Pony Express Re-Ride trots through Thayer, Jefferson counties

HEBRON, NE — One mile at a time, the Pony Express Re-Ride is galloping through history.

The annual reenactment of the short-lived cross-country mail service came through southeast Nebraska Friday afternoon. Dick Heinrichs of Hebron rode part of the stretch from Oak to Alexandria.

“It’s kind of fun and interesting," Heinrichs said. "It’s something that is actual stuff that you can reenact. It didn’t last very long, but it was really important when it did.”

A dress code of jeans, red shirt, vest and yellow scarf was encouraged. Riders traded off every mile or so and passed off a bag called a Mochila, which held a GPS.

Dick’s son, Wade, also hopped on a horse for the reenactment. He says it’s easy to transport yourself back to the 1860s during the event.

“Along the way there’s a lot of different historical things that have happened," Wade said. "It brings you back, it’s an awesome deal.”

Dick says the reenactment makes you appreciate the difficulties Pony Express riders endured to do their jobs.

“It was rugged," Dick said. "We ride, like, a mile, and they’d run anywhere from 12-20 miles before they change horses. And they would go day and night.”

The Heinrichs family made its own history this year. 18 family members participated in the re-ride. Dick marked his 40th year riding and Wade celebrated his 20th.

“It means a lot. My sister and brother, mom and dad, and wife - we all love it," Wade said. "It’s a fun things just to be a part of.”

The southeast Nebraska stretch is part of the 1,966-mile national re-ride. Riders take the Mochila from Sacremento, CA to St. Joseph, MO over 10 days.

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