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2002/06/12

Nichols Closing In On Destination Thoroughbred trainer Les Nichols continues his noble effort to raise funds to help support those who have paid the highest price as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. His point of origin was San Antonio, and he is now closing in on his final destination: Ground Zero, New York, in time for the fourth of July. The total estimated trip distance is 1, 850 miles. He has currently travelled 1,582 miles and is near Hagerstown, Maryland. He purpose is to raise funds for the New York Firefighter Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Police Department Benevolent Association for Widows and Children. "For once in my life I wanted to give back to my country. I was touched by the courage of the New York Firefighters, Policemen and EMS people," Nichols told Glasgow Daily Times reporter Gina Kinslow (4/06/02). His goal is $2 million; a million for each fund. His means for raising the cash are $5 raffle tickets on a hand-tooled Jim Taylor saddle, items for auction sent ahead to Ground Zero, by the mile sponsorships, and corporate sponsors. The 41 year-old from Celeste, Texas has been riding two horses over the first half of his 1,850 mile journey. J.J.'S COWBOY and SANDTRACK, both retired race horses. He began his journey on J.J.'S COWBOY, attempting twenty miles per day, except for Sundays. At the Arkansas-Texas border they met with mishap, and his trusty steed was put out of commission after a 15 foot fall. J.J.'S COWBOY was sent home to recuperate. Enter SANDTRACK. Through Arkansas and Tennessee he has been remounted as he makes his way town to town, small and large, visiting fire and police departments, horse shows and making various other public appearances. About mid to late March, J.J.'S COWBOY has rejoined the "Posse," as they continue through Kentucky, along the Ohio River and into West Virginia. Along every step of the way, and the namesake for the effort, is his border collie/australian shepherd mix dog, Posse. Posse travels a short ways in front of the horse keeping Les apprised of any pitfalls. Posse is also an entertainer, performing tricks for whomever they stop to visit. There is still time to help support the fundraising effort and donate items for auction. For more information on the posse, go to www.americanposse.org. (This article was compiled from informational links provided at www.americanposse.org).

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