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May 30, 2007

On Assignment at Bishop Mule Days - Part 6

May 26 & 27, 2007.

Saturday morning there was the big parade through Bishop. It is one of the largest non-motorized parades in the country. We took it easy at camp in the morning, and had lunch with some friends who dropped in for the day from western Nevada. We went on a nice hike with them in the afternoon, and visited the beautiful mountain area near Lake Sabrina. It was a bit cooler there, and a nice break from the busy hot environment of Bishop. I finished the day back at camp, enjoying relaxing guitar music played by one of the friends I was camping with.

Sunday morning dawned bright and early.

Mule halter classes were going in the East Arena 1 most of the morning. Here is one of the smaller ones.

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There was Cow Cutting in one side of the Main Arena.

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And Weight Pulling in the other side of the Main Arena. I believe this was Kathy Davis' big team. They pulled almost twice their body weight!

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Once the Cow Cutting was done, there were Team Sorting classes in that half of the arena.

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I'll write about the Sunday afternoon classes in another article.

Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

On Assignment at Bishop Mule Days - Part 5

Friday, May 25, 2007.

Things were a bit busy the last few days of Mule Days, so I didn't get a chance to run down to the local coffee shop and upload more articles. Here are the updates from the rest of Mule Days.

Thursday's Donkey Halter classes were fun to watch. Congratulations to Charlie and Jerri Moore and their jack, Braymoore's Condor, who won Grand Champion Jack!

Friday morning we enjoyed watching the Gamblers Choice Mule Teams class. Some of those teams could sure navigate the obstacles well! Here are two of them.

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Then came the new Ranch Roping classes. In Ranch Roping, the mule and rider start on once side of the arena opposite the chute where the steer is. When the mule walks across the center line of the arena, the steer is released on the other side, and the time starts. The rider has 30 seconds to rope and turn the steer to face his mule.

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Later in the morning we had Mule and Donkey Barrel Racing classes. My jennet, Lily, placed 8th in the Donkey Barrel Racing. Unfortunately my gelding, Andy, was having a naughty day, and DQed by running back through the electric eye before finishing the barrel pattern. I still made him go back through and finish it correctly so he wouldn't think that he could just be done by running back to the finish line early.

In the afternoon there were Western Pleasure classes for both donkeys and mules, as well as Polebending and Keyhole for donkeys and mules. Andy and Lily both competed in the donkey polebending and keyhole. In donkey keyhole, Andy took 8th place and Lily placed 10th out of probably 15-20 entries. Polebending was the last class of the day for my donkeys. Andy decided to take off and make up his own pattern again, and DQed. But again, I made him go back through the pattern correctly at my chosen (much slower) speed. I'm beginning to see a naughty pattern after those two classes, and we'll be doing some work on correcting that! Lily started off well on the polebending, but tripped over her toes coming around one of the tight end turns too fast so I led her out and let her be done for the day. She has recovered from her bruises and is doing well now, and I'll just have to make sure she slows down a bit more next time so she doesn't try to make the turn so fast.

In the evening the "big time" shows started for the weekend. There was a spectacular Americana class among others. I left part way through to go feed the donkeys and tuck them in bed, then go get some much needed rest myself.

Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 11:12 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2007

On Assignment at Bishop Mule Days - Part 4

If you like the big teams, you'll enjoy this!

We had a real treat this morning watching the big teams. There were classes for the 6-up teams, 4-up teams, and the Farm Implements class in the main arena. We also had Dressage going in the east arena, and Gamblers Choice Trail on the west track.

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This afternoon we'll get to watch the Donkey Halter classes and the first couple Mule Halter classes.

Here are some photos of the 4-up Mule Teams.

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And here are some of the entries in the Farm Implements class. One of my favorites was Bill Neil's team of 6, pulling a mower and spreader. The announcer said this is what you'd use for smoothing out a field after you'd had cows on it for a while - back 100 years ago. My other favorite was Kathy Davis and her team pulling a seeder. They were some awesome teams to watch!

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Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2007

On Assignment at Bishop Mule Days - Part 3

The day started off with Hunter and Jumping classes in the morning.

Here are a few photos from those classes.

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This was followed by Pleasure Driving, Ride & Drive, 2-Up Mule Hitches and Youth Pleasure Driving in the afternoon.

I competed in the Donkey Pleasure Driving with my gelding, Andy. It was divided into two sections and a finals. Andy & I were in section 2. Andy drove very well for me. But just as we were coming in to line up, there was a run-away (another jack in the class), and that kind of shook up the other animals a bit, so Andy didn't want to settle and stand still in line up.

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Later in the afternoon Andy was driven by a little boy, Peter, in the Youth Pleasure Driving class where they received the "First place big donkey youth pleasure driving" award and trophy.

What a busy day! But the weather was very nice - just warm with a gentle breeze, not hot like most years.

Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 08:34 PM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2007

On Assignment at Bishop Mule Days - Part 2

Today was the first day of events at Bishop Mule Days.

The day started off with Gamblers Choice Driving and Obstacle Driving, two exciting events to watch. The Gamblers Choice Driving consisted of 6 obstacles, each with an associated point value. The obstacles were serpentine through 4 cones, "L" shape path between PVC pipes, "Back & Bump" between PVC pipes, a clover leaf pattern around cones, driving through between parallel ground rails, and ball on a cone where you have to knock the ball off with your driving whip. The drivers "gamble" on which obstacles they can do best to accumulate the most points in a 2-minute time. You can do each obstacle twice, but must do another obstacle in between - you can't do the same one twice in a row.

Two of my donkeys, Andy and Lily, competed in the Donkey Gamblers Choice Driving. Andy placed 4th and Lily placed 7th out of 12 entries. They did a great job!

The Gamblers Choice classes were followed by Mule Timed Obstacle Driving. Tim Phillips and "Tuff Stuff" took first place in this class. Both Tim and "Tuffy" were inducted into the Bishop Mule Days Hall of Fame this year. Second place in Timed Obstacle Driving was awarded to "Lonebranch Loretta Rosebud" driven by Jeannie Fowlston. Third place was given to "Crestline's Hot Blanche" driven by Teri Merry. Congratulations to all! Here are a few photos from that class.

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Next up was the 2-up Donkey Hitch class. Here's a short video of part of that class for all you donkey team driving enthusiasts!

2-Up Donkey Hitch Class Video

In the afternoon there were English Mule Riding classes and Bridled Hunter Hack. Then we finished the day with Sidesaddle Mules.

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What a great first day of competitions at Mule Days! Tomorrow there will be a bunch of jumping classes, pleasure driving, and 2-up Mule Hitches.

Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2007

On Assignment at Bishop Mule Days

The adventure has begun!

We made it to Bishop yesterday afternoon. We had a great drive down, and the weather was perfect.

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Contestants have been rolling in all day with their beautiful longeared critters. It has been hot and sunny today, but we've had a nice breeze all day, so that has helped. Many of the contestants are riding or driving their mules and donkeys around the fairgrounds getting them used to all the sights and sounds.

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The show starts tomorrow morning bright and early. Gamblers Choice Single Mule Prelims is the first class of the day at 8am. That is followed by Donkey Gamblers Choice Driving. I'll be showing two of my donkeys, Andy and Lily, in that class. Check back tomorrow evening to find out how they did!

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If you're going to be at Bishop Mule Days some time this week, stop by and say Hi! We'd love to get to meet you! Look for "Sagebrush Oklahoma Andy", "Sagebrush Desert Delight" and "Sagebrush Desert Desire" in the show ring.

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Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 06:35 PM | Comments (0)