aimé Félix Tschiffely with "Mancha", one of the two horses that he rode during the Buenos Aires-New York voyage that took 3 years, from 1925 to 1928

Tschiffely Aimé Félix (w2722)

  • Alias-Pseudonimo-Pseudonyme: -
  • Nationality-Nazionalità-Nationalité: Switzerland, Svizzera, Suisse
  • Birth/death-Nascita/morte-Naissance/mort: 1895-1954
  • Means of transport-Mezzo di trasporto-Moyen de transport: On horseback, A cavallo, A cheval
  • Geographical description-Riferimento geografico-Référence géographique: Americas, Americhe, Amérique
  • Internet: Visit Website
  • Wikidata: Visit Website
  • Additional references-Riferimenti complementari-Références complémentaires: Aimé Félix Tschiffely. 1933. Tschiffely's Ride.

A. F. Tschiffely was born into an old Swiss family in Bern in 1895 where he was educated and became a teacher. An adventurer at heart, he left Switzerland to teach in England in his early 20s, but found a new passion as a professional footballer and boxer. He then moved to Buenos Aires where he settled into teaching again, at St. George's College, Quilmes, and later as the temporary headmaster of the Buenos Aires English High School, but still found time on long vacations for adventures riding horses and exploring the surrounding pampas.

He made many friends among the ranchers and learned a lot about horses and outdoor travel. In 1925, at the age of thirty, he decided to undertake a journey by horseback from Buenos Aires to Washington DC. At the time (and even to this day) most would assume this could not be done. A newspaper at the time declared "Impossible! Absurd! The man must be mad!". He wrote about his ride in a bestselling book called Southern Cross to Pole Star, The Ride or Tschiffely's Ride in which he recounts his epic three-year journey from 1925 to 1928 on two native Criollo horses named Mancha (meaning Spotty) and Gato (meaning Cat), direct descendants of horses brought to Argentina by the conquistador Pedro de Mendoza in 1535, the first horses brought to the new world. These horses were of the best Spanish stock, at the time, the best in Europe, which had gone feral in the pampas. They were legendary for their toughness, intelligence and stamina.

After Ride Tschiffely became a famous successful author and moved with his wife Violet to London where he continued to write more books, one of which was a biography of his friend Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham who had died in 1936. In 1937 he returned to South America and made another journey, by car, to the southern tip of the continent, recording his experiences among the natives and the changes brought on by modernity in This Way Southward (1940).

In February 1998, and according to his final wishes, his ashes were buried next to Gato and Mancha in Emilio Solanet's farm, near Ayacucho, Argentina. Solanet was an argentinian National Deputy who bought the two horses to Tehuelche chief Liempichún, in Patagonia.