Why would someone register their mule?
After all, they’re not a breeding animal! They will not have any get
to trace. They aren’t a breed. They’re half of a breed. Are there
benefits to registering the mules and who do you register them with.
Since the mule’s popularity is on the rise, many of them are being
professionally trained, they are being asked to do whatever horses
are doing and succeeding, it may be wise to keep accurate records.
(In 1992) The American Donkey and Mule Society had approximately
1,573 mules registered in their registry. These registrations make
it possible to maintain accurate records on these mules. Records of
their pedigree make it possible to study trends in breeding and to
identify those kinds of breedings that produce quality. Have you
ever seen a mule that you really liked? If it was not possible to
purchase the mule, if he was registered, it would be possible to
find out his breeding and repeat it. Registration papers would also
identify the breeders who may have more mules like the one that has
caught your fancy. All too often the lineage of an exceptional mule
is not known, making it impossible to reproduce the breeding to get
There are those who will say that breeding is a roll of the dice.
You’ll never know what you’ll get. Where, in fact, that may be so,
not because it’s true, but because there are few records by which to
study and repeat good breeding. With good records exceptional sires
and dams could be identified. One could identify what breeds of mare
produce what kind of mule. Many people are under the impression that
the American Quarter Horse is the best cross for halter mules. Yet
quite a few halter winners are actually foals of Walking Horses,
Morgans and Arabians.
In addition, registration is a buyer protection plan. I have been
at sales and shows where someone is in the process of purchasing a
mule. The seller makes all sorts of claims from who the sire and dam
of this “for sale” mule to show and events accomplishments. Once a
seller claimed the mule he was selling in Oklahoma had won all the
classes at the State Fair of Texas. I know it was not true, because
I had attended the show. The fact of the matter was that this mule
had been shown in halter and not even placed.
Registration papers are a requirement at some shows, sales and
races. The ADMS National has classes for registered animals. The
American Mule Association requires that all their racing mules be
registered. And the AMA (and NASMA) has sanctioned shows for the
mules registered with them. And, in order to participate in the ADMS
(and NASMA) Awards Programs, a mule must be registered.
As more mules are being bred from expensive mares and expensive
jacks, it makes sense to have some kind of record of the breeding.
Hard facts and stats are the best defense against the old
stereotypes that plague the mule. When someone spouts the
time-honored “All Mules ……….” scenario, there would be statistics
that would be available to refute ridiculous claims. Most of the
information about mules is vague and was written from the Civil War
to the earl 1900’s. Data is being applied to the modern mules that
was compiled over eighty years ago. While it is important to the
history of the mule, the information is dated. If horse breeds have
changed greatly in the past eighty years, so have the mules because
they are the get of those breeds.
And any horse person who protests that it is ludicrous to
register sterile hybrids, probably owns a registered gelding. Mule
owners care about their animals. They believe in their animals’
abilities. And they value their mules as much as their horses. There
is a great deal of time, effort and money being put into mules. It
would seem reasonable that if an endeavor is worth engaging in it is
worth keeping track of.