Tees Longears Days salutes Ponoka’s Merv Hollihan


Merv Hollihan

Longears fans in central Alberta will have an opportunity to admire mules and donkeys in action at the 22nd annual Tees Longears Days Aug. 20 and 21.

The show, held at the Tees Rodeo grounds 25 kilometres east of Lacombe, is presented by the Alberta Donkey and Mule Club (ADMC). Start time is 9 a.m. each day.

Show chairperson Marlene Quiring feels that Longears Days brings the fun back to showing.

“Our main objective with the show is to provide a fun-filled family event and to show that mules and donkeys are a viable alternative to riding or driving a horse. “

“Most people simply just do not realize how intelligent, hardy, and endearing these long-eared hybrids are.’’

Since mules and donkeys are never quite as predictable as their short-eared relatives, spectators can always count on an entertaining show.

Two special guests will be honoured at this year’s show. Seventy-seven year old Merv Hollihan of Ponoka is one of the founding members of the ADMC and also one of the hardest working. Hollihan has attended all 22 shows, earning many ribbons and prizes over the years.

The second visitor to be recognized is the famous mule, Horse, owned by the late Deloit Wolfe of Missoula, Mont.

Horse and Deloit were permanent members of Team Mule, who in 2008 won the Battle of the Breeds at the Spruce Meadows Masters. Horse will travel all the way from Washington state with her new owners, Deloit Jr. and family. Anyone who has attended the Masters will remember Horse and Deloit Sr. riding and driving throughout the grounds, creating new mule fans wherever they went.

A full range of riding, driving, gymkhana, and fun classes are held. To make sure there’s entertainment for everyone, there are free tiny tykes classes with stick mules and donkeys provided. A drill team performance takes place both days.

A used tack sale will be held after the show on Saturday afternoon, followed by a catered supper, fun auction and country music. Vendors and a concession will be on site.

Admission and camping are free, but supper tickets must be ordered in advance.

Show entries are still being accepted.

Check the club website for the show program and entry form, at www.albertadonkeyandmule.com.

For more information, entries, and supper tickets, contact show secretary Ethel Hollihan at 403-783-3083 or Marlene Quiring at 403-783-5210.

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