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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 386

BLM Fire Horse Brigade Wins Blue Ribbon at Bishop’s Mule Days

A man wearing an old fire helmet and a man wearing a cowboy hat ride an old fire wagon behind two horses
Jim Wilkins (left) navigates his Belgium Draft horses through the streets of Bishop, California for the 40th anniversary celebration of “Mule Days”. The two horses won a blue ribbon as “Best Matched Pair.” Every year during the Memorial Day Weekend, more than 700 mules compete in 181 events at the Bishop Mule Days Celebration.   Jim is a retired Fire Captain from San Bernardino County and hails from Wrightwood, California. Rich Williams (right) is from the Bishop Field Office and was Wilkins’ helper and passenger for the day.  Photo credit: Photo by Julie Garrison/The Inyo Register

Bishop’s “Mule Days” hosts what is considered to be the largest non-motorized parade in the world. This year, Jim Wilkins brought his matched pair of Belgium Draft horses to drive BLM’s horse-drawn water tender in the parade. The tender is an Amish-built replica of an 1870s-era fire apparatus wagon. This is the eleventh year for the 19- and 21-year-old mares, named J.C. and Katy (pronounced Katie).

 “This is the first time a bunch of guys decorated the wagon, and it looked great,” said Wilkins. “Even though we were not entered in the parade, the Parade judge gave us a first place [best matched pair - horse drawn wagon]. There was an incredible crowd along main street and our reception was very warm and vocal the entire route. I was honored to once again represent your agency and the BLM fire folks.

- Rich Williams, BLM-California, Bishop Field Office

BLM-CAlifornia News.bytes, issue 386

Last updated: 06-10-2009