My Mule Can Jump Higher! Pea Ridge Mule Jump is Oct. 9


“My mule can jump higher than your mule.”

And so began the Pea Ridge Mule Jump, now in its fourth decade of delighting crowds.

The 32nd annual jumping competition and community party will open at 9 a.m. Oct. 9 just north of Pea Ridge City Hall on Weston Street. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 12, and free for children 5 and younger.

The Pea Ridge Chamber of Commerce first sponsored Fall Fest on Oct. 13, 1984. The next year, a mule jumping event was added to the festival, which was then called “Battlefield Daze.” The festival, held on the downtown school grounds, included a trail ride, coon dog competitions, craft sales and other events.

Raccoon hunters have used mules to jump fences for years, and what began as friendly competition between coon hunters has become an annual tradition attended by thousands of people. For 31 years, people from around the nation have traveled to Pea Ridge, the town just west of the Pea Ridge National Military Park and the ridge after which both take their name to watch mules and their owners match wills over whether the mules will jump a curtain raised regularly until all but one are eliminated.

Mules of all sizes — from the miniature Billie, at just 34 inches, to the statuesque Bulls Eye whose back is higher than many people’s heads — and colors — buckskin, sorrel, red, white, black and spotted — descend on Pea Ridge for the annual Mule Jump.

Blue, Bucky, Sunny, Nut-N-Honey and Frosty were some of the mules that competed in 1989. Red, Mollie, Scatty Cat, Radar, Molly Francis, Ragin’ Rooster, Ruby Tuesday, Buckwheat, Foxy, Colleen, Baxter, Missy and Babes have each delighted visitors over the years.

Events including the halter class, barrel racing, pole bending and jumping will fill the morning with a short break for lunch before the professional jump begins about 1 p.m.

Mule jumping comes from a tradition in coon hunting of having mules jump over fences rather than finding gates. Hunters throw a blanket over the fence so the mule will jump it. Mules can jump flat footed. In competition, once a mule walks up to the jumping barrier, it has three minutes to jump. The mule has two tries to clear the barrier without knocking it down. Trainers can not touch the mule. They must get the mule to jump by word commands. They can hold the reins and tug them.

Mules are eliminated until only one remains.

Nathan See, chairman of the event, said that in addition to the mule jump, there will be many food and craft booths and that the bounce houses and climbing wall will be free for children this year.

There will also be a car show by the Natural State Model A Club of Northwest Arkansas.



Pea Ridge Mule Jump

WHEN — Oct. 9 with opening ceremony at 9 a.m.; pro mule jump, 1 p.m.

WHERE — Just north of Pea Ridge City Hall at 975 Weston St.

COST — $2-$5


LET’S EAT! — It’ll Do Brew recently opened at 2110 Slack St. in Pea Ridge, serving coffee from Airship Coffee in Bentonville. Read more in Let’s Eat! on the Oct. 8 SUP page at

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