Follow that story
Cohasset cowboy hits a snag
Five thousand miles down, 22,000 to go. At least that’s the hope of Cohasset’s Ezra Cooley, the 27-year-old cowboy who embarked from Chico just over a year ago on horseback with the intention of first crossing the United States and then taking on the rest of the world.
After weeks of red tape that stalled his trip, Cooley and his quarter horse, Red, set off from Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx last Friday (June 22) and headed into Manhattan, bound for Battery Park—the last stop on what he’d planned as the first leg of an around-the-world expedition.
“I rode all the way through the heart of Manhattan to [see] the Statue of Liberty,” said Cooley, who’d made it all the way to Brooklyn on his own in a journey he says set a world record for paint quarter horses.
Escorted by New York City mounted police officers, snaking through traffic and curious pedestrians, he stopped at several notable landmarks, such as Central Park. He even roped the huge bronze bull statue near Wall Street.
Cooley attracted a bit of attention in his travels, even appearing in U.S. News & World Report. His reception in New York City was somewhat anti-climactic: He had expected to be a guest on NBC’s The Today Show, but his appearance was canceled at the last minute, he says.
The publicity he’s seeking isn’t completely self-serving. Cooley wants to be the first person to ride around the world on horseback, and his trip is benefiting the National Children’s Cancer Society, with donations filtering through www.ezrasexpedition.com, a Web site chronicling his journey.
Initially, he was going to split the proceeds—half going to the organization and half going to fund his journey—but Cooley has donated every cent of the $2,400 taken in so far. To offset his costs, he’s been seeking a sponsor, drawing attention to his cause by appearing on television news, on the radio and in newspapers.
By the time he reached Manhattan, he’d expected some kind of interest from a corporation. It never happened, so he’s on to Plan B: trying to drum up more media interest. If that’s unsuccessful, he says he’ll ride down to Miami and see if his mission to help children is received any better there. The trip will alter his initial plan of heading from New York to Spain, but Cooley said he’ll do what it takes.
“I don’t quit on anything,” he said.