South Carolina State Heritage Work Animal



Mules; photo by Paul Chenoweth on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).

Official State Heritage Work Animal of South Carolina

South Carolina designated the mule as the official state heritage work animal in 2010 (Missouri also recognizes the mule as a state symbol). All State Mules & Horses

The South Carolina Donkey and Mule Association works to bring "long-ear" lovers together and show the rest of South Carolina exactly how wonderful these patient, talented and friendly animals are. They hold demonstrations and exhibits at community events all over the state and educate the public about donkeys and mules.

What is a Mule?

Mules are hybrids, the offspring of a mare (female horse) and a jack (male donkey). The reverse is called a hinny (the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey). Mules and hinnies are almost always sterile because the two species have a different number of chromosomes (donkeys have 62 chromosomes, horses have 64).

Types of Mules

Today mules are usually divided into two types: “draft mules” and “saddle mules” (there used to be more categories like “sugar mule,” “cotton mule,” etc., but these names disappeared after the early part of the 20th century). Most people now identify a mule by the mother, i.e: “Quarter horse mule,” "Tennessee Walking mule,” “Percheron mule,” etc.

South Carolina


Mules; photo from Lake Nowhere Mule and Donkey Farm (all rights reserved; used by permission).


Young mules in morning light; photo by Lake Nowhere Mule and Donkey Farm (all rights reserved; used by permission).

Young mules

Percheron mule with only one foot on the ground – this is called a "single-footed" mule (they have a very smooth glide and a four beat lateral gait); photo by Lake Nowhere Mule and Donkey Farm (all rights reserved; used by permission). 

Percheron mule