NASMA Keeps and Maintains Detailed Records
By Debra Walkinshaw
Season’s Greetings from NASMA. It’s hard to believe it’s the Holiday season. It feels as if we were just looking forward to the summer shows and hitting the trails. Yet, the frost on my lawn tells me those days are past.
Traditionally, this is the time of year to book breedings for the upcoming year, plan for future rides, shows and the general direction of your program, whether it be for one animal or a herd.
Believe it or not, donkey and mule breeders face the same issues that horse breeders do. What sire to use, which jack to cross with my mare? Am I going to reproduce the chosen characteristics I’m looking for? While crossing species adds its own challenges to the breeding game, there are breeders of both donkeys and mules who have built programs to reproduce predictable results.
When telling people about NASMA a frequent question is, “why register a sterile animal”? NASMA has been registering animals for 25 years. Often, animals with no verified parentage have been given papers. However, we have a group of dedicated breeders striving to produce and refine a modern saddle donkey and mule. Because of our registry those animals, like horses from breed organizations, can be traced.
Candace Shauger and her daughter Kat own and operate Genesis Farms. Candace joined NASMA the same year she bought her first jack, in 1998. Since the beginning of their adventure in breeding saddle mules and performance donkeys they have registered most of the stock they produced.
“As NASMA keeps such detailed records of each registered animal, I, as a breeder and member of the association can follow the accomplishments of each of our jack’s progeny by accessing their show results on the association website. This is invaluable for our breeding program as it provides quantifiable feedback as to the performance and direction of our long-term breeding program goals’.
Candace continued, “In addition to registry tracking, NASMA is focused on the promotion and advancement of saddle mules and donkeys. The association provides year-end high point titles in a wide variety of divisions as well as the opportunity to highlight those mules and donkeys that have excelled in their lifetime, by way of the NASMA Hall of Fame program. Having this comprehensive, dimensional recognition of individuals produced by our stock and the acknowledgment of the impact our jacks have made in the industry continues to enhance and guide us in the development our future breeding plans”.
Tabitha Holland of Signature Equine in Morris, Oklahoma mirrors Candace’s feelings. “NASMA has been extremely beneficial to us as we build our breeding program. With the ability to review records and determine which jacks are consistently producing winning mules and donkeys we see our breeding program’s mark on the industry with the show records of the babies we have raised”, says Tabitha.
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