"In 1981, he stunned everyone at the NCHA Futurity by entering and nearly winning the event on a mule named Thumper. It resulted in not only a boost to his career but a NCHA rule change banning mules from future competitions. When Parelli was invited back the next year to give a demonstration on a mule, he performed the same reining pattern without a bridle."
| Some interested parties on the rec.equestrian newsgroup report: |
"A call to the NRCHA offices led to the following information from their records:
Pat Parelli competed in the SW Futurity in 1982 and in another event in 1978. In 1982 he entered Doc N Chex in the SBF and also rode King Gary Linx at that event (both are horses). In 1983 (the year in question and as cited on his website), he rode a QH named King's Dynamae in the SBF. From 1974 to 1983 Pat Parelli did not finish in the top 5, 10 or 15 of the Snaffle Bit Futurity of the NRCHA according to published and computerized results per their staff."
"Lyn Anderson (NRCHA competitior and Big Hat) says Parelli competing on a mule at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity is "an urban legend" and totally false. He did compete on a QH in 1983, but was no where near "almost won" placings."
[when questioned, a Parelli spokes peson stated;]
Thank you for taking the time to e-mail us! I was unsure of the answer to your question so it was forwarded to Pat and Linda's assistant who ran it by Pat and here is the response:
I spoke to Pat about this and he directed me to the paragraph in his book where this misinformation may have stemmed from. I will include the quote and I'm hoping that it will be directed where it needs to go so that this can all be cleared up. I will put in caps the specific section that is important to note.
"One of the interesting things I did around this time was compete in a demonstration event called The Wild Bunch, at the 1978 National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, NV. This was a fun class where contestants dressed up as different characters and did wild things. The advertised prize was a million dollars cash. I entered as the Clovis Mule Days Queen - Pat Parelli in drag. RIDING THUMPER, THE MULE, I WON THE CLASS AND ACTUALLY MARKED THE THIRD- HIGHEST SCORE OF THE ENTIRE SHOW, EVEN BETTER THAN THE HORSES IN THE FUTURITY AND OPEN BRIDLE CLASSES. The crowd went nuts. The Wild Bunch WASN'T ONE OF THE NRCHA'S SANCTIONED CLASSES, BUT IT WAS ONE OF THE SNAFFLE BIT fUTURITY SHOW'S FAVORITE SPECTATOR CLASSES AT THE TIME." '