Bo­rax 20-Mule Team com­ing to Centreville for mule sem­i­nar

Record Observer - - News - By DOUG BISHOP dbishop@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — The famed Bo­rax 20-Mule Team will be at the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Park in Centreville on Sun­day af­ter­noon, July 2, and the public is in­vited to this free, his­toric event. Thanks to Centreville res­i­dents Garon and Donna Stutz­man, the mule team is mak­ing the jour­ney from Death Val­ley, Cal­i­for­nia, be­ing hauled here in three trac­tor-trail­ers. This July marks the first time in 100 years that the mule team has been on the East Coast. The last time the team was in the area was the 1917 Pres­i­den­tial In­au­gu­ral Pa­rade of Woodrow Wilson, where they won first place.

The Stutz­mans own Grove Creek Mule Farm in Centreville. They de­scribe them­selves as mule en­thu­si­asts and want to help ed­u­cate the public about the her­itage of this mag­nif­i­cent an­i­mal that played a much un­her­alded role in the pi­o­neer­ing of the Amer­i­can West.

On July 2, from noon to 4 p.m., the public will have the op­por­tu­nity to gain an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of what a mule is and learn about its lim­it­less po­ten­tial as a mem­ber of the equine fam­ily.

The Stutz­mans have or­ga­nized an in­for­ma­tive mag­a­zine for the event, 20 Mule Team comes to Wash­ing­ton, D.C. 2017. The mag­a­zine is avail­able at sev­eral lo­cal stores, and will be avail­able July 2, at the 4-H Park for $2 a copy. It is filled with ev­ery­thing any­one would ever want to know about a mule, and more! The mag­a­zine de­scribes the his­tory of mules in Amer­ica in great de­tail.

In 1993, Garon Stutz­man, along with two friends, be­came the first peo­ple ever to ride “plea­sure rid­ing mules” in a pres­i­den­tial in­au­gu­ral pa­rade. Mules had been used for many pres­i­den­tial pa­rades be­fore the in­ven­tion of the au­to­mo­bile, how­ever, they had been used ex­clu­sively to pull wagon as floats in pa­rades, not as show an­i­mals in a pa­rade like horses had been.

On July 2, sem­i­nars will be of­fered on the ver­sa­til­ity of mules. Renowned mule and horse trainer Re­becca Evans will show Tom Colins, a World Cham­pion Green English Per­for­mance Mule. Tom will per­form a basic level dres­sage pat­tern. Also, Evans will show Miss Junebug, Re­serve All Around World Cham­pion Mule, demon­strat­ing her tal­ents in Western dis­ci­pline, such as reign­ing, cut­ting and Western plea­sure rid­ing.

What is a mule? Put sim­ply, it’s a cross be­tween a fe­male horse (mare), and a male don­key (know as a “jack”). What re­sults is a mule; most are ster­ile and can­not re­pro­duce.

The cross breed­ing be­tween a horse and don­key pro­duces a highly ver­sa­tile an­i­mal that was dis­cov­ered and ap­pre­ci­ated by the pioneers as they trav­eled west.

Mark your cal­en­dars for this once in a life­time event.

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

Garon and Donna Stutz­man of Centreville stand with two of their own mules. The Stutz­mans have arranged for the his­toric Bo­rax 20-Mule Team from Cal­i­for­nia to come to the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Park to be viewed free by the public from noon to 4 p.m. Sun­day af­ter­noon, July 2. The mule team will be here be­fore they per­form in the July 4th pa­rade in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

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