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March 11, 2005

Adventures with the Cows

At mule days things can sometimes get pretty entertaining to watch. With all the donkeys and mules, there is always something going on. But the cattle for the cattle events add a whole new dimension!

I can think of several funny stories involving cows from the past few years that we have gone to Bishop Mule Days.

I remember the first year we attended Mule Days I did not have any donkeys with me that I was showing in the classes, so I was able to watch a lot more of the events as a spectator. One of those classes was the steer stopping class. A number of mules and riders went through the normal process of roping, turning and stopping their steers.

Then there were a few flukes! One time the gate opened, and the mule and rider raced out into the arena to rope their steer... But there was no steer! The steer had been too smart, and decided to stay in the chute when the gate opened!

This last year I remember watching one of the cattle roping classes where something else unexpected happened. They let the cow out into the arena, but before the rider could rope it, the cow nudged a small gate in the side of the arena, and headed out on his own adventure into the pens behind the announcer’s stand. Someone had to go back there and bring the cow back so that the events could proceed on.

There was also a little excitement last year in the cow sorting class. The first couple teams took their turns, and then it was time to switch the herd of cows out for a fresh new herd. One of the cows in the new herd had other plans - I think it was cow #6. Anyway the sorting team started their time, and were going along quite nicely. They got cow #2 and #3 and #4 to cross the line in the correct order and stay on that side. Then they went in to find cow #5. About the time they got #5 across the line, cow #6 decided she was not going to have anything to do with this activity!

Now if you have ever attended Bishop Mule Days before, you will remember that they usually have cow sorting on one side of the arena while they are doing weight pulling with the draft teams on the other side. They have a corral panel fence running down the length of the arena dividing the two sides.

Anyway, cow #6 decided she was leaving the game. She took one look at the corral panel fence, and plowed her way through it. Once she was on the other side she started wandering around checking out the weight pulling competition. Needless to say, they had to stop the cow sorting for a few minutes while the brought #6 back to her side of the arena, and mended the fence.

Once the fence was fixed, they decided to let that team of cow sorters have another turn later, and brought in a new team of sorters. Once again cow #6 broke through the fence as they were nearing her turn to be sorted out. After returning her to the correct side of the fence again, they decided that it would be better to put her away and get a new #6 cow that wouldn't try to leave the game in the middle!

Here are a few pictures of the weight pulling mules and of the cow cutting, which happens the same morning as cow sorting. Unfortunately I don't believe I got any photos of the run away cow in th cow sorting class.




Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at March 11, 2005 07:05 AM