Pony Express visits Sacaton to Promote Gilbert Days Rodeo
November 17, 2017
Roberto A. Jackson
Gila River Indian News
The 2,000-mile long route of the celebrated Pony Express has receded to history, fading with the brush and the Western twilight. The daring riders are frozen in the amber of time and the horses only trot in the silence of the past where the dreams of a young nation moved toward the setting sun.
With no more letters to send or lives to risk, the Pony Express of today carries on the traditions of the Old West for educational purposes and preserves the exploits of those riders for students who were not alive during the mail service’s 18-month ride to glory.
Every year the riders visit Sacaton as a harbinger for the Gilbert Days Rodeo, which is presented by the Gilbert Promotional Corporation (GPC). This year, the splendor of the Pony Express leaped from history and into Sacaton for a special western ceremony to once again promote the Gilbert Days Rodeo.
On Nov. 3, the Pony Express along with Gilbert Days Rodeo royalty, and the GPC stopped in District 3 to deliver a formal invitation to the festivities on behalf of the City of Gilbert. Miss Gila River Anissa Garcia, and about 30 students from Sacaton Middle School spent time with the Pony Express for the ceremony, which included a brief lesson on the famous old west delivery service.
James Tree, President of the GPC, welcomed the students and the GRIC representatives by acknowledging the value of the history of the riders and festivities in Gilbert. “It’s a part of history, it’s also a part of our Gilbert Days celebration,” said Tree.
The 2017 Gilbert Days Rodeo Queen Taryn Cantrell sang the national anthem and Julee Brady, GPC, gave a brief lesson on the riders and importance of honoring America’s past. “We think the past is a present to the future,” she said.
The middle school students brought some letters with them, and even though they were right across the street from the United States Postal Service branch in Sacaton, they gave their letters to the trusty riders of the Pony Express in a gesture of friendship and respect for Cowboy traditions.