Tuesday, October 14, 2014

HUNTER MOUNTAIN BANJO June 1984 – August 2014

by Cindy Powell
Hunter Mountain Farm
West Augusta, Virginia
Banjo at Bishop Mule Days, California in the early 1990’s
     I first saw Banjo in Columbia, Tennessee, April 1989. I was shocked; I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He was way ahead of the times in the mule world. Knowing the Hunters, of Hunter Mountain Farm, were wanting another mule, but never dreaming Banjo would be the one, I let that thought go, but never forgot him. As coincidence would have it, we ran into Banjo again several months later…and the rest is history.
     Banjo did not have the prettiest head, he was not the fanciest mover, he was just Banjo; the mule with the biggest heart and a steady, easy going, brain. He was always the same, 110 percent in all of the different divisions.
     All the ribbons, high point awards, national and world titles are not important. His biggest accomplishment is how he represented his kind throughout his career, enlightening the “outside” world about what these wonderful animals are truly capable of doing.
     It takes a big, behind the scene, team to do what we did. Veterinarians, farriers, coaches and people left behind to look after it all while we were traveling; however, nothing was possible without the financial backing of Hunter Mountain Farm. A heartfelt thank you to everyone for everything from me, Banjo, Maralyn, Rilla, and not to forget the donkeys we exhibited along the way.
Banjo is a legend, my hero, my partner and now he is in heaven eating all the grain he wants!

One of Cindy’s favorite profiles of Banjo after he was retired

Banjo overlooks the water at Hunter Mountain Farm, about 1990

A side saddle exhibition at the Roanoke Valley Horse Show

 Banjo was High Point Driving Mule at the State Fair of Texas in 1994

Banjo and Cindy in the warm up arena at the Great Celebration Mule Show, Shelbyville, Tenn.

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