Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Tue, Oct. 15

Riders gallop through Crown King to Prescott<BR>

BBNPhoto/Andrew Draper

Rider Win Ames and Postal Clerk Jackie Holmstrom cancel postage on letters bound for Prescott. Fifty-three riders carried the mail about 75 miles over two days from Turf Paradise in Phoenix to the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo in Prescott.

The price to send a letter by Pony Express in 1860 was $5, the same as it is today.

Postal clerk and employee of the Crown King General Store Vicki Grover said she couldn't see herself riding as part of the relay.

"I think it would be hard to ride that far," she said, "But, it wasn't such a big deal back then. Everybody was used to riding on horseback."

The original riders faced all the inherent dangers of the old west, including Indian attack.

An advertisement for riders in a contemporary California newspaper read: "Wanted. Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Must be expert riders. Willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred."

All this danger earned the riders a staggering $100 per month.

Fisher said the contemporary trip had its own interesting moments.

"One of the horses had about six stitches in the front leg and he was favoring it a little. All of a sudden he just stopped, locked up and wouldn't go. So, I got out of the truck and I'm running alongside, (leading him) and I look up and there's a helicopter flying right next to us just video-taping the whole thing," he said. "I ran next to him about half the leg and helped him get through it, and the mail bags never left the horse's back. Once you do it, you never want to stop."

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