Each Memorial Day weekend, Bishop, Calif., kicks off the packing season by celebrating Mule Days. This year’s 47th annual event was a special one for Yucaipa, Calif., farrier Portor Green, who was inducted into the Mule Days Hall Of Fame.
Green, who is an 11-time World Champion farrier and holds the world-speed shoeing record of 3 minutes and 20 seconds, has attended each Mule Days event and has competed in 21 of them. Although he’s an accomplished farrier and competitor, he finds a great deal of enjoyment in all of the festivities.
“It’s not limited to shoeing and competing,” Green says. “It’s being able to participate in the whole event and the celebration. We’re here to put on a show for thousands of spectators and it’s an incredible event to be a part of.”
His father Lee Green, who is a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame, first introduced Portor to the celebration.
“My father held the world record for speed shoeing for 18 years with a time of 3 minutes and 26 seconds,” Green says. “He held his reign for years and nobody was able to beat him. I was the one who finally broke his record at Mule Days, and he was the first one to come congratulate me on my victory. I will never forget that moment. It was very special for me.”
Green, who has been shoeing professionally for 29 years, shod his first animal at 13. It was a mule.
“You have to have an understanding of the mule — how they think and operate,” he says. “You approach shoeing with the same steps, but the mule is a different animal than a horse. You have to shoe on their terms and be flexible and adaptable.”
Green will work with the 20 Mule Team that will be part of the 2017 Rose Parade, as well as the Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C., which will commemorate 100 years since the last Mule Team participated.
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