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Can you legally show a mule?

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  • Can you legally show a mule?

    This is a very silly question, but I am must admit I dont know the answer...
    Is it legal to show a mule at a USEF rated show? Im guessing the answer is No, but just looking for clarification.
    I just watched a youtube video of a mule that jumps just as well as some A circuit hunters! It made me really want a mule!
    "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong

  • #2

    I know this because 30 or so years ago, my trainer had a friend who showed her mule and it kicked ass! It was an amazing jumper. I wish I had the picture to show -- textbook form with HUGE ears.

    Anyway, she started to win and people complained and she wasn't allowed to show any more.

    There actually is a definition somewhere in the USEF rulebook about "horse or pony" and it excludes mules.
    Originally posted by tidy rabbit
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.


    • #3
      We had one show at a local show or two. He, uh, kicked a$$!
      A proud friend of bar.ka.


      • #4
        Well, there didn't seem to be anything specific in the Hunter rules, but the General rules state:

        GR125 Horse.
        1. The term “horse” as used in these rules denotes either a horse or pony.
        2. In all levels of all Federation licensed Driving and Endurance Competitions and in the
        case of any other Federation Rule as it relates to the Driving or Endurance disciplines as
        the context permits it, the term “horse” shall also include a mule. See DC103.7.1, EN102.1.
        a. Mules are also eligible to compete in dressage classes with the exception of
        (1) USEF Championships, USEF qualifying and selection trials, and observation
        (2) any other classes designated as qualifying or selection classes for international
        or international high performance competition, and
        (3) championships where such participation is prohibited in the championship
        selection procedures. See DR119.1.

        That would seem to imply that they can be used in driving, endurance, and some dressage competitions, but not for anything else.
        A Year In the Saddle


        • #5
          Aw shucks!
          I wont name any names but i worked for a horrible farm owner in the past and always thought it would be funny to show a mule or a donkey and name his show name after previous Barn Owner...
          lol, living well is truly the best revenge but the thought of doing that tickled me...


          • #6
            I just wanted to share... (I know you have the answer.) I considered purchasing a pair of lovely dun drafty mules for my lesson program. They were actually pretty good movers and real steady eddys. I ultimately chose to pass since we couldn't take them anywhere at the end of the day.

            Too bad... I still think they're cute.


            • #7
              Hmmm...I wonder how'd they'd be as schoolies.....Might not be a bad idea in the future to have one or two!
              "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique


              • #8
                Mules are awesome - and can be great school animals!

                In college, I rode at a barn where the trainer had both horses and mules. She did primarily english, western, in dressage. He best mule, a tall black/white spotted appy mule, went GrandPrix-level dressage! I taught him to jump and had him going 3' within a few months. He was awesome - could jump anything, from anywhere!

                There is a whole mule circuit - look up "Bishop Mule Days". Locally, we've had some mules used in the IHSA shows (great draws - but you need to "make friends" first! - they're VERY smart) and they show up at schooling shows sometimes. I've seen pictures of people taking mules out on fox hunts, too.

                I miss the mules!!! - but love my horsie, nonetheless


                • #9
                  No. It is a horse show, not a mule show. They have their own competitions. I also am aware that many if not most hunts prohibit hunting mules.
                  Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
                  November 11-13, 2016


                  • #10
                    At Spruce Meadows Team Mule won Battle of the breeds. I think I read that there was a team member that had a Ec Canada passport. Shows in the jumpers.


                    • #11
                      We had one show at the Virginia Beach shows when I was a kid. Her name was Pearl and she would win the pleasure divisions ALL the time. She was very pretty and a good mover. The horses would often be nervous around her....that helped her win as well;0


                      • #12
                        there was one that used to show at the chester county shows, shannondell specifically, in the pleasure horse. he was adorable and I think his name was kick ass jack or something like that which always cracked me up.


                        • #13
                          Mules are cool, and they will give the Arabians some stiff competition in endurance.
                          They do have their own circuit. There are "mulemanship" classes - for some reason I love the word "mulemanship"!


                          • #14
                            As shown above the USEF changed the definition of "horse" a few years ago to make clear that mules could be shown in driving and endurance, and some dressage.

                            It was really the driving people who pushed the rule change, as there are some excellent driving mules. They wanted to make it an overall rule change for all disciplines. I can't recall why H/J objected.
                            "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dinah-do View Post
                              At Spruce Meadows Team Mule won Battle of the breeds. I think I read that there was a team member that had a Ec Canada passport. Shows in the jumpers.
                              Yep, I know the one. Lovely chestnut colour with large ears! It can jump the freaking moon, and in good style, he is super cute. Nobody cares, and the horses don't seem to mind either!
                              Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!


                              • #16
                                There was one that showed up at a schooling show around here.. he freaked out all of the horses, except one girls pony, who lives with a donkey..caused such problems with other people's horses, it was asked to leave.
                                For a moment there, you bored me to death


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Portia View Post
                                  I can't recall why H/J objected.
                                  Didn't want to lose to a mule?


                                  • #18
                                    I wish they were legal to compete. I would have one in a heartbeat! Boy can those things jump!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Paragon View Post
                                      Didn't want to lose to a mule?

                                      Actually, thinking back on it, I think it was one of those things where they pushed for it in the driving, then endurance and dressage said "hey, we don't care, we'll take mules too," and nobody brought it up with the H/J people. Such is the way rules get changed at USEF.
                                      "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                                      • #20
                                        To legally show a mule you must have
                                        A license from the DMV and proof of insurance
                                        Approval from the FDA
                                        A recommendation from the local city chamber of commerce
                                        Permits authorized by FIMA, HUD, ... and your parents permission.
                                        I judged the Bishop Mule Days twice and pinned some very large classes of over 24 in the undersaddle/pleasure ? classes. There were some really nice mules I was relieved to see that my choices were getting similar results at other shows- as a judge was given membership to the "mule society?" sorry my don't remember the actual name.
                                        The jumping was fairly erratic, it likely didn't help that they held races during the show. I might be in the middle of judging a class when the anouncement came that the next race was about to begin.
                                        I have never seen anything like it before or since. I give so much credit for the people that ride mules. It is not for the average person but I had a really fun time getting to meet the real "mule skinners".
                                        Last edited by Wanderluster; Apr. 2, 2009, 01:05 AM.