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Horseman

This is an article I found online. Might get boring at times but, I mean, it's impressive.

Nov. 24, 2005 - Long Rider Gene Glasscock at age 70 is about to complete a horseback journey of over 20,000 miles and three years in his quest to visit every state capital in the lower 48 states. He will arrive tomorrow at his last capital city – Columbus, Ohio. He is raising scholarship money for the children of Paraguay and sending a message to senior citizens.

On Thursday, he and his supporters will be met by Director of Agriculture Fred Dailey outside the Ohio capitol at 12:30 p.m. A reception for Gene and his guests will follow in the capitol lounge, hosted by State Auditor, Betty Montgomery.

Tomorrow he and his supporters will meet the mayor of Columbus at city hall at 9:30 a.m.

Though Glasscock can reasonably be considered a true citizen of the world, he is a native Texan, born in Farmersville. He can trace his Texas roots back to the 1820s. He was surprised no one from Texas state government greeted him in Austin. It was the first capital where he received no official reception. He shrugs it off.

Gene visited capitol number 47 on November 2 in Lansing, Michigan.

In September 2002, Gene, a founding member of the Long Riders Guild, began a journey in Denver to follow the route taken by four riders in 1912 who visited all 48 states. The Overland Westerners, as the original group was called, began their journey from the state of Washington. They rode a total of 20,352 continuous miles throughout the years of 1912 to 1915, making them the first, and only, Long Riders to accomplish such a feat.

Gene was 67 at the time he began this trip, the oldest person known by the Long Riders to make such a journey. He has two purposes for making the trip and the first is to raise money for the Philips Fund, a unique scholarship program that offers underprivileged young adults from Paraguay the chance to attend Pensacola (Fla.) Christian College.

Glasscock spent two years in Paraguay teaching English as a second language and Bible classes to children. Hearing loss in his right ear made it hard for him to continue teaching. He left the country, but his thoughts often drift back to those children and their parents. "It's easy to tell somebody you love them, but more often than not it's just empty words," he says. "I've always believed if you love somebody you want to help them make their life better if you can."


The second reason for his trip is to send a message to an "often overlooked" portion of America's population, its senior citizens. As he told the Long Riders Guild, "I know I'm older now. But I can still swing into that saddle. So even if I have to ride a little slower, I want older people to look at me and realize they don't have to just sit on the porch and do nothing. I'm proof positive that they can mount up, ride out, and still live life."

Glasscock is a legend among equestrian enthusiasts. He is the only person on record to have ridden from North to South America. In the mid-1980s, he rode 12,000 miles from the Arctic Circle in Canada to the Equator in Ecuador. It took him two years.

That trip killed one of his horses and almost him. The journey began with Glasscock swimming in the Klondike River after a polar bear spooked his horse. It came to a successful end only after brushes with armed robbers, exposure to political executions and imprisonment by the Sandinistas in the Nicaraguan civil war and weeks spent hacking his way through the dark jungles that connect Central and South America.

He rides 15-20 miles a day, although he's done as much as 40. He stays with host families and has had to sleep under the stars only twice. His trip was delayed earlier this year when he had to pause for a hernia operation.

His initial mounts for this journey were George and Frank, two six year old Tennessee Walker geldings named in homage of George Beck and Frank Heath, Gene's predecessors. After completing the first 10,000 miles, Gene contacted the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program for assistance in procuring two mustangs to help him finish the journey.

Tosi, a black mustang gelding gathered in 1997 in Lander, Wyo., was trained in South Carolina where he was used on a trail program and an equine therapy program. Gene uses him both as a mount and a pack animal.

Buddy, an eight year old sorrel mustang gelding, was gathered from Adobe Town, Wyo. He was trained by inmates of the Colorado Department of Corrections through a special program which helps inmates improve their lives. After training, Buddy joined Gene in Oklahoma.

In February, 2006 a wild horse adoption is coming to Columbus at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair grounds where those interested and qualified will be able to adopt a wild horse. Gene, as an adopter of a wild horse, is supporting the event to encourage others to enjoy the challenges and benefits of owning an "American Legend". Perhaps you to will become a "Long Rider," he says. Call 800-293-1781 for more information about the adoption.

Visit the Wild Horse and Burro Web site, http://www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov/, for more information about the wild horse adoption program and adoption schedule.

Visit Gene's website, www.geneglasscock.org to view the map of his historic journey, read his trip journals or make a contribution to his fund.

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