Hashknife Pony Express Revised Dates Announced | Local news

HOLBROOK – This year the Sheriff’s Posse – Hashknife Pony Express will be driven for the 63rd time. The 200-mile route usually takes place every February but has been postponed to April this year due to the pandemic.

The historic ride began in the late 1950s. Today the cowboys and cultural guardians ride their experienced horses on the shoulder of the autobahn. This year’s ride begins with an official swearing-in ceremony for drivers on Tuesday April 13th at the Holbrook Courthouse.

The actual hike from Holbrook to Scottsdale begins on Wednesday April 14th and lasts through Friday April 16th.

The Hashknife Pony Express drivers’ journey begins on Wednesday April 14th at 8am at the Post Office in Holbrook. Approximately 30 local drivers take part, working as a coordinated team as they carry and drop the mail from section to section.

According to Ride Captain Mark Reynolds, there are also around 30 support crew members who organize, coordinate, and assist every aspect of the ride.

“We couldn’t do this year after year without their amazing talents,” said Reynolds. “The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office provides security, medical assistance, and emergency dispatch. We also have a specialized mail crew, a cooking crew, and multiple vehicles that drive in front of and behind the drivers for added safety. We have people who open and close gates when the drivers get in and out. “

There are also two farriers riding in the Hashknife group. If a horse throws a shoe, it can be repaired on site.

“The group also has a truck and horse trailer that follow to transport any horse that has an injury – no matter how minor,” Reynolds said. “Several riders bring two or three horses so that they can get out if necessary.”

They trot and gallop the distance as safety dictates, covering every mile in 7 to 10 minutes. Each driver walks a mile and then hands it over to the next driver. This method speeds up the journey and protects everyone from stress and overexertion, Reynolds said.

“Our horses are conditioned to ride and we make sure everyone stays fresh and alert,” Reynolds said. “The journey itself takes place at a trot or at a leisurely gallop – it is not a complete run, as shown in some of the pictures. But the drivers are skilled and generally drop the mailbags at a full gallop, which requires practice. “

2021 driver planThe requirement for drivers to be sworn in is Tuesday, April 13th at 12 noon or “noon” at the Holbrook Old Courthouse, Reynolds says.

The first leg of the journey will take place on Wednesday, April 14th, punctually at 8 a.m. It departs from the post office in Holbrook and goes to the post office in Overgaard, where the drivers pick up the mail bags. Then they drive to the Heber Post and pick up more mail.

The drivers drive from Heber to the Creekside Steakhouse. This is also April 14th. Some will have lunch there while others will leave and go to the post office in Pine. They are expected to arrive around 1:30 p.m.

From Pine Post, drive to Payson and stop at the Stage retail store at around 4:30 p.m. From there, the local police will escort them to the Payson Post Office.

On Thursday, April 15, drivers will leave the Payson post office at 9 a.m. and head to the Fountain Hills post office. They are expected to arrive around 3 p.m.

You will camp overnight in the Verde River area of ​​Fort McDowell in preparation for the final leg of the route on Friday April 16. You will leave the river area at 9am to deliver the mail to Scottsdale.

Drivers should arrive at the San Francisco Giants Stadium on the corner of Osborne and Drinkwater in Scottsdale at noon.

A preliminary “Meet and Greet” event is provisionally planned for April 10th in Heber / Overgaard. More information will be provided as the event approaches. For additional information, contact Mark Reynolds at 928-587-5742 or [email protected].

Note: If you come to swear in or to one of the stops while driving, please practice social distancing and wear a mask to protect yourself and the drivers. This applies to all Hashknife Pony Express events.

via Pony ExpressSpecial Hashknife mail kegs will be on the route outside the post offices by March 1, 2021. Look for them in the Holbrook, Heber, Overgaard, Pine, Creekside, Payson, and Fountain Hills post offices.

Merchandise, posters and mailers (where available) are sold at: Old Courthouse / Chamber of Commerce in Holbrook, Heber / Overgaard Chamber of Commerce, Creekside Steakhouse, Payson Post Office, Post Pine, Fountain Hills Post Office and the San Francisco Giants Stadium in Scottsdale.

Bob’s Western Wear in Payson and the Museum of the West on 1st Street and Marhsall Way in Scottsdale will sell Hashknife Pony Express memorabilia.

Support the Hashknife storyTo commemorate Western history, a life-size bronze statue of a mounted Hashknife Pony Express driver is being built in downtown Holbrook. The monument will cost $ 88,000 and is scheduled to be completed in two years. Donations of any amount, no matter how small, are welcome. To donate or reserve a paver, call Ophelia Lange at 928-814-2372 or Mildred Foutz at 928-241-0495.

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