BENSON — The Pony Express rode again Saturday.
Through a coordinated effort between Benson Pony Express and Benson Clean and Beautiful, the second annual Benson Pony Express Western Days were held in Benson.
A full lineup of entertainment, highlighted by the Express mail route ride from Benson to Dragoon, featured vendors, food, car show, Power From the Past and their tractor pulls, and the Dave Owens Band, DJ entertainment and a KIIM FM simulcast kept attendees entertained. The event also boasted the Gooseflats Gunslingers who were there arresting the “unruly” for charity.
Five Pony Express riders, Allen Hill, Doralee Hill, Dorothy Amerman, Miriam Maestes, and James Heckman, departed the park shortly after they were sworn in for the 21-mile horseback ride to Dragoon. Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels administered the Pony Express Oath:
“I do hereby swear, before the great and living God, that during my engagement as a member of the Benson Pony Express Re-Run, I will under no circumstances use profane language, that I will drink no intoxicating liquors, that I will not quarrel or fight with any other member of the group, and that in every respect, I will conduct myself honestly, be faithful to my duties and so direct all my acts as to win the confidence of my associates. So help me God.”
Despite an apparent off year in terms of attendance, and problems with the mail boxes in Dragoon, organizers are pleased by the overall effort.
“Unfortunately our mailboxes in the community were compromised and we had no mail in any of the boxes,” said Cindy Allen of Benson Pony Express. “The box in Dragoon was stolen and then returned and had two damaged envelopes in it. We are grateful for the community support and hope to do better next year.”
“I would say it was a success in spite of some hiccups,” noted Allen. “KIIM FM did a good job and the Dave Owens band was awesome. Dave is always able to take up the slack.”
Allen noted vendors were unhappy by few sales, said Allen. “I think the economy has caught up with us. The car show entries were the most we’ve ever had. We had 23 sign-up day of show.” There were 63 entries in all and the five Pony Express riders delivered 92 pieces of mail, she said.
“The volunteers this year we’re many and awesome! We could not have done it without them,” said Allen.