“The famed Pony Express ran from April 1860 to October 1861. Mail was sent on individual riders from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento California, via a series of around 257 stations. The route was 1,800 miles long and a rider would change his horse at each station, keeping the mail pouch (the mochila). Riders would cover around 80-100 miles and they would ride day and night. The mail would take ten days to arrive. Riders had to be lightweight ( no more than 125 pounds) and horses were small, on average around 14 1/2 hands ( hence the name Pony Express). The fastest section of the trip was accomplished by Robert Haslam (Pony Bob) in 1861, who rode 120 miles in 8 hours and 20 minutes, carrying President Lincoln’s inaugural address. The Pony Express stopped due to the outbreak of the Civil War and the introduction of the electric telegraph.”
This is an excerpt from Kathleen Walker-Meikle’s book “The Horse Book. Horses of Historical Distinction.”
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