June 06, 2005
Well, we're back from Bishop Mule Days! It was a great trip, and I especially enjoyed meeting so many of you from all over the country!
"Video" Mike Kerson was there with a booth set up right near the grandstand entrance. While I was there I purchased a copy of his video from Bishop Mule Days 2004. It was another great mule days video just like his first one from Bishop Mule Days 2003, except that it featured a different set of events. If you enjoyed his first Mule Days video, you'll want to be sure to order the second one!
We also got to visit with Crystal Ward from Ass-Pen Ranch again, and see all the beautiful donkeys she brought to the show. She had quite a variety - from a little mini donkey all they way up to big mammoths.
Amy McLean and her family from Sowhatchett Mule Farm brought a number of really nice gaited mules all the way from Georgia. They really looked stunning in the show ring, and did quite well placing in the gaited classes.
Ron and Brenda Overton and their mules from Overton Mules were there again this year. It is always so inspiring to watch their mule, Tuff Stuff, competing under the guidance of their trainer, Tim Philips. Those two have such a bond, and look so smooth and fluid when competing in the wide variety of events they enter. It is especially inspiring when you hear the story about how Tuffy used to be such a hard-to-handle mule, and bucked Tim off the first few times Tim tried to ride him. To me, it just goes to show what a lot of time, patience and perseverance can do for almost any mule or donkey!
Of course the show wouldn't have been complete without Jim Porter and his jack, SCMM Merlin, from Spring Canyon Mule Makers. I'll tell you, those two could be a show just by themselves! They are always very entertaining and fun to watch in all their classes!
There were a lot of really nice donkeys and mules at Bishop this year. I think the competition and training of the mules and donkeys is getting better and better every year. It's so exciting to see these wonderful critters doing such an outstanding job showing people what mules and donkey really can do!
We participated in a number of the donkey classes with two of our donkeys, Sagebrush Lady Elvira (Elsie) and Sagebrush Oklahoma Andy. Elsie placed 7th in Gamblers Choice Driving, and 8th in Pleasure Driving. I was really pleased with how well she did considering it was our first time showing in harness. I guess all our hard work paid off. And believe me, there was a lot of hard work Monday getting her to settle down and get to work in such a busy and different environment. I highly recommend that anyone competing at Bishop Mule Days get there at the beginning of the week to give their donkeys and mule time to adjust to the bustle of activity and then new environment before you start competing.
We also rode Andy and Elsie in the Donkey Barrel Race, and I rode Andy in Polebending, Keyhole, and Trail. Andy placed 8th in Barrels, 4th in Polebending, and 8th in Trail. In spite of the really rainy weather that we have had all spring, and the small number of days that it was dry enough that we could train, Andy did quite well. He was really on a roll this year, and really wanted to run in the timed events! When I'd ask him to go from walk to trot, he'd start cantering, so I just let him enjoy himself.
I've got a ton of pictures and video footage that we took at Mule Days. I'll start posting some of it soon for you to enjoy. But for now, here's a picture of Andy and me running the poles.
(Photography thanks to PhotoFast)
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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at June 6, 2005 10:26 PM