Mule and donkey owners are coming together to celebrate their love of these animals.
Tees Longears Days is Aug. 17 and 18 at the Tees rodeo grounds and director Marlene Quiring promises a fun time for the whole family. Organizers are celebrating the 24th anniversary of the show, which has been used as a way to educate the public on these animals.
Some of the events viewers can enjoy are similar to those found at a horse show but other events such as the water bucket, flapjack and pancake races are intended to entertain viewers, added Quiring. “We have different classes you might not see at a horse show.”
Contestants will try their animals’ skill at log pulling and even a walking race.
“How fast can you walk but without breaking your gait?” Quiring asked.
She looks forward to their pantyhose race, which is similar to barrel racing but with two riders holding pantyhose between them. Quiring has been with the host Alberta Donkey and Mule Club for the last 25 years and enjoys the strong character of mules.
“I enjoy that they’re much hardier than a horse,” she said. “They are thinkers…They don’t just blindly let you do things to them.”
Mules and donkeys have a strong instinct not to flee, which she feels is an asset to the animals. She also enjoys being with friends and family and they sometimes get people from British Columbia at the show.
“It’s a good excuse to get together and have some fun,” stated Quiring.
Younger kids will have the chance to compete in some stick mule classes riding smaller mules and donkeys. Parelli instructor Amy Dorland is also coming to perform a demonstration.
“She’s entertaining the thought of working with a mule,” said Quiring.
People who come to this show are also just getting used to showing their animals and it gives them experience for future events. “This show is really geared to people that have never really shown before.”
The event is free to spectators and there will be a dinner on the first night followed by a fundraising auction. For more information call 403-783-5210 or check out www.albertadonkeyandmule.com/.