Giant American donkey makes 18-hour flight to start mule breeding programme in Australia

  • An Australian mule fanatic who imported an American mammoth donkey for his breeding programme hopes to raise the profile of mules in his country.

    Queensland-based David Scholl, who has always kept horses and donkeys, bought his first mule Bruce around six years ago and “fell in love”. Since then David has expanded his herd to include 10 mules, and on 4 April he welcomed 15hh American mammoth jack Diamond Creek Moonwatcher, known as Moses, whom he plans to breed mules with.

    David, whose mule herd ranges from 13hh to 17hh, told H&H he and his wife Di set out to expand their knowledge about mules and donkeys and travelled to the United States three years ago.

    “The sole purpose of the trip was to find out as much as we can about mules and donkeys because we had really fallen in love with these mules,” he said

    “We went to Bishop Mule Days in California, which is the biggest mule show in the States where 850 mules and donkeys compete over 10 days. We became friends with other breeders at the show and travelled across five states during the trip, learning more.”

    David returned to America the following year and decided he wanted to import a donkey jack to Australia to breed with his horses.

    “I really wanted to promote mules in this country; I believe there is a huge market for mules in the rural industry in Australia, they are extremely sure-footed, have a great work ethic and love doing a job. I set about looking for the ideal jack to breed from and in November 2020 Jonathan Waugh, who I became friends with at the mule show, offered me Diamond Creek Moonwatcher, known as Moses.

    “The flights for equines only run every eight weeks from the States to Australia and the first flight in January was full so we had to wait until March. Moses spent 14 days in quarantine in the US, then had an 18-hour flight to Melbourne. He spent 14 days in quarantine in Melbourne, then travelled three days by road to me.”

    Continued below…

    David said Moses is “absolutely everything” Jonathan said he would be.

    “We are honoured to have been given the opportunity to buy Moses. He’s beautiful and just incredible,” he said. “He’s very loving, and extremely vocal!” he said.

    “We have artificially inseminated six of our mares and have one confirmed pregnancy so far. We have still to scan the other mares, but hope to welcome our first crop of mules. They will be available for sale after they have been weaned.”

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