All About the Pony Express | SPIRIT COMES TO LIFE
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All About the Pony Express | SPIRIT COMES TO LIFE

December 3, 2019


– [Narrator] Remember
when Lucky and the Pals took over for a Mustang
Mailman who got a bucket stuck on his head? – We just became writers
for the Mustang Mail! – [Group] Oh yeah! – Oh, what, who said that? (horse neighing) Whoa! (loud crashing) – [Narrator] It turns
out Mustang Mail is based on something real,
called The Pony Express. Let’s jump in. This is Spirit Comes to Life. – Mustang Mail never fails, through any obstacle,
trek, or trail. That’s their official pledge. (horse neighing) – [Narrator] The
Pony Express extended from Missouri to California along an almost
2,000 mile route. Brave riders could carry
mail in half the time a stagecoach could, and
sometimes even faster. In fact, the fastest Pony
Express ride on record covered about 1,400 miles and took seven
days and 17 hours. It was to deliver
the inaugural address of President Abraham
Lincoln so that people on the West Coast could
hear what he had to say from the East Coast. Riders typically rode
for stretches of 75 to 100 miles at a time. But, they’d change horses
once every 10 miles to ensure each steed could
go as fast as possible. To expedite switching
from horse to horse, mail would be
carried in a mochila. Once they reached their
horse-changing station, a Pony Express rider
would throw the mochila over the next horse
to ride and hop on. The transfer took as
little as two minutes. The Pony Express owned
upwards of 400 horses for the task, and
in all its history, it only ever lost
one piece of mail. – We can’t lose that envelope! The entire future of
Mustang Mail depends on it! – [Narrator] Despite
the name Pony Express, most of the steeds
used were horses. California Mustangs, known
for their sure-footedness. To go fast, riders wore
tight-fitting clothes like jockeys and were
typically 100 to 125 pounds. While the average age of a
rider was around 20 years old, many were as young as 14. And the youngest rider on
record was Bronco Charlie Mill, who was only 11 years old. That’s just one year
younger than Lucky. Although it shut down in 1861, after only 19
months in business, The Pony Express
captured the hearts and minds of the public. – Being a Mustang Mail rider
has always been my dream. – [Narrator] When
the transcontinental
telegraph came along, people could reach each other
over the airwaves instantly, putting The Pony
Express out of business. But, thanks in part
to Buffalo Bill, a famous vaudevillian act who
featured Pony Express riders and stunts until nearly 1916, The Pony Express remained
alive in people’s imaginations. Its riders delivered
35,000 pieces of mail and rode over a half a million
miles across the country. And now The Pony Express
lives on as a cherished piece of American history. – Are you girls really
Mustang Mail riders? (whip cracking)
(heroic music) – Yes, ma’am, we are.

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