WHITEHALL – Whitehall’s rodeo grounds were filled with donkeys on Saturday as the second day of competition kicked off for the 34th Annual Mule Days.
151 animals came from all over the world including Germany and Canada to compete in the events scheduled across three days. Friday consisted mostly of training classes and more relaxed events, while Saturday was all about competition with the Scurry Race, 6 up Hitch Driving, and Chariot Races.
The Montana Long Ears Association puts on this event each year to allow owners to show off their beloved animals.
“There is something about donkeys, that they are fun to get along with. They are actually a challenge. We are all out there to have a really good time. You know we go out there to compete but yet we have so much fun. Donkey and Mule people are just kind of unique people to be around,” said Montana Long Ears Association President Tara Price.
For Val Larson, Mule Days is not about winning but rather spending quality time with her family. Her daughter, granddaughter and brother were all in attendance to not only watch Larson but compete themselves. Avery, her 2-year-old granddaughter, competed in the costume class event with her miniature donkey Kelvin.
“And she looks around and she doesn’t say very many words but she looks real happy and content and you can see she is having fun too with it,” said Larson.
Mule Days will continue all day on Sunday with events like Obstacle Driving, 8 up Hitches, Barrel Racing and an Award Presentation.
This was the second year Mule Days was held in Whitehall. It is the largest, and only, mule-and-donkey show in Montana.