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May 24, 2009

Bishop Mule Days - May 24, 2009

Sunday - The final day of Mule Days.

Wow, it's hard to believe the week has gone by so fast! I hope you have enjoyed this show as much as I have. Here are some of the highlights from Sunday's show.

The morning started off at 8:00am. There was Cow Cutting, Cattle Sorting, Log Skidding and Weight Pulling in the main arena. At the same time Mule Halter classes were taking place in the East Arena 1. In East Arena 2, the farriers were busy at work competing in Eagle Eye Shoeing, Quality Mule Shoeing, and Forging Contests.

If you desired to, you could also attend Cowboy Church in the auditorium on the fair grounds at 10am.

Then we had a quick break for lunch, and started back again at 1:30pm. The afternoon classes in the Main Arena included Hidden Creeks Ranch Jumper Classic, 400 Yard Western Race, Youth Box Hitch, 4-Up Mule Hitch Class, Youth Costume Class, World Champion Diamond Hitch Contest, Priefert Team Roman Riding, Chariot Straight Away Races, Mule Keyhole Finals, Team Packing Contest, Borax 20 Mule Team, Team Roping Finals, Dolly Parton Race, and Team Packing Scramble. In the East Arenas there was Bridled Mule Trail and Donkey Trail classes.

I showed my gelding, White Knight, under saddle in Donkey Trail. He did very well considering this was his first time in a trail class. He went through the gate like a pro, side passed along the log very nicely, trotted through the cones then backed around them beautifully. He just needed a little more control in his lope. But not to bad for the first time on a show trail course! He took 9th place in his class of 18 donkeys.

The evening show in the Main Arena started at 7:30pm, and included many world champion award presentations, Bridled Reining Finals, Bed Roll Race, Mule Days Drill Team, Priefert Texas Thunder team demonstration with their wagon, Musical Tires, Budweiser Clydesdales Team, Chuck Wagon Races, and the Team Pack Off. What a weekend! As you can see, there is a lot going on - never a dull moment!

Here are a few of my photos from today's activities:

AMA Halter 2 Year Olds

Heavy Teams Weight Pulling - If I remember correctly, this team shown by Kathy Davis won the class with pulling over 150% of the team's body weight! This photo was of their winning pull.

4-Up Hitch Teams

Youth Costume Class - Smiling Safari girl with her "Zebra" mule

Youth Costume Class - "Budweiser" mule, "dalmation", and trusty grooms.

Meredith Hodges with Jasper the Mule visiting with people near the vendor stands.

Lead team in the Borax 20 Mule Team

Now it's time to pack everything up, and get a good night's sleep in preparation to hit the road early in the morning for a long drive home.

I hope you enjoyed Bishop Mule Days, and will join us again next year! Now its time to get ready for some more summer fun as soon as we get home and unpacked. Check back in a few days for more great articles and a gallery of more photos from Mule Days!

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 09:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2009

Bishop Mule Days - May 23, 2009

Today's events included the fameous Bishop Mule Days Parade - the longest running non-motorized parade in the country. According the the Mule Days program book, there were113 entries in this year's parade.

After the packed schedule on Friday, I took the day to get away from the busy crowds, visit some friends who live in the area, then in the afternoon, took a good long nap.

But for those looking for activity, here are some of the events of the day. The morning was dedicated the the parade, which ran through downtown Bishop, ending in a Grand Entry at the fairgrounds Main Arena. The afternoon show and evening shows included:

Adult Costume Class
6-Up Mule Hitches
Coon Jumping
World Champion Pack Train Trail
300 Yard Western Race
World Champion Packer Contest
Run, Ride & Lead
Pack Team Scramble
Green Mule Trail
Youth Trail
Donkey In Hand Trail
Speed Shoeing
Donkey Racing
Mule Days Drill Team
Mule Polebending Finals
World Champion Box Hitch Contest
Chariot Straight Away Race
Ranch Roping Finals
Chariot Stear Stopping
Most Unusual Load Pack Contest

And the evening show also featured the Priefert Hitch Roman Riding again, as well as the Borax 20 Mule Team.

Or if you wanted to do something a little different, there is also a street fair in the park in downtown Bishop during the day.

I enjoyed my break away from the busy bussle, and will be back at 'em again tomorrow morning!

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:41 PM | Comments (0)

Bishop Mule Days - May 22, 2009

Things may start off slow at the beginning of the week, but by Friday the show is really picking up pace. With the weekend almost here, the events are in full gear and the day is packed with things to do and see.

Today was a busy day for the donkeys. The donkey events included Donkey Barrel Racing, Donkey Reining, Donkey Western Pleasure, Donkey Polebending, and Donkey Keyhole. I showed my gelding, White Knight in Donkey Western Pleasure and Donkey Barrel Racing. He did very well for me, but was just barely out of the placings. We had pretty good size classes and some strong competition this year.

The mule events were numerous. They included:

Gambler's Choice Teams Driving
Mule Barrel Racing Prelims & Finals
Chariot Barrel Racing
Ranch Roping
Farm Class (driving with farm implements)
Western Riding
Mule Reining
Gaited Mule Halter
Gaited Mulemanship
Mule Western Pleasure
Cow Working
Youth Leadline
Youth Western Pleasure
Youth English Pleasure
Youth Hunter Hack
Youth Ride-A-Buck
Mule Keyhole Race Prelims
Mule Polebending Prelims
Americana Driving Class
Western Pleasure Stakes
200 Yard Western Race
Gambler's Choice Singles Driving Finals
Youth Diamond Hitch
Youth Individual Pack Contest and Scrambler Contest
Non-Pro Box Hitch and Diamond Hitch Contests
Non-Pro Packing Class

In addition, they brought out the Budweiser Clydesdale team and the Priefert Texas Thunder Hitch (roman riding style) for the evening show.

Between running around showing Knight in his classes, I did get a chance to get some photos of a couple of the other events. Here are a few of them:

Cow Working

Youth Ride-A-Buck



Western Pleasure Stakes

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2009

Bishop Mule Days - May 21, 2009

Dressage, 2-Up Mule Hitches, Youth Driving, Mini Donkey Driving, Gambler's Choice Trail, all the Donkey Halter classes and some of the Mule Halter classes made today a fun and busy day!

The day started off early at 6am with Dressage in the East Arena. I didn't get up early enough to catch the start of it, but did get some nice pictures of some of the later entries. They finally completed the last of the Dressage tests just after noon.


Meanwhile, starting at 8:00am, there were other fun events going in the Main Arena. First we had 2-Up Hitch Mule Teams. What a fun assortment of vehicles and beautiful mules to watch!



That class was followed by the Youth Driving class. This class is for all youth driving entries regardless of whether they are driving donkeys or mules, singles or teams. There was a nice array of entries in this class this year. The drivers ranged in ages 4 to 15 years, and were all accompanied by an adult groom riding beside them incase they needed help.



Next came Miniature Donkey Driving.


That concluded the events in the Main Arena for the day. The rest of the afternoon, stage equipment was being set up in the Main Arena in preparation for the evening Joe Nichols concert.

But there was still plenty to watch in the East Arena and to do around the fair grounds. Once Dressage was finished, we had a short lunch break, then it was time to get ready for Halter. My first event to compete in was Donkey Halter 3yrs & Up. I showed my beautiful white gelding, White Knight. He stood like a good boy during the standing-still portion of the class, but didn't think it proper to trot when the judge wanted him to trot. Ah, you gotta love them...

I was busy running around showing Knight, then cleaning up and putting my stuff away afterwards, and didn't have a chance to get any photos of the other afternoon Halter classes.

I did catch Video Mike filming some of the events during the day.


And for those who got tired of watching the show, a lot of the vendor are now set up and you can stay busy for hours browsing through their selection of goodies and visiting with them about mules!


Well, enough for one long busy day. It's time to get a good rest in preparation for tomorrow when the show really swings into action.

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 07:24 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2009

Bishop Mule Days - May 20, 2009

The second day of competitions is over, and Bishop Mule Days is well under way!

This morning many contestants were busy in the Hunter/Jumper classes. There were so many entries that those classes ran over, and they were late starting the afternoon show!

I spent the morning working with my gelding, Knight, and riding him around the fairgrounds in preparation for his events later this week, so didn't get any photos of the Hunter/Jumpers this year.

This afternoon I had the pleasure of watching the Mule Gamblers Choice Driving Prelims and Donkey Gamblers Choice Driving classes. It is really a treat to watch these versitile equines go through their paces in completing these challenging obstacles! Here are the top two placings in each of these two classes:

Single Mule Gamblers Choice Driving Prelims (finals will be later this week):

Tuff Stuff driven by Tim Phillips


Apples Peaches & Cream driven by Dawn Marie


Donkey Gamblers Choice Driving:

Redman's Back N Black driven by Tim Phillips


Sycamore Springs Jake driven by Dan Holland


Tomorrow morning starts bright and early (6am) with Mule Dressage in the east arena. Check back soon for more fun photos and updates!

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2009

Bishop Mule Days - May 19, 2009

Mule days is off to a good start! We had a full day of competitions today, including both driving and English riding classes.

The morning started off at 8am with Single Mule Pleasure Driving. Next was the Mule Drive & Ride class.


Then we had the pleasure of watching the 2-Up Donkey Teams. This was a cute team. And someone had some fun with the sign on the back of their cart.



Donkey Pleasure Driving finished off the morning. With 15 competitors in the class, there was some pretty good competition in this class.


The afternoon classes included:



Green English Pleasure, Green Amateur English Pleasure, English Pleasure, Amateur English Pleasure


Green Hunter Hack, Hunter Hack


Donkey Hunter Under Saddle


The vendors are starting to come in and set up their tents.

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 08:49 PM | Comments (1)

May 18, 2009

Bishop Mule Days - May 18, 2009

It has been a busy last couple of days leading up to Bishop Mule Days.

We left early Friday morning to start the drive from Washington state down to California. Friday afternoon we arrived at a lovely farm near Grants Pass, OR, where we had arranged overnight boarding stalls for each of the donkeys and mules in our group. This farm is in a lovely quiet valley.


After many more hours of driving we finally arrived in Bishop, CA Sunday afternoon about 12:30pm. Our last stop for fuel before arriving in Bishop was at Bridgeport. Here is the pretty view from the gas station parking lot there.


Like many other people, we spent Sunday afternoon getting unpacked, setting up, and settling in at the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Bishop, CA.


Those who got set up early enough and still had energy left to ride were out having fun in the evening after things cooled off a little.





Today, Monday, has been hot and sunny most of the day, although it has cooled down a little this afternoon. I rode my gelding, Knight, this morning and he was pretty sweaty when we got through. He was happy to get back to the cool shade of his pen.


Tomorrow the show begins at 8:00am with Pleasure Driving! Then in the afternoon there will be English Pleasure and Hunter Hack classes. Check back soon to find out how those events went!

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2009

About the Breed: American Mammoth Jackstock

As it's name suggests, this breed is a very large donkey, developed in the United States. They are also sometimes refered to as Mammoth Jackstock or Mammoth donkeys.

The American Mammoth Jackstock breed is the largest size of donkey in the United States. Jacks must be at least 58" tall and jennets 56" tall to be registered in the American Mammoth Jackstock Registry. The American Donkey & Mule Society recognises jacks of 56" and jennets of 54" and up as Mammoths in their registry.


Originally, Mammoth Jackstock donkeys were bred to be heavy boned, tall and drafty. In the early days, they were typically black or sorrel in color.

In more recent years there has been a second style of Mammoth donkey that has also become quite popular. They tend to be lighter boned, and more of a saddle type of donkey. These finer boned mammoths would not have met the breed standards in the early days when heavy draft animals were most desired, but now days with the demand growing for donkeys as saddle mounts, these tall lighter boned animals are becoming much more common.

You will also find that nowadays Mammoth donkeys come in all donkey colors including spotted and grey-dun. While these donkeys meet the size requirements, their colors show more recent influance from "standard donkey" blood, as these colors were not seen in the original American Mammoth Jackstock.


The American Mammoth Jackstock breed was the result of crossing several breeds imported from Europe, as well as native donkeys. In 1785, General George Washington was given a Catalan jack and two jennets by the Charles IV, King of Spain. These were some of the early imports used in the development of the breed. Other imported breeds used in the development of the American Mammoth Jackstock were the Malteses, Majorcan, Andalusian, and Baudet du Poitou.

The American Mammoth Jackstock breed was specially developed to be used in siring mules of high quality, strength and size - thus the reason they were selectively bred to be heavy drafty built, and their originally colors of black and sorrel to match the Belgian and Perchron horses they were typically bred to. The resulting mules were an integral part of industry in the years before tracters and machinery were readily available. These mules were used in farming, transportation, the US military, and almost anywhere you would think of using an automobile or heavy machinery today. After the invention of tractors and automobiles, the Mammoth Jackstock breed's numbers declined dramatically as they were no longer in high demand for use in mule production.


The breed is now making a come-back, as breeders work to preserve this awesome breed, and people rediscover their wonderful qualities and quiet dispositions. Now days these large donkeys are mainly used for pleasure. They make excellent riding, driving and pack animals, and are very loyal partners. They are very versitile. You may find them competing at shows, out on quiet trail rides, pulling carts and wagons, and occationally still helping pull a plow or logs on a country farm. With their quite disposition and surefootedness, they make excellent trail riding mounts. Mammoth jacks are also still used in the production of mules.

Ways the American Mammoth Jackstock donkey is being used today:

- Theropy Riding
- Trail Riding
- Gaming Shows
- Pleasure Riding
- Pleasure Driving
- Team Driving
- Quiet Riding Mount
- Companion Animal

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2009

Bishop Mule Days

Show and riding season is starting, and if you are like us, you are probably looking forward to this chance to get out with your mules or donkeys. It's also a great time to make new friendships and renew old ones with those who share your interest in longears.

Mule Team at Bishop

I am particularly looking forward to attending Bishop Mule Days again this year. It is coming up May 19-24 in Bishop, CA. It is always a fun filled week, and great chance to catch up with friends from all across the country.

If you are able to come to Bishop Mule Days, be sure to stop by and say Hi! I'd love to meet you! You'll see our banner in the shaded pens area just across the drive from the show office. Or if I'm not there, you may be able to find me at the first stall barn with my friends from Osceola Kingdom Longears.

Mule Team at Bishop

If you can't make it to mule days, you can still follow the events throughout the week in our news articles on Longears Mall. As I have done in past years, I will be posting articles online throughout the week with photos, video clips and show results updates. Stay tuned, and join us for the fun!

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2009

May Events

This is an exciting month! Spring is in full swing, and show season is starting!


Here are some of the highlights from May's calendar.

Squaw Valley Mule Show - May 1-3

The Squaw Valley Mule Show has a nice variety of classes, including halter, performance, driving, trail, cattle, and packing. More information can be found on their website at http://www.squawvalleymra.com/

Bishop Mule Days - May 19-24

For many of us who show mules or donkeys, Bishop Mule Days is one of the highlights of our year. It is the largest mule and donkey show in the world, with over 700 mules and donkeys competing in 181 classes. As described on their website "There is no way to actually describe Mule Days. It is part mule show, part test of skills, and part Wild West show." You won't want to miss this fun filled week!

Cameron Mule Co. Mulemanship Clinic - May 22-25

For those of you up in Canada, Brad Cameron is holding a Mulemanship clinic in Olds, Alberta, Canada.

Winnemucca Mule Races & Show - May 29-31

As described on their website: "The Winnemucca Mule Race and Show has become the Mecca of mule racing for competitors all over the West; it offers owners, trainers and riders the ultimate chance to 'test-drive' mules before the official start of the upcoming racing season. But the event also offers an absolutely fantastic weekend for spectators who are looking for a good time in a small town that knows what hospitality means."

You can find more mule and donkey events in our Event Calendar by clicking the "Calendar" tab above.

Do you know of another exciting mule or donkey event that we don't have listed on the calendar yet? Please send us an email with the info so that we can add it!

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)