|(in the American West) a system of mail transport that employed relays of riders and mounts, esp that operating from Missouri to California in 1860--61|
A system of mail service by relays of riders on horses, established in 1860 between Missouri and California, through the Rocky Mountains. It operated for only a year and a half, until a telegraph line eliminated the need for it.
Note: An early advertisement for Pony Express riders is well known: “Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.”
Note: Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok were Pony Express riders in their youth.