“I raise pretty donkeys,” Bates said with a big smile. “I've been to California and Texas for shows, and you won't find prettier mules and donkeys anywhere else other than right here in Bloomfield at the State Show. If you win here, it means something.”
If you observe these animals closely, you will notice they are very calm and intelligent. Their names often bare their pride and beauty, such as Clyde's Brass Ring, Ka's Smokin' Joe and Hawleywood's Covergirl. Hawleywood's Covergirl is a stage name. Her pet name is Peaches, and she is a beautiful bay roan mule. She is owned by Marena Riggin from Abilene, Kan. Riggin has been doing shows for 12 years.
“My husband woke me up one morning and said I've got your birthday present. She was the one I really wanted. We sent Peaches immediately to a trainer to get her started. She's a bit of a princess,” Riggin said.
On Saturday, they had an auction of donated items. Sunday morning was Cowboy Church. One member said it was a casual thing and all you needed was jeans and a cowboy hat. The awards went out this past weekend for the best in the Midwest, and although not everyone wins Grand Champion, participants still ride off into the sunset, happy to be a part of it all.