Each year the original Pony Express ride from Sacramento, California to Saint Joseph, Missouri is traveled once again by courageous men and women on horseback.The Pony Express agents first saddled up and rode their horses along this route in 1860/1861, now a century and a half later modern riders volunteer to do the same, recreating the original Pony Express ride along the same route with some of the original challenges of the ride.
The heat, the sun, the night time rides, the bugs—all of those things that can make a nearly 1,966-mile journey on horseback torturous recreating that first mail delivery company and ride.
The original ride has Pony Express “stations” at least a mile and a half to four miles along that route where riders could stop, stretch water and feed their horses and themselves. ”Nighttime and mountain rides are harder, and combinations of the two make for the most demanding treks. That means California riders have the biggest challenge going over uneven Sierra trails without the sun to guide them.”
Every other year the re-ride begins at the Pony Express Plaza in Old Sacramento and this year it ”kicked off at the plaza, headed toward Missouri. At the pre-ride ceremony, the first riders were sworn in using most of the original Pony Express oath. The riders promised not to “use profane language,” to “drink no intoxicating liquors,” and not to “quarrel or fight with any other associate.”
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