I must say that is it not surprising that a service such as the pony express existed…what surprises me is that they called it the Pony Express. Pony. Talk about manly. It’s like saying you have your mail delivered to you by the postie on their scooter instead of on their motorbike.
Founded on the 3rd of April 1860, the Pony Express was a (comparatively) fast method of sending messages from St. Joseph Missouri, across the Great Plains and over the Rocky Mountains all the way to Sacramento in California in the (comparatively) short time span of 10 days. The distance from the two points was roughly 3100km, which is an incredible distance to cover on horseback in only 10 days. Such a feat was made possible due to the 157 Pony Express stations along the route, which were positioned around 16km apart. 16km was about the distance that a fit horse could gallop without tiring and keeling over. It wasn’t a tag team event, rather the rider simply ditched the tired horse for a fresh one, continuing to ride for about 121km per day. The Pony Express had a short run, lasting only until October 1861. With the interruption of the American Civil War and the invention of the telegraph reaching California the operation couldn’t last.
~ Darcie Rae
Info-Links: A really comprehensive wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pony_Express