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Pony Express Rides Again

Scotts Bluff National Monument

National Park News

One of the more romantic periods in our nation's history – the running of the Pony Express – lasted a mere 19 months, yet it still runs in the hearts of many. 

On Monday, June 11th, the annual re-ride started in St. Joseph, Missouri, bound for Sacramento, California. Just after 1 p.m. on Wednesday, re-enactment riders changed horses and riders in front of Scotts Bluff's Visitor Center as a crowd of 65 people cheered and clapped. Seasonal ranger Lynne Johns rode four legs of the re-run.

In 1860-61, pony riders averaged 100 miles each and each horse averaged 20 miles between stations. Today's riders and horses are not trained for such distances, so each horse and rider traverses about a mile. Historically, riders were small in order to maximize speed, but today’s riders come in all sizes. 

This year's ride was scheduled to make an exchange at Scotts Bluff (not a historic transfer point) at noon. Riders rode through severe weather across much of central Nebraska, though, delaying their Scotts Bluff exchange by 90 minutes. Neither horse or rider had suffered any mishap by the time they reached Scotts Bluff.  

Johns had to borrow a horse to participate in the event.

"It was like a dream for me,” she said, “a very special day for me." 


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