Jerry the mule

On our dehydration run from a few weeks ago Sid got rescued on his way back. He turned back earlier than the rest of us. Here is the story.

This story, thanks to Jerry the Mule and several other equestrians and their mounts, has a very happy ending. See picture and complete article.


This story, thanks to Jerry the Mule and several other equestrians and their mounts, has a very happy ending.

It might not have.

At 8:30 in the morning of March 3, 2012, Police Officer Sidney Siv and a small group of runners started on the Pioneer Express Trail at Granite Bay in Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, intending to run 20 miles to Rattlesnake Bar and back.

All went well until the return trip to Granite Bay. Officer Siv mistakenly took some offshoot trails and became disoriented. After about 3-1/2 hours on various trails, dehydration overtook him.

He became dizzy, short of breath and weak. He took a few more steps and fell to the ground. In his weakened state he was unable to continue down the trail, and was not sure where he was even if he did. He stayed down rather than chance another fall.

It wasn’t too long long that he heard voices. He wasn’t sure if the voices were an auditory hallucination or real people. Fortunately, they were real, and in a moment he saw a girl (Leia Burkett) riding her Arabian horse, Bu. Behind her were Nina Burkett, her mother, riding her Arabian horse, Lou, and Julie Chan, riding her mule, Jerry.

Nina, Leia and Julie had heard a man’s voice in distress and immediately responded. The riders soon ascertained that Officer Siv was dehydrated and disoriented.

Donna and Bob Stafford arrived shortly thereafter on their horses with much needed and appreciated Gatorade. But, in spite of the hydration, the riders found Officer Siv in no condition to walk, let alone continue to the trailhead on the challenging Pioneer Express Trail. In true Search and Rescue fashion, Julie and Nina placed Officer Siv up on Jerry the Mule. Jerry kindly carried him up the Pioneer Express Trail and climbed out at Sterling Pointe Equestrian Staging where there was plenty of water, a boca burger and some oranges.

Officer Siv has sent a sincere thank you note to all the people and their horses (especially, Jerry the Mule who saved his life). Here is an excerpt:
“…I would like to thank you very much for saving me. Please continue what you guys are doing out there because I’m sure there are going to be other unprepared runners like myself who will need you, Jerry the Mule, and the crew. Riding Jerry was quite an experience. I can now cross off “ride a mule” from my bucket list. Again, thank you very much.”

Without Jerry the Mule, or another equally talented equine, there might not have been such a happy ending to Officer Siv’s outing. Horses and mules are extremely vital Search and Rescue partners because ONLY equines can easily bring out a sick or injured person from the back country.

MANY THANKS to Julie, Nina, Leia, Bob and Donna for their rescue of Officer Siv, and most of all to the hero of the day, JERRY THE MULE!

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