Mule Racing is a lesser known sport, mostly enjoyed by audiences in the United States of America. They may not be the most attractive steeds around, but mules certainly do possess a lot of charisma and watching them race is truly remarkable.
First of all, what is a mule? A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. When a male horse and female donkey reproduce, the result is a hinny. Mules and hinnys are often classed together under the name 'mule'. Saddle mules are those bred from mares with good riding conformation and are therefore more suitable as racehorses. Mules typically have a short broad head with long ears. Their limbs are thin and they have small hooves. Colors do vary, however, they are most often bay or sorrel. Interestingly, mules are able to carry more weight and have greater stamina because of their hybrid vigor. Mules are an interesting combination of body and personality with the sure-footedness, patience and endurance of an ass, but the energy and out-going personality of the horse.
The American Mule Racing Association was established with the objective of promoting this unusual sport. The 6 directors who run the association are responsible for creating and enforcing a set of standards and regulations for the sport. They also gather and disperse important information to keep the sport well-regulated. Presently, there are about 70 racing mules in America which are known to run faster than appaloosas and Arabians. Mule races are usually preceded by a few quarter horse or thoroughbred races. The jockeys will then hop onto the mules for a race at the end of the day. One of the most popular mule races is the Winnemucca Mule Race in Nevada. Held every spring it is also well-known as the first venue to hold a race with cloned animals.
Mule racing is a very fascinating sport and if you are able to attend a race, be sure not to miss it. You are certain to have a great time.