These are the Hashknife Pony Express Riders in the 2010 Parada del Sol in Scottsdale. These Pony Express Riders are commissioned by the US Post Office to deliver mail between Holbrook, AZ and Scottsdale, AZ keeping alive the Pony Express tradition.
"Neither rain, sleet, nor dark of night can stop the Hashknife Pony Express. Each January for the last 49 years, the old west is brought to life as an elite group of riders thunder through Arizona. This exciting event is the oldest officially sanctioned Pony Express in the world. Each rider is sworn in as an honorary mail messenger braving weather, terrain, and modern-day obstacles to deliver the United States mail.
Beginning in historic Holbrook, the horseback mail route covers over 200 miles from the majestic Mogollon Rim through the wilderness of the Mazatzal range to the desert city of Scottsdale where it kicks off the Scottsdale Jaycees' Parada del Sol celebration.
The Hashknife was a tool originally used by chuck wagon cooks to cut meat for hash, often fed to cowboys on the range. The Hashknife brand originated in Texas as the identification of the Aztec land and Cattle Company, which moved to Holbrook, AZ in 1866. Later, in 1957, the Navajo County Sheriff's Posse retained limited use of the brand. The Hashknife brand now identifies the Pony Express. Riders are members of the Navajo County Sheriff's Posse or their invited guests.
The Hashknife outfit has the longest contract with the U.S. Postal Service and annually delivers around 20,000 pieces of first class mail bearing the valued "Via Pony Express" cachet which is hand-stamped by the riders before the start of the ride. The "Official Pony Express Envelope" will be available on December 1. The public can purchase them for $1 each at the Holbrook, Overgaard, Pine, Heber, Payson, Fountain Hills and Scottsdale Post Offices."
After the Parada, they go to the Rusty Spur Saloon to wash the trail dust out of their mouths. www.rustyspursaloon.com/home/history