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May 30, 2007

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.



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.




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

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at May 30, 2007 11:12 PM