Despite Snow, Cold, Crowd Turns Out For Hashknife

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More than 100 people braved the cold, wet weather Wednesday night for the 49th annual ride of the Hashknife Pony Express that arrived at the Payson post office around 5:30 p.m.

The Navajo County Hashknife Sheriff's Posse left Holbrook Wednesday morning en route to Payson.

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"Smokin' Dave" relaxes after making a mailbag hand off Wednesday, during the Hashknife Pony Express ride.

On Wednesday night, the posse camped out, and on Thursday morning started the final leg of their journey to Scottsdale.

The Hashknife Pony Express tradition began in January 1958, with riders carrying an official proclamation announcing the beginning of Parada del Sol in Scottsdale, which is the country's largest horse-drawn parade.

Payson Town Councilor Ed Blair said the annual event is a way to remember how mail was once delivered.

"It's a rallying event to commemorate the past, to bring the past into the modern age," Blair said.

"It was pretty exciting to see them ride in," said Mayor Bob Edwards.

Approximately 30 horses and riders arrived at the post office.

They greeted the crowd and autographed Hashknife Pony Express bandanas that had been handed out prior to their arrival.

"This is awesome. This is great," said resident Terry Zoulek, who attended the event last year. "I'm a horse lover. The best part was hearing the hoofs."

Randy Johnston said he was amazed that there were so many horses involved in the event. This was the first year he attended the event.

"We saw it in the paper, and it looked like fun," he said. "You can't see this anywhere else."

Bonnie Elliott was trying to get her bandana signed by as many riders as possible, so she could send it to her grandchildren in California. She was also taking pictures so she could send photos to her sons who are serving in the Marines. She added that one of her sons is in Iraq, and was hopeful the photos would remind him of home.

The Hashknife Pony Express ended its journey at about noon Friday when it arrived at the main post office in Scottsdale.

Steve Reynolds, one of the riders, said it took the riders and horses 12 hours to travel the 230 miles from Holbrook to Payson.

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