The Young Riders is a show based on the USA Pony Express. The Pony Express operated for slightly longer than 1 year, from April 1960 to November 1961 and covered a route that traveled between the Missouri River (St. Joseph in Missouri) and the Pacific coast (San Francisco in California, crossing through Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada). The Pony Express was a failed rival to the stagecoach mail system. The series lasted three seasons on ABC (longer than the actual Pony Express) and many young actors starred on the show and played characters somewhat familar from western history. Such real life characters as James "Wild Bill" Hickok (known as Jimmy on the show and played by Josh Brolin), William "Buffalo Bill" Cody (played by Stephen Baldwin), and Jesse James (played by Christopher Pettiet) appeared on the show (mostly fictionalized).
One note on the character Noah Dixon (played by Don Franklin), the black express rider, the Pony Express did employ men, but none were express riders.