The Pony Express is entrenched in the lore of the American West, yet it only existed for 18 months between 1860-1861. The horses and riders who travelled the mail route from Missouri to California – some 1,800 miles in ten days or less – remain the stuff of legends. But the Pony Express was cut short by the arrival of the telegram machine which connected the states more efficiently in order to spread news, especially during the Civil War era.

Today, there is a group of passionate horsemen and women, called re-riders, who mount up and reenact the same route through the original eight states – Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California taken all those years ago.

The National Pony Express Association (NPEA), founded in 1978, organizes this annual tribute ride. The route is part of an official trail system called the Pony Express National Historic Trail that was established in 1992 by an act of the United States Congress.

This year’s re-ride started on June 17 in St. Joseph, MO and will wrap up in Sacramento, CA on June 27. You can follow the re-riders and their horses, and read updates and reports, on the NPEA site here. Wonderful photos and videos of the trip are posted on the groups’ Facebook page here.