Thursday, November 30, 2017

Missouri Mule Days

by Sue Cole, Editor
In June this year Missouri Mule Days, Inc. was formed consisting of the following Board of Directors: President – Rob Tucker, Owensville, MO; VP – Cindy K. Roberts, Chesterfield, MO and Directors – Becky Tucker, Owensville and Teresa Mayberry. This hard-working, energetic group did a great job of putting together their first, of what they hope will be many Missouri Mule Days.
This year’s event was held at the Golden Hills Trail Rides site just outside the small town of Raymondville, MO. The facility provided everything a vendor, clinician or spectator would need for spending September 21-24 in the beautiful Ozark countryside. In order to help support a newly formed event of this type, I agreed to set up a booth. Not having the necessary accommodations for camping out for three nights I was very pleased to learn there was a 30 unit motel on the grounds and that for a very nominal fee, breakfast and the evening meal would be served in the trail ride dining hall.
For those with the ever popular mule trailer with living accommodations there were a large number of campsites with electricity and water-hookups, for a slight fee.
The group invited people involved in the mule industry living in Missouri.
The program began at 2 pm Thursday with Dave Recker of Columbia giving a clinic on Teaching your Mule to Lay Down, this was followed by Cindy Roberts, one of the founders of Mule Days, giving a presentation on How to Buy a Mule.
Friday’s schedule included Problem Solving & Mulemanship by mule trainer Loren Basham of Pair-A-Dice Mules from Belle; Recker once again was in the arena with his presentation. Saddlemaker Len Brown of Oak Grove, talked to a group on Correcting Saddle Issues, ending the clinic sessions; Basham gave another clinic. Throughout the day, those present could visit with Equine Dentists Brianna DeMoss of Bland, along with her mentor and his fiance Darrel  Wellen and Sarah Milligam of Illinois.
Friday and Saturday evenings found groups sitting around their camps visiting with old friends and getting acquainted with new mule people.
Saturday morning, Basham gathered together a group on mule back to get a little experience on Cow Working, followed by demonstrations from Recker, Brown and Roberts. All three days found Steve Dawson taking groups of riders to view the scenic trails, riding to a near-by cave and crossing a clear Ozark stream, Big Creek.
Evening entertainment also consisted of a Mule Trail Challenge. Women’s division was won by the very experienced mule lady Kelli K. Livengood of Bolkow. MO riding Copyright’s Chantilly Lace; 2nd Kim C. Noyes, Leslie, MO riding Otis   and 3rd Brianna DeMoss on Bonnie. Men’s division winners were 1st Sam Shetler, Boonville, riding Socks, 2nd Loren Basham riding Dixie Bell and 3rd Richard Carmack, Glasgow, MO on Babe. 
Nashville recording artist Jesse James was in concert two nights and several riders participated in a Mule Ranch Sorting.

There were several vendors located on the grounds, giving those attending an opportunity to shop for mule-related items, while enjoying an hour, a day or a weekend in the Ozarks. Plans will be announced soon for the dates and location for Missouri Mule Days 2018.
Alison Daniels riding "Smalls"

Camri Jones riding "Dixie Bell"

Participants in the cow working clinic move cattle in the arean

Shawn Beck on the trails - photo by Kelli LIvengood

Steve Dawson - photo by Kelli LIvengood

photo by Shawn Beck

Branding a mule owened by Cindy Roberts

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