Inside the Stagecoach
December 21, 2015

It’s official: ‘Mike’ wins race to be the 2016 Wells Fargo plush pony

Wells Fargo team members have picked “Mike,” a horse that worked for the company in Des Moines, Iowa, as the model for the 2016 Wells Fargo plush pony.

It’s not yet 2016, but one candidate has already been elected. Wells Fargo likes “Mike” — the horse, that is.

With 29,814 votes cast worldwide, the company’s team members elected Mike, a horse that worked for Wells Fargo more than 100 years ago in Des Moines, Iowa, to be the model for its 2016 plush pony. Mike is a dark bay horse.

Next November and December, the plush pony version of Mike will be available nationwide — 17th in a promotion dating back to 2003 and honoring horses that played an important role in getting business done for Wells Fargo customers by pulling wagons and stagecoaches. The 2015 plush pony is Nellie, who served in the 1890s in Bakersfield, California.

In a nail-biter of a race, Mike, bested Fargo (a horse that served the company in Portland, Oregon) by 898 votes.

Finishing a close third was Spring (who joined the Wells Fargo office in Ardmore, Oklahoma, in 1916), and fourth was Hopeful (who delivered important coins, papers, and packages to the people of Chicago).

The final breakdown:

  • Mike, 8,844 votes
  • Fargo, 7,946 votes
  • Spring, 7,467 votes
  • Hopeful, 5,557 votes

Don Pearson, Wells Fargo’s lead region president for the Great Plains (which includes Iowa and Illinois — home to Mike and Hopeful), said, “I live and work in Iowa, and we know a few things about vetting candidates in national elections. I personally think Mike from Des Moines was the clear-cut choice this election season because he consistently and faithfully delivered food and packages to Iowa customers, just as we deliver great products and services to customers today.”

Mike’s win means he will arrive just in time to be featured next holiday season at the company’s 12th history museum set to open in autumn 2016 in downtown Des Moines.

For more about Wells Fargo’s plush ponies, visit

Portland Wells Fargo team members rally for plush pony Fargo.
Portland Wells Fargo team members rally for plush pony Fargo.