Check out this video making the viral rounds of the winning mule at a coon jumping competition!
Mules are a unique species of equine, possessing traits from both their horse and donkey parents as well as their own special qualities of, well, “mulishness.” While commonly said to be stubborn, mules are typically highly intelligent, which may manifest as “stubbornness” to the easily-frustrated handler or trainer. Combine intelligence with extraordinary athleticism and it’s no wonder that mule ownership may be on the rise!
One discipline unique to mules is the sport of coon jumping — mules jump a single fence from a near-standstill with the fence height raised and raised until there’s a winner. The discipline’s roots trace back to raccoon hunters riding their mules through the thick brushy forests of the American south; when met with a wire fence, the hunters would throw a blanket or jacket over the top wire to make it easily visible and then urge their mules to jump. This became a form of competition pretty quickly!
The winning mule is Sadie, owned and handled by Les Clancy:
Due to their build and extraordinary athleticism, mules are able to jump extreme heights without the “running start” that we’re used to seeing in showjumping. We’re not entirely sure how you are able to turn these mules out in the pasture without them leaping over the fence all the time, but we’re sure they’ve got it all worked out somehow.
Go mules! And go riding.