HOLBROOK — This January 2021 will be the 63rd ride of the Sheriff’s Posse — Hashknife Pony Express. To commemorate and memorialize the western history, a lifesize Hashknife Pony Express Monument will be built in downtown Holbrook.

The bronze is of a single, mounted Hashknife Pony Express riding his horse at a full speed and carry a mailbag.

The sculpted bronze monument will cost $88,000 and the goal is to have it completed in two years so that it’s in place by the 65th annual ride.

The Pony Express members understand what a lofty goal this is so they chose wisely when it came to starting the fundraising campaign. Two dedicated, long-time residents of Holbrook are in charge of the fundraising campaign.

“They needed someone to really pack a punch,” said Mildred Foutz. “To get this done, we’ve got to have money coming in continually.

Once the sculptor begins, we have to make monthly payments.”

“We are just volunteers here in Holbrook,” said Foutz. “We met with the Pony Express group directly and said we would take it. We want to make sure everybody knows about it.”

The Sheriff’s Posse — Hashnife Pony Express is a not for profit, 501(C)3 so anyone who donates to the effort can request a receipt for tax purposes. Donations can also be made through Wells Fargo banks or mailed to P.O. Box 215, Holbrook, Arizona 86025.

Donations of any amount are welcomed but brick pavers will be available to donations of $100 or more.

A paving stone will be inscribed for anyone who donates $100 or more. This includes a 4” x 8” brick placed at the base of the monument. Inscriptions can include up to three lines of writing with 18 characters per line including spaces.

For anyone donating $1,000 or more, a 8” x 8” brick will be placed at the base of the monument with up to six lines of writing with 18 characters per line including spaces.

If someone donates more than $1,000, the size of the paving stone/brick will increase accordingly.

Questions? Call Ophelia Lange at 928-814-2372 or Mildred Foutz at 928-241-0495.

More about Hashknife Pony Express

A leg of the historical trek leaves from the Navajo County Courthouse in Holbrook every year in February. Local riders from the area participate and are actually sworn mail carriers. Their pre-requisite swearing in takes place at the Holbrook Post Office.

The Hashknife ride began in the late 1950s. Today, the cowboys and culture-keepers ride their seasoned horses on the shoulder of the highway.

Riders trade off every mile to keep both riders and steeds fresh and alert. They trot and gallop over the route as safety dictates, covering a mile in 7 to 10 minutes.

February does not usually offer fair weather. The riders often encounter rain, snow or sleet. And, the White Mountains is known for gusty winds which can make riding at a fast pace a bit treacherous and all the more genuine.

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Laura Singleton is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering Show Low city government, business and education.

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