12th Annual Jake Clark Mule Days
Held in Powell, Wyo. - June 17-21, 2009
By Kay Clark
America’s finest saddle mules came out of the woodwork for a five-day celebration over Father’s Day weekend at Jake and Kay Clark’s ranch in Ralston, Wyo. More than 20 saddle mules came from 28 states to this sleepy little town with a population of 100. There were no signs of economic struggle, with attendees coming from as far away as Arkansas, Florida, Vermont, Virginia, Pennsylvania, California, Washington and Hawaii.
(above) Photos from the dance, where a live band performs
(below) Attendees gather for a dinner
Team sorting and team penning clinics and competitions were new to this year’s calendar of events. The team sorting is an event that any rider can participate in and will be continued in next year’s list of activities.
Gunfire woke up attendees during the third annual mounted shooting contest. Doug and Dawne Cambell donated a pair of handmade spurs crafted by Quint Gonzales and spur straps made by Fraker Saddlery to the winner of this event, which was Marlin Kennedy of Idaho. Marlin also holds past world and national championships of the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association and the Mounted Shooters Association. Not far behind in the competition was Ron Differ, of Pennsylvania, who also holds a Regional Championship title and was the Range Master for this year’s Mule Days. Following closely was Mark Bailey of Arkansas, and T.J. Clark and Sky Grant of Wyoming.
The winners of the three-day cumulative jackpot roping received trophy halters donated by Loren (Jiggs) Loesch, from Spillville, Iowa. Champion header, T.J. Clark took home a halter along with $437. Heeling champion Amy Landrus, of Ralston, Wyo., left with a halter and $280. Also high in the money was Justin King with $277 and Chuck Reid with $245.
Donated high-end merchandise and tack was auctioned off on Friday evening and Sunday morning. Almost $9,000 was raised for the Cody Country Outfitters and Guides Association and other various Mule Days charity foundations. Jake Clark donated a small mule that was auctioned off and, combined with other generous donations, a check for $2,650 was sent to Steve King of Idaho to help with medical expenses. Steve was injured during the practice roping at Bishop Mule Days in May.
Over 1,000 spectators attended the all-mule rodeo on Saturday. A steak dinner and old-fashioned barn dance followed. Homemade pies, bringing from $50 to $150, were auctioned between sets performed by a live band.
“Outstanding” is the best description of Sundays auction. The consignors of the highest-selling mule received a handmade saddle donated by Flat Creek Saddle Shop in Jackson, Wyo. T.J. Clark and Amy Landrus took home that honor and prize this year when they sold Susie-Q for $19,000. Susie-Q went to a large farm in Georgia. The Georgian’s representative had found two mules that he felt would fit the needs of these Georgia boys. A father and son who had played professional ball, both weighing well over 200 pounds, needed a mule that was gentle and would go all day on their farm for quail hunting. Their bidding on their first mule fell short and the mule sold to another buyer. When the bidding for the other mule that would work for them started, it went well over what they had hoped to pay. The mule was delivered to Georgia and the men were very happy with their purchase. The buyers were awarded a pair of trophy spurs, donated by Doug and Dawne Cambell’s Peaks to Prairie Livestock, for purchasing the high selling mule.
(above) Chad Turner laying down a mule
(below) TJ Clark competing in mounted shooting
The second high-selling mule, Amos, who went for $12,500, was sold by Tom Jones of Falls City, Nebraska. Jones was awarded a breast collar donated by Dan’s Boot and Saddle shop of Powell, Wyo. Amos went to Edward Benson of Kansas City, Mo., via phone bid.
The total average on all saddle mules sold was just over $4,700, $800 higher than previous years, and proved to the mule buyers that Mule Days accomplished bringing the best selection of quality saddle mules gathered for any national auction. The buyers top mule choices determined mule prices rather than any particular positions in the sale. This is proven by noting that both Todd DeJong, of Iowa, who had a mule that sold fourth and Jake Clark, who had a mule that sold at number 108, appeared in this year’s Super Star List of high selling mules (on next page).
This Super Star List weren’t the only ones that sold during this year’s Mule Day. This is just a list of the mules that were the top sellers and judged to be the best mules by this year’s buyers. Jake and I work to see that the very best mules are part of their annual sale. Because of this, and the integrity of the consignors, America’s best saddle mules are found at this auction.
Following Mule Days, Michelle Meuth of Floresville, TX called our ranch. Michelle and her husband Bill were first time attendees and purchased Bev and Cracker Jack, two of the top-eight selling mules from this year’s sale. Michelle said, “My husband and I don’t mind paying a good price for a mule, but we expect to get what we pay for.”
Not quite knowing where this statement would lead, I paused for a moment.
Michelle continued, “Well, I just want to tell you that these mules are awesome, they are everything the consignors said they were, we are delighted with both of them.” This is just one of the many reason’s people return year after year or recommend their friends to attend.
Jake Clark’s Mule Days will be held June 16-20,2010, and will begin accepting consignments December 1. See many of the 2010 mules in future ads of Mules and More and Western Mule magazines. Contact us for a catalogue or additional information about events or mules at (307) 754-4320 or by visiting www.saddlemule.com.
TJ Clark with the High Selling Mule Saddle
(above) Hip #13, Eve Scott and Sandy Sallee (below) Levi Jones with Hip #17, Amos
The Mule Days Rodeo awarded the High Point trophy saddle to T.J. Clark of Powell, Wyoming. The runner-up High Point Breast Collar went to Mark Bailey of Vilonia, Arkansas. The results of the rodeo are as follows:
Open Barrel Race - 1st Sydney King, Idaho; 2nd Von Twitchell, Pine Bluffs, Wyo.; 3rd Marlin Kennedy, Idaho
Youth Barrel Race - 1st Chance Karst, Powell, Wyo.; 2nd Joci Campbell, Bridger, Mont.
Open Poles - 1st Von Twitchell; 2nd Marlin Kennedy; 3rd Sydney King
Youth Poles - 1st Chance Karst
Ribbon Roping - 1st Levi King, Justin King, Todd DeJong; 2nd Chad Turner, Page Turner, Richard Hodson, Montana and Wyoming; 3rd Brian Wise, Phillip Bower, T.J. Clark, Wyoming
Open Goat Tying - 1st Mark Bailey, Arkansas; 2nd Sam Olsen, Montana; 3rd Linda Bailey, Arkansas
Youth Goat Tying - 1st Chance Karst
Senior Steer Riding - 1st Jose Perez, Powell, Wyo.; 2nd Buster Campbell, Powell, Wyo.
Wild Cow Riding - 1st Parker Breding, Montana; 2nd Matias Guillot, Powell, Wyo.; 3rd Cliff Schadt
Saddle Mule Race - 1st Marlin Kennedy; 2nd Sam Olsen
Team Roping - (Header/Heeler) 1st Mark Bailey/T.J. Clark
Team Branding - 1st Chad Turner, Jim Short, Von Twitchell, Montana and Wyoming; 2nd Dillon Swim, Laken Power, Tim Wilf
Wild Ride - 1st T.J. Clark; 2nd Briar Burell, 3rd Andy Pollari
Mounted Shooting - 1st Marlin Kennedy, 2nd Ron Differ, Pennsylvania; 3rd Mark Bailey, Arkansas