March 22, 2023

East Valley Times

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Gringa of horses

Some enlightened soul these days, if he’s a great expert, can come up with a theory on how to spot an exceptional guy in some, but not all, growing up and getting people talking. In the twenties, in the countryside of Algarobo in the district of Villarino, a woman disappeared from her bed every night at night. At first the parents were frightened by their strange words, but then they got used to going to the stables to look for her. The little blonde, in a long nightgown, was sleeping in the hay and next to her favorite horse. Anita is going to get people talking.

The parents were Latvians, a strange nation in general and very rare among us, and they had a good time as Buenos Aires before World War I, which turned Eastern Europe into what historian Timothy Snyder described as “bloodlands.” . The Beckers traveled this south before their country was conquered, re-conquered, re-conquered… so that Anita could have the horses’ Pompeian paradise and peace. Born in Loberia in 1916, the powerful Argentine pepsins, as Marechal said, created his Criolita.

As a teenager, Ana already knew everything about horses and wanted to devote herself to them, raising them and riding them. “It’s a man’s thing,” even parents would reply, commenting among friends on how hard it is to have a daughter like that. With a hard head, Ana diligently dreamed in her head, until one fine day she went to see a lecture by her hero, the Swiss Aimé Felix Schiffeli. Schiffeli, a schoolteacher and horseman, took his cat and his place to New York and made a name for himself testing the short Creole’s endurance. At the end of the presentation, Ana told him about her dreams and noted the reliability of the hero, not knowing that they were going to hit him with scenes: Beaker was going to go to Canada on horseback.

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But first you had to train, and that started with an easy 1,200-kilometer drive south to Lujan. President Ortiz recorded, alive, commissioned a national tour on horseback in 1942, visiting fourteen provinces during that time, a few weeks of travel and an excellent school. By 1949, Ana had found an attentive ear to her itinerary, and Evita understood her idea that “a woman who threatens men has viable enterprises.” On the first day of October 1950, “a wonderful morning”, President Perón bade him farewell and wished him well on his journey. Princip given to him by polo star Manuel Andrada and selected by a Pompeian breeder, Churrito went out Beaker with 35kg of luggage and a short pipe 38 hand.

What follows is an adventure to scare men, at least for this one. Ana Becker crosses the country, enters Bolivia, continues through Ecuador, arrives in Colombia, at which time she discovers that the Straits of Darien were already impassable – worse today, because it is a bad jungle controlled by bandits – and she leaves. Passing the Panamanian port of Colon, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, it entered the United States through Texas, passing through New Orleans, Washington, and New York, arriving in Ottawa on July 6, 1950, almost four years later.

Along the way, she becomes more than friendly with Revolver. Three times they rob her, four times they try to rape her, including once when she wakes up and her attackers argue over who goes first. There are jaguars on the road, various bandits who do not like witnesses, and even condors, which are not as passive as one might think. One day, on a narrow trail in the Andes, Becker sits on the edge of a void and rests his feet. Some condors fly overhead, their horses resting on their sides, and they take a few steps between the vertical stones. Suddenly, one of the condors swooped down and struck one of the horses with its wing. It spins and launches again like a Stuka.

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Becker doesn’t understand what’s going on, but she needs to calm Bingo, who might fall into the abyss and push her. Slaps are useless, they don’t scare big birds, but Beaker ties up an already frightened horse, blindfolds him, and fires a .38 of fury. catches the Cookie, Beaker is coming. Later, some friendly locals explained to him that the old animals, mules, donkeys and horses were not sacrificed in those payments, but rather they were let loose. The Kondors adopted the habit of pushing them into the valleys to eat them which were already dead. A few days after their attack, Beaker sees them eating a skinny, overgrown donkey.

The adventurer isn’t the only one learning on her way. Garlic repels poisonous snakes, so their horses’ legs and bellies smelled Sicilian. It turns out that horses, if nothing else, will eat rice and corn marlos. No matter how many campfires you make, the jaguar is persistent. The best way to avoid offending lovers is to promise them that one will consider their marriage proposal and talk about it “on the way back.” The world is full of poachers who don’t like running into blonde, armed Gringa.

Becker’s failure to win the Schiefly was a testament to the Criollo horse’s endurance. After leaving La Paz, Bolivia, she misses Principe and Churito, a blonde gaucha who treats her horses “with kisses rather than whips.” He had to wait until he found Luchador, a fourteen-year-old chestnut mare and twelve-year-old gray stallion. They’re not going to cover the tour either, and he’s coming to Ottawa driving Siquito and Furia.

During these thousands of kilometers, Becker meets all kinds of characters. It passes through small towns, villages and small houses lost in the countryside. He eats what they give or gets, sleeps in the open air, under a roof, in a small hut, in a fort or in that remarkably luxurious bathroom in a city hotel. It’s sung about crossing frigid mountains and ripping insects that wander through tropical swamps. She learns how huagos are stolen from Lake Titicaca, how guanacos are hunted, and how horses are driven from one end of the continent to the other.

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By the time the Argentinian ambassador to Canada picked her up—focusing on symbols, she left the congressional kilometer zero marker and reached the small portion of national territory that is the embassy—not a thread of her original clothing remained. Becker left Buenos Aires in good civilian clothes, white underwear and shiny boots, bringing what she could buy along the way, which more or less gave her Argentina. In 1954, well photographed and rested, he left for Buenos Aires with his horses. This was the last adventure, because the ship was hit by a summer storm and almost sank.

Among riders, Becker is a legend, but he doesn’t even have the fame of Schifili, Kato and Mancha. By the time he lands among us, Peronist Argentina is in crisis, Evita has been taken by cancer, and a coup is imminent. 55 leaves her because of her Peronist connections. In 1957, he published La Amazona de las Americas, with a foreword by the then-famous journalist, an adventure story that was completely opaque when it came to telling what he was thinking and what the author was feeling.

Ana Becker returned to the countryside, aged on her horses, fell ill, died in a nursing home in Bahia Blanca and was buried in Algarrobo. The city dedicated its square to the Gringa who did not allow himself to be intimidated.