The Colorado Mule Riders

The very first ride was held at the Lost Valley Ranch in Decker’s, Colorado in 1977. Ten riders attended this ride and are now honored as “Charter Members”.

Charter Members include:    Myron D. Bodam    Hugh K. Bowie    James E Frank      David Frank     Gale Fortney
Robert Foster Jr.     John I Ladd     Gene O. Naugle     Melvin O. Nielson     J. Roy Thorton.

The mules were first purchased in 1957 from the 10th Mtn Division at Ft Carson and Camp Hale to become part of the Al Kaly Temple Mounted Patrol. These mules served heroically in Italy before retiring to a service of drill team and parades. These mules and members participated in the inauguration parade of President John F. Kennedy.

In the summer of 1976 a group of riders from the Al Kaly mule train were discussing where they could go with their mules to ride. Dave Frank, Jim Frank and Gale Fortney suggested that an annual ride be held in different parts of the state of Colorado. In those meetings the name Colorado Mule Riders arrived. John Ladd prepared the incorporation papers and the name became official.

Today we have a membership of 35 riders and a waiting list to join. We have ridden in virtually every corner of the state. Our annual “Maverick and Empty Saddle” ceremony written by honored “Life” member Owen McEwen and performed atop a majestic mountain peak, still brings a tear to our eyes. We not only ride with each other but also the spirits of those men who have ridden before us.

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