National Pony Express Association

Today the spirit and memory of the Pony Express is kept alive by the National Pony Express Association, an all-volunteer, non-profit historical organization for the purpose of identifying, reestablishing and marking the original pony express trail through the eight states it served: California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri.

The Association is active throughout the year and is the chief supporter for the preservation of the Pony Express National Historic Trail. Incorporated in 1978, the National Headquaters are located in Pollock Pines, California.

NPEA Background

Through the years many dedicated horse and trail lovers have displayed an on going interest in bringing to remembrance the original Pony Express. In 1935 a Pony Express re-ride was held to commemorate the Pony Express' 75th anniversary - In 1940 the U.S. Postal Service had special ceremonies its own.

In 1958 the Western States Trail Ride' Inc. conducted a ride in which it carried official United States mail.

In anticipation of the Pony Express' hundredth birthday the Western Pony Express Trails Association joined forces with the Central Overland Pony Express Trails, Assoc. Then the National Pony Express Centennial Association was formed. It conducted the 1960 centennial re-ride which involved the President of the United States and all the Governors through whose states the Pony Express ran.

Following that celebrated event, no further re-rides over the entirety of the Pony Express Trail were held until the National Pony Express Association was organized by a group of dedicated California trail enthusiasts in 1977. The official corporate charter was obtained on March 3, 1978.

Interest and membership grew. By 1980 divisions were in operation in all eight states where the Pony Express originally ran, namely: Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California.

National headquarters is located in Pollock Pines, California. An Annual Directors Meeting is held the fourth weekend in September in a city along the trail.

The NPEA is active year long with its Divisions participating in local commemorative events, trail work, parades and trail rides. The high light of the year is the annual Pony Express Re-Run conducted in June of each year.

In 1996 NPEA members participated in the Olympic Torch Relay. The group was the only one to carry the Olympic torch by horseback.

The California Division is active throughout the year, holds monthly dinner meetings, has trail rides, visits schools, and participates in local parades. The Division has been featured on a segment of "California's Gold," and in the national video production of "Pony Express." In 1983, the California Division achieved national recognition for its emergency mail service during the Highway 50 Slide closure.

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The National Pony Express Association is looking for new members. Membership is open to all as either a Rider or Associate Member. Riders must be experienced equestrians, at least 18 years of age (14 with parental permission and supervision), and be willing to abide by the Pony Express Oath and Rider Requirements.

Candidates need to be accomplished riders. They should have the ability to ride 2-4 miles of trail at a speed of 8-11 miles per hour over a variety of terrain including county roads and backcountry trail. Some night riding may be required. New riders will receive training in ride operations.

The Ride Uniform consists of: western hat, red long sleeve shirt, chocolate brown vest with NPEA logo on back, yellow scarf, blue jeans and western boots. You can obtain a logo patch from the State Division Presidents.

Candidates who are not equestrians are also invited to join. People are needed to assist in staffing relay stations during the Re-Run, public affairs, and other membership duties. Membership benefits are similar to those of Riders.

The benefits of membership are many:

You can become a member of the NPEA by becoming a member of one of the Pony Express Divisions. Membership dues vary by state, but include $10 National dues in addition to state dues.

Membership Application Forms:

You will find a warm welcome and a door open to adventure. Please write for additional information to:


We have the new insurance for NPEA now in place, effective March 1, 2016. This policy is with a new insurance company and it has different waiver requirements for NPEA members and support personnel. Insurance waivers are now state-specific, so one must be signed for EACH state in which a member or support personnel may ride or be around horses, during any NPEA event. Signed waivers then need to be sent to, and signed as accepted by, the respective State Division President.

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