Marsha Coleman and Sophie
by Lenice Basham
PairADice Mules, Belle, Mo.
I overhear a lot of things when I am at the UHCA races; folks talk about their kids, their dogs, their horses. Often times I hear people comment on the quality of mules at the competition. This time, the discussion was all about the course. This was a huge course for the Amateur, Intermediate, Classic and Open. It was one of the longest courses I have ever seen (and I’ve seen quite a few). The event was held at the D Bar V Arena, Drexel, Mo. The courses were designed by Lee Chapman and Scott Simms.
“Lee certainly challenged the endurance of both horses and riders on the high-impact course. I think he set the record for the longest course in UHCA history,” said an anonymous poster on the association website. I think everyone in attendance would agree.
In the Open course, the rider had to work a cow into a pen after working it around the arena; cross bridges; cross a water crossing; work their way through the woods; back; sidepass; do a complete reining pattern in the arena; rope a barrel and wind the rope; run through the woods again, run around the outside of the pattern; and finally cross the finish line. The winner did it in 6 minutes 50 seconds. Most riders finished in the 7-8 minute time frame. The Amateur, Intermediate and Classic had some changes but their courses were very similar.
The mules did very well this time. Pat Keck, Springfield, Mo., and Sandy placed fourth in the Novice division. Marsha Coleman, Fulton, Mo., and Edith Ann placed first in the Classic division and fourth in the Amateur division. Marsha and her other mule Sophie placed third in the Classic division. Pat and her other mule Izzy placed seventh in the Novice division. Wes Coffel, Mound City, Ks., placed first place with his mule Oscar in the Intermediate division. Loren competed in the Open class with April and did a great job. The mud bog in the woods turned her into a different mule by the time she finished the course.
Make plans to join us at the next race. You can find race information at their website www.ultimatehca.com. I would love to see more mules at this competition. There are divisions for all different levels of riders: Buckaroo (ages 5-11); Youth (ages 12-17); Novice (rider who has basic skills but lacks confidence and knowledge of advanced horsemen); Colt (mule is 2,3,4 years old); Intermediate; Classic (age 55 and older); Amateur; and Open. The association is very welcoming of mules. I hope to see you at the next event!
Pat Keck on Izzy
Wes Coffel and Oscar
Tina and Sandy
Loren Basham and April