Equine Virus Sidetracks Annual Pony Express Ride Until August

What rain, snow, mud and heat couldn't sidetrack, a simple virus has. For the first time in 31 years, the National Pony Express Association has been forced to postpone its re-enactment ride due to an equine disease.

This year we have been challenged by a virus that cannot be seen or touched. It can come from anywhere and can possibly claim the lives of our horses. The equine herpes virus (EHV-l) is a serious and contagious virus. Outbreaks have been reported in numerous states and the quarantine of horses has taken place.

Like many other horse organizations, we are concerned about getting control of this virus quickly. Our re-enactment involves over 600 horses relaying a mochila (or mail pouch) from horse to horse through eight states.

In good conscience, the National Pony Express Association cannot ignore the risk, concerns, and safety of our horses and others. Therefore, the June 8-18, 2011 Re-ride from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, will be postponed. The Re-ride is projected to take place in August 2011. The commemorative letters will be carried and the mail will get through.

The non-profit association has 850 members in eight state divisions in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. Information and updates on the rescheduled ride will be available on the web at the Pony Express Homepage, www.xphomestation.com Additional information can be obtained by writing the National Pony Express Association, PO Box 236, Pollock Pines, CA 95726, or call (916) 332-8382.