SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — People traveled to Springfield to celebrate and show off Missouri’s state animal this weekend at the Annual Ozark Mule Day event.
Riders of all ages could sign up for different competitions such as barrel racing, shooting, and poles.
Springfield has hosted the event for 16 years but the event has been happening since 1982. The organizer of the event, Les Clancy, says there are around 350 mules and donkeys at this year’s show.
“A lot of people think of a mule out there in that pasture think that’s just a mule,” said Clancy. “But if you come to this show, you would see mules that ride comparatively side by side with that quarter horse, or that walking mule, or that walking horse, or that fox trotter horse. So, a lot of people underestimate what a mule can actually do and how athletic; but if you take the time, you take the trainer, and you put forth something really great into that mule, you will show a good mule.”
There is also a competition called Missouri Mule Makeover. Top trainers across the country take untrained mules and train them for a series of competitions. The winner will receive several prizes, including a livestock travel trailer.