Even the Washington Donkey was Spanish
The day of the Mule (October 26) is remembered every year in the US, in recognition of the Spanish donkeys that arrived in North America, gifts from the King of Spain.
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Donkey, Mule, the gift of the King of Spain
National Mule Day
The date of October 26 has remained in the U.S. as a national day of appreciation for the work of the Mule in the field work. The arrival of the mules increased the productivity of the field.
George Washington is considered the Father of Mules in the U.S.
A Royal gift, from Carlos III, something very special for George Washington from the King of Spain, which improved the life of the North American countryside. And his descendants spread throughout North America.
George Washington innovative farmer
Much is known about Washington as a general and his role in the rebellion of the 13 colonies and the war against England, but little as a farmer. His huge Mount Vernon farm had over 200 slaves working on it. George Washington was a supporter of the freedom of the 13 colonies, but he was very conservative about the freedom of others.
George Washington was fond of raising animals on his farm. He sought to improve production in the field, using more robust and productive animals such as the Mule. A very valuable animal for farm work was the Spanish donkey, which was forbidden to export to other countries. To get a good mule, he needed the best donkey, a first-rate stallion. The Spanish Donkey of Castile in Spain, specifically in Zamora, was the best species as a stallion.
A great reader and interested in getting the best for his plantation, he knew that he wanted the best for the Spanish donkey. But it was very difficult to get, and he was punishable by death selling these animals to a foreign country. But curiously, the 13 newly independent colonies were surrounded by territories controlled by Spain. 3/4 of North America at that time was controlled by Spain.
The crossing of the donkey with a mare produced the Mule. An animal that combined the skills and endurance of the donkey and the horse. The result was an animal, very resistant that endured many efforts and long journeys, which is why it was highly coveted by the army.
Washington was determined to get mules and for this he needs the best stud. The fame was had by the stupendous and resistant Spanish donkeys. He requested one from the King of Spain, taking advantage of the excellent relations they maintained after the victory and independence of the 13 colonies. Through the Count of Floridablanca, he was able to obtain the Royal Consent
Surprise when receiving a Spanish donkey
Two splendid and robust donkeys, good stallions, left from the lands of Zamora. In 1784 they departed from this province of Spain, traveling a long way to the coast where they would later be shipped in the ports of Bilbao and Santander, in two different ships, to ensure that at least one of them could reach America. Unfortunately during the dangerous crossing of the Atlantic, a storm sank one of the boats, also perishing the donkey it was carrying.
The donkey arrived on October 26, 1785 at Mount Vernon, lands of George Washington.
Mule Appreciation Day
In recognition of this fact that had a great impact on the productivity of the North American countryside, a day of the Mule was established. It was President Reagan in 1985, 200 years after the arrival of the donkey, who instituted this day of appreciation.
Every year on October 26, this Mule Appreciation Day is celebrated, commemorating the donkey’s arrival at Mount Vernon, on October 26, 200 years earlier. Accompanied by a porter who arrived with him, from Spain, looking after him during the long boat trip. Thanks to this, he survived the difficult journey.
Upon receiving it in recognition of his origin, he named the donkey Royal Gift. He soon designed a calendar to mate with a large number of mares, first his own, then extended it to others in the area.
His fame soon spread
At first he had problems because they did not know how to treat him. But then he devoted himself to the full fulfillment of the mission that he entrusted to him. This donkey, used as a stallion, mated in the State of Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina, for years. It was advertised in local newspapers for wealthy owners to bring their mares to mate with him.
The forced transfer from one state to another caused her to become ill. His caretaker took the opportunity of the trip to show him where he passed. This caused a delay in arrival at his destination. To remedy it, he forced the animal to leave. Long and exhausting days made him arrive busted. In the effort the hooves of his legs were smashed and he became ill with them. Some time later he died.
Remember October 26, Mule Appreciation Day in the US!
It is beginning to be recognized that the cowboys came from Spain with their hats, boots, spurs, horses etc.
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And that the first Rodeos and the massive transfer of cattle were also organized by the Spanish, the latter Bernardo de Gálvez.
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But the father of the American mules was also Spanish and George Washington had the first in the 13 colonies independent of England.