Slam dunk donkeys

Adding to a long history of memorable moments at Jeff Gym, Webster City FFA will host a donkey basketball show with many community members participating.

The show will feature local students, teachers, and other community members that work at local agriculture businesses and more. It is hosted by Dairyland Donkey Ball, based in Wisconsin.

Jessica Cordell, who co-owns Dairyland Donkey Ball with her husband, has donkey ball in her blood. Her grandparents ran a donkey ball company for 40 years until 1998 when her grandpa retired. After Cordell’s husband was laid off from a dairy farming job, the couple started Dairyland Donkey ball in 2004. Dairyland Donkey Ball holds events across the midwest down to Texas and Louisiana.

The business works with many organizations that are looking to raise funds. Dairyland Donkey Ball provides the donkeys and promotional materials for organizations to distribute. Kurt Veldhuizen, Webster City FFA advisor, said the funds will go to the WC FFA Alumni organization. From there, the money will be given to students as scholarships. He said he hopes that, one day, every local FFA student will graduate with a FFA scholarship.

Their donkey basketball events pit four teams of four people against each other in a small elimination tournament. Dairyland Donkey Ball brings 10 donkeys to the show, with two extra donkeys who have such glamourous show names as “Widowmaker” or “Hemorrhoid.”

Most concerns that people would have about such a show are covered. Dairyland Donkey Ball equips its donkeys with rubber horseshoes. Cordell said that the donkeys wouldn’t damage a gym floor if they were barefoot, but the rubber soles keep them from slipping. Additionally, Cordell said that people are very rarely injured in such a show.

“They are animals,” Cordell said. “They can be rowdy, but part of the fun is watching someone get bucked or ducked off. Riders will fall, and they will be sore after, but they are rarely hurt. We’re very proud of our safety record.”

Jenny Maharry, of Maharry Dentistry, is one of the guests that WC FFA invited to be a part of the donkey basketball show. She and her husband, Greg, will be riding the donkeys despite some apprehension. Maharry said she has never ridden a donkey before, but agreed to take part in the event after an FFA member asked them. In order to prepare, she said she is praying.

The donkey basketball show will be held tomorrow at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.