For an animal primarily known for its stubbornness, the humble mule inspires a surprising amount of human love and devotion. Microkhan recently became acquainted with mule fandom via Western Mule Magazine, a publication that led him to discover Mule Days in Bishop, Calif. Held annually over Memorial Day Weekend, Mule Days is a true whopper of a hootenanny, which allows mule aficionados to congregate and feel secure in their oft-mocked affinity for (mostly) infertile donkey-horse hybrids:
There is no way to actually describe Mule Days. It is part mule show, part test of skills, and part Wild West show. It is an event the likes of which are held no where else in the world. Over the five days of the event, there are 14 shows featuring over 700 mules with their trainers, riders and packers. In excess of 30,000 fans converge on the Tri- County Fairgrounds and the Mike Boothe Arena to watch the events and visit the exhibitors.The fourteen mule shows consist of: Western, youth, English, cattle working, gaited, coon jumping, racing, musical tires, gymkhana, packing, shoeing, chariot racing, team roping and driving.
Mule people are determined to prove that anything a good horse can do, a good mule can do better. From trail riding to show classes, mules can do it all with the grace unique to these animals. Steer roping and penning, an event normally reserved for quarter horses, is another highlight of Mule Days. Cowboys will have the opportunity to prove their roping and riding skills astride some of the best working mules in the United States.
Microkhan’s travel budget is currently zero, so we’ll sadly be unable to report from the festivities this month. But if we can scrape up $165, perhaps we’ll invest in the official Mule Days buckle. If not, then we’ll just stick with following the celebration’s Tweets.