Contestants, horses and mules, oh my!

It’s quite the sight to take in… Rodeo rigs pulling in by the minute, contestants jumping out to stretch their legs, but the first thing they are concerned with is taking care of their sturdy steeds.

Miranda and Madison Iager from Maryland are proud to unload their “not so typical” rodeo mounts from the trailer after a long haul. Gato and Peaches may stand out due to extremely long ears, but they do not lack any heart.

Gato, Miranda, Madison and Peaches came ready to compete.

Gato, Miranda, Madison and Peaches came ready to compete.

“Mules are a lot more sure footed, a lot smarter, and a lot smoother,” said Miranda. “They are not as fast (as horses), but they are a lot of fun!”

Madison will be competing on Peaches for the National High School Finals Rodeo Queen contest. She is the first queen to use a mule during the horsemanship portion of the pageant.

“Peaches was actually the first mule to have ever been at the NHSFR in 2014,” said Madison.

Miranda and Gato will be competing in the goat-tying, making it the first time that a mule has ever competed in the timed events.

The sisters started riding and showing mules at a young age because their uncle was the first man to have mules in Maryland. They joined NHSRA two years ago and have not let those long ears drag them down.

Peaches, Miranda and Gato prepare to get checked in.

Peaches, Miranda and Gato prepare to get checked in.

“I’m looking forward to competing and showing off my mule,” said Miranda.

The National High School Finals Rodeo runs through July 12-18, 2015. Come and cheer on all of our four-legged critters and top notch competitors, as well as get your shopping done at the NHSFR Trade Show.

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