Mules and donkeys compete in horse shows

To some people donkeys and mules are stubborn and untrainable but to others they are smarter and hardier than horses.

Caroline Boddy tries to keep water from splashing with her donkey Aug. 18 during the 24th annual Tees Longears Days. Competitors came from Alberta and Saskatchewan to be part of the festivities.

To some people donkeys and mules are stubborn and untrainable but to others they are smarter and hardier than horses.

The 24th annual Tees Longears Days was held to give lovers of the animals a chance to have some fun and also learn a thing or two about showing their animals. Attendees could tell they were in for a fun day as some participants had shirts that stated, “Mules, the original hybrid.”

Despite the lighthearted atmosphere, Russ Shandro, president of the Alberta Donkey and Mule Club has been working with his board to educate club members on how to work with the animals and “to educate the people in the husbandry” of donkeys and mules.

The last two years the club has hosted more education seminars than before because its members have requested them. Their plan appears to be working, some members have been competing at horse shows.

“We’re meeting the requirements of the active membership,” said Shandro.

“Now they’re getting into a higher level where they’re competing against horses,” he added.

Members are doing so well they had some cancellations from participants as they were heading to horse shows over the weekend. Shandro is not worried about the club though, he sees this next step as a strong selling point for them. “We want to see more people get to a higher level of competition.”

Now the board is looking at other classes for members.

“We’re re-tooling now to have a selection of education,” he said.

He is seeing mules getting more into show jumping and driving competitions and the board is responding with a trick training class in October. “For donkeys and mules, yes, you have to approach training differently.”

A well behaved mule is a sign the animal was trained well and Shandro enjoys seeing growth in that area. The five-member board oversees the concerns of 60 members and he is also pleased to have younger riders. Eight teenagers are learning the ropes of mules while they also learn their horse riding skills.

“It’s neat to see them participate with their horses and they’ve picked up mules too,” he said.

Membership ages range from 11 to 79 years old and Shandro’s goal is to continue on with plans past president, Bob Leggette set out.

Next year is the 25th anniversary of the club and Longears Days and organizers are already working on bringing musical acts to weekend.

Just Posted

Students at St. Augustine honour fallen Ponoka soldiers

The school’s Remembrance Day ceremony recognized the sacrifices of past soldiers

Ponoka Legion commemorates 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Ponoka residents pack Legion hall during Remembrance Day

Ponoka Secondary Campus alumni provides example of how to remember those who were lost

School’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony focuses on 100th anniversary of WWI armistace

No pumping into Gull Lake for 5 years due to carp concerns

Worries of carp in the Blindman River has put a hold on pumping water into Gull Lake

Rural crime task force results released at Agri-Trade luncheon

Report cites problems with police not being able to keep up with crime and justice system issues

WATCH: Remembrance Day in Lacombe fills LMC

2018 marked 100 years since the end of First World War

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Carjacking sees 76 year old woman’s vehicle stolen

Wetaskiwin RCMP with Crime Reduction Unit charge robbery suspects

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Remember When: Looking at Suzan Heriot Sturgeon’s artwork

A Ponoka and Lacombe artist is recognized and remembered

Reflections: A special tribute to Suzan Sturgeon

A self-taught artist who lived in the Lacombe and Ponoka area is recognized

Ponoka Food Bank gets a leg up from PES students

Ponoka Elementary School students show leadership in food fundraising campaign

Most Read