Mule Days

Every year during the Memorial Day weekend, our small community of 3900 host approximately 30,000 guest for one of the best festivities in the nation – Mule Days.
What once started as a low key event for packers & outfitters to show their skills and for local businesses to attract vacationers to the Owens valley, this six day event just celebrated its 44th year and draws ranchers, trainers, packers and spectators from all over the world.

The highlight along main street happens Saturday morning, as spectatures see the longest running non-motorized parade in the US.
The fair grounds is home to many traditional rodeo shows – calf & team roping, barrel racing, reining, etc., as well as competitions designed just for mules, donkeys and burros – team pulling, chariot racing, packing and farm class.
I usually have to work during the parade but try to make one of the evening presentations each year.
this year, I was fortuante enough to have a Friday morning off and made it in to see the cloverleaf barrel racing, donkey chariot races and the farm class competitions. What a great show.
Also for the first time, I managed to bring a camera along. I don’t own a telephoto, so had to make due with the 70mmDA (105mm equivalent) portrait lens and some cropping in post. Regardless, I had a great time photographing some of the best athletes and finest looking animals in the country. What a great show!
For anyone who knows mules, they are such a unique animal – intelligent, patient, curious and affectionate. They are quick to learn, sensitive, hard working and proud.
For anyone who loves mules, donkeys and burros, this is a must see show.
If you like western and rodeo, this event will delight and be something completely different.
Come give us a visit next year.

These show some of the fun. For more of the higher quality images please see archives/landmarkspoi page for slideshows.