pony express rider

Last year, the Hashknife Pony Express riders of the Navajo County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue enjoyed clear weather on the 60th anniversary ride commemorating the brief glory days of the original Pony Express.

It’s time to get those special letters and postcards ready for the commemorative Pony Express ride from Holbrook to Scottsdale.

The Hashknife Pony Express of the Navajo County Mounted Search and Rescue will thunder into Payson Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Letters and postcards will receive a special Pony Express stamp and be carried by relay riders to Scottsdale where the Hashknife Gang helps open the annual Parada del Sol.

Check with the post office for details on getting mailers, postcards, the new poster and commemorative neckerchiefs.

This is the 61st anniversary ride and there are about 60 people participating in the event — 28 riders and more than 30 support personnel.

The ride is dedicated to Steve Reynolds, who has participated in the ride for more than 40 years and whose father rode with the group starting in the early 1960s.

Representatives from the Hashknife Pony Express of the Navajo County Mounted Search and Rescue visited area schools recently and appeared before the Payson Town Council Thursday, Jan. 24 for a proclamation, according to Capt. Mark Reynolds, brother of dedicatee Steve, and making his 40th ride.

The riders’ schedule for the Rim Country on Wednesday, Feb. 6 includes mail collection at the Heber/Overgaard post office at approximately 11:30 a.m. and lunch in Heber.

Next is a 1:30 p.m. visit to the Pine post office to collect the Pony Express mail and a 2 p.m. collection at Creekside in Christopher Creek.

While the mail is routinely relayed by one rider to another, in several locations a group of riders participates.

When the mail comes into Payson most, if not all, of the riders gather for a parade run to the Payson post office.

The group is scheduled to arrive at the Payson post office at 4:45 p.m. for a meet and greet, plus photographs.

The winners of the Pony Express Coloring Contest for students in kindergarten through the third grade will be announced. The contest is sponsored by Culver’s.

There will also be a kids camp and a sales crew with assorted merchandise available, including hats, cups, shirts, fidget spinners, neckerchiefs, posters and mailers, including five new postcard designs.

Later the riders will be treated to a Salisbury steak dinner at the Payson Elks Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway, from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. The dinner is open to the public and tickets are $20 at the door. Reynolds said the program at the dinner will feature recognition of ride sponsors and possibly an auction.

Riders will leave the Payson post office at 9 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 7.

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