Western Pack Burro ASS-ociation

Georgetown, CO

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A quick introduction to the sport
of Pack Burro Racing: the

HAL WALTER has some perspective on the sport of pack burro racing, and it's worth reading.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN – to an interview with Avon librarians (and burro racers) Tegan Davis and Carrie Mae Wack from the Reporter's Roundtable on KZYR-The Zephyr. Audio courtesy of Michelle Hall and KZYR.

Please consider becoming a member of the WPBA.

For an important reminder about eligibility conditions for the Triple Crown Award, see the Rules Page.

A long-time member of the WPBA has been interviewed on Colorado Public Radio.

A noted state pundit talks up burro racing in Colorado.

COLORADO PACK BURRO RACING 2021 Schedule Half-way decent cash money prizes payable to 8th place ON SOME RACES. No ribbons; No wimps. No age groups. Crown Races: Fairplay, Leadville and Buena Vista Burro Races

Saturday, April 10th, 2021

Inyokern, Ca
There are 3 distances, a 26.2 mile trail marathon, a 17.5 mile, and an Introductory 10 mile distance.

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

Tombstone, Az Distance
Distance TBD.

Saturday, May 15th, 2021

Almosa, CO.
(Rim Rock Ranch) 6-10miler Distance TBD.

Saturday, May 29th, 2021 & Sunday, May 30 2021 Race your "Ass" off - Clear Creek Pack Burro Racing Weekend

Georgetown, CO & Idaho Springs, Colorado
Want to challange yourself and your burro and save some cash at the same time? Sign up for both the Georgetown and Idaho Springs Races! Win both races with the same burro for your chance to win 'Red Tail's Miner Challenge Trophy'!
Contact: Bill Lee (Red Tail) - 720-234-8200 - laughingvalleyranchco@gmail.com
Co-Race Director: Brad Wann - 303-906-2269 - wpbamediarelations@yahoo.com

Saturday, May 29th, 2020 – 16th Annual Historic Georgetown Railroad & Mining Days Pack Burro Race

Georgetown, Colorado
8 miles – From Georgetown to Empire Pass and back. Remember to follow traffic pattern around the round about, yield to downhill runners, and stick around after you’re done to check for ticks. And, there will be a prize for the runner who picks up the most trash on the course along with Race Prizes! Stick around and visit with vendors and listen to the music.
Race Director: Bill Lee (Red Tail) - 720-234-8200 - laughingvalleyranchco@gmail.com
Co-Race Director: Brad Wann - 303-906-2269 - wpbamediarelations@yahoo.com

Sunday, May 30th, 2020 – 19th Annual Idaho Springs Mining Days Festival and Pack Burro Race

Idaho Springs, Colorado
5 miles – Great distance for first timers! Rolling start after Parade down main street – Race begins at Citizens Park and ends at the middle of 17th Street by Mountain Prime Restaurant! Check out the vendors on Idahoe Mall along with “Kids Corner”.
Contact: Bill Lee (Red Tail) - 720-234-8200 - laughingvalleyranchco@gmail.com
Co-Race Director: Brad Wann - 303-906-2269 - wpbamediarelations@yahoo.com

Saturday, June 12th, 2021– 5th Annual Creede Pack Burro Race

Creede, Colorado
10 miles – Course Details: The Creede Donkey Dash starts and finishes on Main Street adjacent to Basham Park. Teams consist of a burro and runner. The course covers about 10 miles through Creede’s Historic Mining District. Competitors will pass by the Creede Underground Mining Museum, up East Willow Canyon/North Creede. Several mines can be seen along this part of the race, including the remnants of the Kentucky Belle, gripping the cliffs hundreds of feet above the road. The course continues through the switchbacks to the Midwest Mine where teams have views of the Amethyst Mine, run through the Weaver Town Site, down “Black Pitch”, past the Commodore Mine to finish off the final three miles of the race with a gradual downhill that ends on a cheering Main Street!
Town Contact: Erin Yurkinas – 719-658-2374 – office@creede.com
Co-Race Director: Brad Wann - 303-906-2269 - wpbamediarelations@yahoo.com

Sunday, July 25th, 2021 – 73nd Annual World Championship Pack Burro Race – Burro Days

Fairplay, Colorado
1st Leg of the Triple Crown of pack burro races.
29-mile course over rough terrain and elevation gain to the 13,185 ft summit of Mosquito Pass.
Also a Short course (15 miles). Both start and end in front of the historic Hand Hotel in Fairplay.
Race Director : Julie Bullock – 719-836-2622 ext 109 – jbullock@fairplayco.us

Sunday, August 1st, 2021 – 48 years of Buena Vista Gold Rush Days Pack Burro Race

Buena Vista, Colorado
2nd Leg of Triple Crown.
Race course: Approximately 13 miles consisting of pavement, bridges, single track and jeep road. Starts at Colorado and East Main heading west on East Main Street, around the baseball fields, over the Arkansas River and up the Whipple Trail to the Midland Grade and around the “Gentleman’s Loop”. Finish line is on East Main Street near Colorado Ave.
Race Director: Richard Emond - 719-289-1523 | richardemondr@yahoo.com
Co-Race Director: Brad Wann - 303-906-2269 | wpbamediarelations@yahoo.com

Sunday, August 8th, 2021 – 73nd Annual Boom Days Pack Burro Race

Leadville, Colorado
3rd Leg of the Triple Crown.
Long and Short Courses: Long course - 21 miles following 4-wheel drive roads to summit of Mosquito Pass through historic mining district. Short course- 15 miles on roads with a trail loop around Ball Mountain. Both courses are open to all racers. Belt buckles will be awarded to long course and short course racers who finish by 5:00pm.
Race Director: Nathalie Eddy – leadvilleburrorace@gmail.com

Saturday, September 11th, 2021 – 7th Annual Victor Burro Racing Gold Rush Challenge

Victor, Colorado, USA
Race Particulars: What better venue for a burro race than Victor CO, steeped in gold mining history! Sponsored by Victor's Gold Camp Ag & Mining museum, Victor Elks Lodge #367, and Newmont Goldcorp, This 6.62-mile course is very challenging with lots of elevation gain and uneven footing. But it also gives fantastic views and old mines in return. Please be certain to study the course map. While the course is well marked, there are many intersecting trails and roads. Race begins at 12:00 PM Downtown Victor. Stick around for FREE Susie Knight Live Performance, 12:30 - 1:30, Tractor-churned Ice Cream, and sidewalk sales! Watch the Nicest Ass Competition and see the teams finish right on main street. After the race, the Victor Elks Lodge will host live music, food, and bar.
Also, we are always looking for additional volunteers to help make this a successful event. Options include on-course direction assistance, and finish line timing and announcing. If you are interested in volunteering let Mike know!
Race Director: Mike Vann – 719-685-0660 – mvann@hrenow.com

Saturday, September 18, 2021 – 4th Annual Frederick Miners Day Pack Burro Race

Frederick, Colorado
Miners Day is one of Frederick’s premier annual community events drawing thousands of people to Downtown Frederick for family-oriented fun and entertainment throughout the day. The event includes a dynamic parade, a burro race, vendors, food trucks, kids activities, contests, and live music throughout the day. Per tradition, Miners Day concludes with a spectacular fireworks display! Celebrate Miners Day with this great sport begun by some of Colorado’s 19th-century miners. This is the last leg of the Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation 2019 race season! This 10K race will begin right after the Frederick Miners Day parade (between 11 am & 11:30 am). The 10K race will start at Fifth St. and Oak St. (Downtown Frederick), head north along the trail and through the tunnel towards the Frederick Recreation Area, loop around Milavec Lake, head back south to the Frederick Gateway at Colorado Blvd. and Hwy 52 and then back north to the finish line in Centennial Park. There are some small bridges along the paved trail.
Town Contact: Angela Wison – 720-382-5500 – awilson@frederickco.gov
Race Director: Brad Wann - 303-906-2269 - wpbamediarelations@yahoo.com
Co-Race Director: Richard Emond – 719-289-1523 – richardemondr@yahoo.com

Sunday September 19th, 2021

Nederland, CO.
Distance 8 miles.

The Western Pack Burro ASS-ociation seeks to continue a great sport begun by some of Colorado’s 19th-century miners. Those hardy characters used burros (Spanish for donkeys) to carry their mining tools and supplies through the Rocky Mountains as they prospected for gold, silver, and other valuable ores. Since the burros were carrying a full load, the miners had to walk, leading the animal with a rope. Legend has it that two miners found gold in the same location, and raced each other back to town to be the first to stake a claim to the find. Neither could ride their animal because of its load, so one of the basic rules of burro racing was established (click the link to WPBA Rules and look under “No Riding”). Another legend is that burro racing began as drunken miners in a Leadville bar sought a way to make some money in a less back-breaking manner than with pick and shovel.

The burro-racing season runs from late May through September. There are presently eight events in eight mountain towns. Each event is part of a festival celebrating the town's history. The "Triple Crown" races are in Fairplay, Leadville, and Buena Vista. The remaining races are in Georgetown, Idaho Springs, Creede, Victor, and Frederick. Check out this year's schedule.

And burro racing popularity continues to grow! On May 29, 2012, the Colorado legislature approved a joint resolution that designates pack burro racing as a summer heritage sport in Colorado.

Browse around our website. You can see photos of this year's and some past year's races. You can get an idea of the spirit that motivates our members to team up with the noble beasts and compete against each other. And, who knows? First, you may come to observe next year's races, then you may feel crazy enough to join us and do it yourself.



Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation Race Rules


Each entrant or his sponsor will pay a fee determined by the town race Director. The race

Director will have discretion as to how the entry fees will be used, but is encouraged to use the entry fees for prize money and race expenses. The Entry fee must accompany the entry application and will not be refunded.


No city, private-property owners along the course, sponsoring businesses, governmental agencies, persons or organizations will be responsible in case of accident or injury to contestants. Each entrant must sign a waiver and/or release of responsibility.


The following is the definition of a burro and is to be used in selecting such. The word burro comes from the Spanish word meaning donkey. A donkey is defined as being an ass. They have chestnuts on the forelegs only, while other animals of the same species, such as mules or horses, have them on hind and forelegs. The tail has no hair, except on its lower part, which has a brush. A registered veterinarian shall have the authority to disqualify any contestant and animal that does not match the above description, or whose animal is sick, doped, injured, or mistreated. The veterinarian will check the animal before and after the race. The race committee can hold winning burros in a designated area for 30 minutes to allow for veterinarian checks.

All runners must keep their burros under control. This is especially true for runners with jacks. Any burro (jacks particularly) that interferes with another runner or burro may be disqualified.


Each burro will be required to be equipped with a regulation packsaddle packed with prospector's paraphernalia and must include a pick, shovel, and gold pan. There shall be no minimum weight requirement for burros. 


 It is strongly recommended that all participants carry at least one quart of water, food (an energy bar), and clothing (such as a windbreaker). Loss of all or part of the pack and paraphernalia will eliminate the contestant. 


The burro must be outfitted with a strap- (leather or synthetic) or rope-style halter. The runner may only be attached to the burro with a single lead rope that does not exceed 15 feet in length (measured from the end of rope to tip of buckle). The lead rope may only be connected to the halter tie ring (or tie loop in the case of a rope halter) and may not be affixed to the saddle or to any other part of the burro.


Jack chains may be used only if used with a pressure-release technique. (A jack chain is a chain or strap which is used to apply pressure over the muzzle, under the chin, or through the mouth.) Any racer coming across the finish line with nose and/or chin injuries on the animal resulting from the jack chain will be disqualified.



Any contestant mistreating his animal may be disqualified. No needles, electric prods, narcotics, clubs or whips, other than the halter rope, may be used. The race route must be followed. It will be marked by signs, people, or aid stations. Do not cut across switchbacks. Any burro leaving the course must be returned to the course without shortening the distance of the course. Any runner becoming separated from their burro (i.e., burro and runner are no longer racing as a connected team or unit) must return to the place they became separated before continuing the race. Failure to follow these rules will result in disqualification.


Veterinary checks: WPBA recommends completion of veterinary checks before every race.



Contestant and burro starting the race must remain a team throughout the contest. No assistants will be allowed to accompany any team.


The winning combination consists of a man or woman, and burro, which must cross the finish line as a unit. The man or woman may be leading or following the burro but the burro's nose crossing the finish line first constitutes the winner.


The runner may push, pull, drag or carry the burro. The contestant shall at no time progress except under his or her own power.


Should a contestant be disqualified by a race official, he may continue the race (a second offense will definitely put him off the trail) and he may appeal his grievance to the race director. The decisions of the race director will be final.

In the event of a tie, the prize money involved, if any, will be equally divided by the contestants involved.


Carrying and use of firearms will not be permitted.


Revised on 11.8.2020: Weight requirement for burros 41 inches or above, was removed.  The motion to remove the weight requirements was passed on September 19th at a WPBA Member meeting. 


Article I-Name


The name of the organization is the “Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation” (WPBA).


Article II-Purpose


The purposes of the organization is to promote the donkey breed as part of our family and to foster fellowship and sportsmanship among members through social activities, sports activities, education, and promotion of the donkey breed.


Article III-Membership


1.       Membership is open to anyone, especially all donkey enthusiasts, donkey racers, donkey breeders, and donkey owners.


2.                   Membership year is from annual meeting to annual meeting. Membership fees are due on an annual basis. Members need to join prior to the start of the annual banquet to receive benefits and voting privileges at the annual meeting. Memberships shall comprise of Individual and Family Memberships:

a.       Individual Membership ($35.00 annually) and includes:

1.       Newsletter

2.       One meal at the annual banquet

3.       One WPBA gift

4.       One vote at all voting opportunities


b.       Family Membership ($60.00 annually) and includes:

                                                 v.            Newsletter

                                               vi.            Two meals at the annual banquet

                                              vii.            Two WPBA gifts

                                            viii.            Two votes at all voting opportunities

                                                ix.            (A Family Membership constitutes all people living in one household together)


3.                   Any individual or family whose dues are not paid prior to the start of the annual meeting at the annual banquet shall cease to be a member and shall forfeit all claims they may have as a member. 


4.                   Any member may be expelled for cause, upon recommendation of two thirds of the Officers and Board members, and a majority vote of those members present at any given meeting.


5.                   No member shall be eligible to hold office in the WPBA unless a member in good standing (having paid dues).


6.                   Triple Crown:  Please refer to Article XIII for all Triple Crown rules and prize qualifications.


Article IV-Meetings


1.       The regular meeting/banquet shall be held annually with specific dates and locations to be announced. Special meetings may be announced at any time and all members notified by either e-mail or mail.


2.                   The President shall call the meeting to order 20 minutes after appointed time. A motion passed on 10/27/12 to implement and use Roberts Rules for meetings. In all meetings, the following order of business shall be observed:

    1. Membership attendance signed by membership
    2. Reading of Minutes
    3. Financial Report
    4. Report of Committees/Officers
    5. Election Committee/Secretary shall tally any votes and record them into the minutes.
    6. By-Law committee shall tally any votes for amendments to the by-laws.
    7. Sponsorship Committee
    8. President’s Report
    9. Vice President’s Report         
    10. Unfinished business
    11. Public input-items not on the agenda
    12. Old Business
    13. New Business
    14. Call meeting to close.


3.                   It is understood that nothing concerning the activities of this WPBA shall be projected, as either policy, or action, or finance, without specific authorization by the Officers/Board of the WPBA.


4.       Ten members present and voting shall constitute a quorum. In the event the WPBA shall disband for any reason, the Officers/Board shall have the authority to disburse the WPBA properties, and all monies derived from such property shall be donated to organizations or programs designed to promote, educate, or adopt donkeys. The decision will be made by the current Officers/Board, by vote. Each member in good standing will be emailed or mailed an explanation of this disbursement.


5.                   HAM operator’s meals are paid for by WPBA at the annual meeting/banquet.

Article V-Voting


1.       Individual memberships constitute one adult vote. Family memberships constitute two votes.


2.                   Absentee voting shall be approved by WPBA proxy form delivered by sealed envelope via mail, as an email attachment, or hand delivered to the annual meeting with original signature (see proxy form).


3.            On-line voting is an acceptable form of voting at the discretion of the WPBA Board. 

*Voted and passed on 9/19/2020 with 48 members present in Frederick, Colorado after the race. 



Article VI-Officers/Board of Directors (BOD)


1.       The Officers of the WPBA shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Media/Public Relations. If positions cannot be filled, then Officers shall be President, Vice-President, and Secretary/Treasurer.


2.                   The Committees of the WPBA shall be chosen as needed by the Officers.


3.                   The nomination of the Officers/Board shall be made from the members at the annual meeting and must be followed by a second.


4.       A member cannot accept the nomination for more than one office.


5.                   No officer, individual, or committee shall render the WPBA liable for any amount of money exceeding the appropriation authorized by the WPBA. An Officer of the WPBA and the Treasurer must sign all checks. The WPBA shall maintain financial transparency to all members making all records available at all times and meetings. A receipt is required for any reimbursement.


6.                   Officer/Board members may be removed by a majority vote of the remaining Officers


7.            A duly elected officer of the WPBA shall serve a two-year term (odd year elections). *

*Voted on and passed on 9/19/2020 with 48 members present at Frederick, Colorado after the race. 


Article VII-Duties of the President


1.       The President shall execute all duties imposed upon them at the time of the election.


2.       The President shall enforce the By-Laws and that other Officers/Board members shall fulfill their duties correctly.


3.                   The President shall appoint special committees whenever necessary; however, they cannot appoint special committees that conflict with any standing committees.


4.                   The President shall call special meetings at his/her discretion.


5.                   The President will be responsible, or delegate the responsibility, for the member gifts.


6.                   The President shall be responsible for organizing the annual meeting.


Article VIII-Duties of Vice-President


1.       In case of the President’s absence or inability to act, the Vice-President shall act in their stead.


2.                   The Vice-President shall be responsible for the planning of all WPBA programs.


3.                   The Vice-President shall be responsible for door prizes for the annual banquet.


Article IX-Duties of the Secretary


1.       The Secretary shall conduct all correspondence of the WPBA.


2.                   The Secretary will produce one newsletter per year or delegate the responsibility to a member.


3.                   The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings and charge of the notices of meetings. The Secretary will compile an agenda and distribute to the other officers prior to the annual meeting. The Secretary will be responsible for Thank You cards for sponsors and Awards to be awarded at the annual meeting. The Secretary will bring a signup sheet and member list to the annual meeting and be responsible for signing people in, determining who is eligible to vote, and determining how many meals are paid for by the WPBA.


4.                   The Secretary shall keep all records pertaining to his or her office. The Secretary will keep a list of current members.


5.                   The Secretary, at the conclusion of the term of office, shall turn over all records kept during the year to the newly elected successor.



Article X-Duties of the Treasurer


1.       The Treasurer shall keep all money records of the WPBA and keep an accurate account of all expenses incurred and all monies received. The Treasurer will present a Treasurer’s report at the annual meeting. A motion passed on 10/27/12 to have majority of board approval for all WPBA expenditures.


2.                   The Treasurer will notify those members who are in arrears with payments of annual dues.


3.                   The Treasurer shall keep all receipts and books pertaining to the WPBA’s monies. A motion passed on October 9, 2011 to maintain a $1000 reserve in the WPBA checking account.


4.                   The Treasurer shall keep a standing inventory of all the WPBA’s assets and property.


5.                   The Treasurer shall collect all monies payable to the WPBA of which a complete and accurate account will remain in the WPBA’s checking account.


6.                   The Treasurer will maintain that all books and records of the WPBA shall be open at all times for inspection and examination by members.


7.                   The Treasurer, at the conclusion of the term of office, shall turn over to the newly elected successor, all monies, books, records, and any other property belonging to the WPBA, with the proper bookkeeping setup; with both the outgoing Treasurer and the newly elected Treasurer present and doing the checking.


8.                   The Treasurer will immediately notify the President of any shortages of money and or property. The President is to call a special meeting to report those shortages to the membership.


9.                   The Treasurer will renew the Colorado Periodic Report yearly. (Submitting a Periodic Report allows an entity to update the current name and address of its registered agent and its principal office address, which helps ensure current information is available to the public. Submitting the Periodic report also maintains the “Good Standing” of the entity with the Secretary of State.)


Article XI-Banking


1.       A checking account shall be established for use by the WPBA.


2.                   Other accounts may be established as deemed appropriate by the Officers/Board. In all cases, accounts will have at least two Officers/Board members with signatory authority.


3.                   Triple Crown winners will receive winnings via a check from the WPBA.



Article XII-Duties of the Media/Public Relations Officer (MPRO)


1.       The MPRO shall be responsible for obtaining and distributing positive information about WPBA and its efforts to promote the WPBAs purpose.


2.                   The MPRO will announce all events hosted/sanctioned by the WPBA by sending out emails, and posting on Facebook and coordinating with the WPBA’s website manager.


3.                   The MPRO will be in charge of updating, posting, managing and responding to the Facebook sites of the WPBA (Pack Burro Racing, Colorado’s Summer Heritage Sport and Western Pack Burro Racing sites).


4.                   The MPRO shall contact/receive information from clubs, newspapers, radio, magazines, and other public media venues where the purpose of the WPBA may be included.


5.                   The MPRO will assist at all WPBA functions, or appoint a representative and let the WPBA know who that representative will be.


6.                   The MPRO is responsible for obtaining and maintaining sponsorships.


Article XIII-Triple Crown 


1.       All who wish to compete for the Triple Crown must become a WPBA member by paying membership dues prior to the beginning of the first race of the Triple Crown, historically the Fairplay race held the last weekend in July.


2.                   An individual must win the long courses at each of the Fairplay, Leadville, and Buena Vista races with the same burro.


3.                   There will be a male and female award available. The first male member across the finish line at each of the three races wins the male title and the first female across the finish line at each of the three races wins the female title.


4.                   Beginning with the last Triple Crown winners (Courkamp-male and Jones-female), a small metal plaque (approx. 2" x 3") denoting the Year, Runner's Name, and Burro's Name is added and affixed to the base of the Traveling Trophy. The WPBA will pay for and get the plaque placed on the trophy. When the plaque at the base of the trophy is full, the WPBA will add an additional base to the Traveling Trophy to accommodate future winners. 


5.                   Each Triple Crown winner receives a framed certificate denoting their Title, the Year, Runner's Name, Burro's Name, the name of each Triple Crown race, and their finishing time.


6.                   The WPBA presents an award to both male and female winners each year there is a Triple Crown winner for $500.00 recognizing the commitment of the individual runner to the sport and its promotion as well as recognizing the excellence of the runner and his or her burro.


Article XIV-Amendments


1.       These By-Laws may be altered, amended, repealed, or added to by a majority affirmative vote at the annual meeting or by a majority of members at any time.


2.                   All propositions to alter or amend these By-Laws shall be submitted in writing, or email, each member receiving a copy of such proposed amendments, by mail, or email or posted to the WPBA’s website to be acted upon at the next regular meeting, or special meeting called by the President giving members a 30 day notice.


3.                   Proxy voting form shall be edited per year to be used in the calendar voting year:


These By-Laws approved    (9/19/2020)

2019-2021 President             Eric Lynn

2019-2021 Vice President    Melanie Layton

2019-2021 Secretary             Lisa Sandoval

2019-2021 Treasurer             Joe Polonsky

2019-2021 MPRO                  Brad Wann

Western Pack Burro Association Proxy Form


I hereby authorize _________________________to serve as my proxy and to vote on 


my behalf at the _________Annual Meeting to be held on _________.


This proxy is valid for:

__________All Matters voted on at the Meeting

__________Specific Issue/Matter (please explain):  


A voting member wishing to vote at a special meeting or main meeting via proxy shall designate, and personally contact, a member from their voting interest whom the member wishes to exercise the proxy and must complete the proxy form in its entirety. Failure by the member to sign the form and complete all sections by hand will invalidate the proxy. The duly executed hand-written proxy shall be mailed, or e-mailed as a scanned attachment, by the voting member to the Secretary (Lisa Sandoval, 108 Rafferty Dr., Leadville, CO 80461), or hand delivered by the proxy holder to the President, Vice President, or Secretary prior to insert date here. The solicitation of proxies from voting members is prohibited and will not be accepted. No voting interest shall hold or exercise proxies for more than one voting member in a meeting. Your signature attests the above and will be strictly followed.


Printed Name







About The WPBA

We’re a bunch of sometimes-goofy individuals who love the outdoors, adventure, physical challenges, our burros, and having a good time with the seemingly improbable sport of burro racing. You needn’t be a marathon runner to join and enjoy our membership. It helps, of course, if you want to win the Triple Crown! However, if just having a great time outdoors in beautiful locations, communing with your four-legged friend and enjoying the camaraderie of fellow burro sportsters sounds appealing, well… that would be the WPBA.
Download the membership application to your computer. Fill it out and send to Trevor Walker, our secretary, and let your fun begin!
We love new members: pass an application form on to a friend!
NEW! You can now use the WPBA's secure Pay Pal connection to pay membership dues. Click HERE to go to the payment page. Become a member

Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation

2019 MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS Individual Membership: $35 - Newsletter, one WPBA gift, one meal at Banquet Family Membership: $60 - Newsletter, 2 WPBA gifts, 2 meals at Banquet


The Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation presents an award each year to the male and female burro racer who has captured the Triple Crown Races and is a current member of the Ass-ociation prior to the start of the Fairplay race, the last Sunday of July. The award is a check for $500 (the 2013 sponsors were Peoples National Bank, Leadville and Colorado East Bank and Trust, Fairplay). The award recognizes the commitment of the individual runner to the sport and its promotion as well as recognizing the excellence of the runner and his/her burro. To qualify for the award, an individual must fulfill the following requirements:
Join the WPBA by becoming a family or individual member prior to the start of the Fairplay race, the last Sunday of July. Win each of the long courses at Fairplay, Leadville, and Buena Vista with the same burro. There will be a male and female award available. We encourage each person to join the WPBA even if the Triple Crown Award may not be a reality for you. Your membership dues help promote the sport of burro racing by:
Supporting the WPBA website, paying monthly ISP hosting fees Covering media costs such as press releases and publicity packets to regional and state media Promoting the sport at all venues, including current and prospective races Covering costs to produce and mail newletters and email updates

Burro Racing 101

by Curtis Imrie

Get a Burro

It's cheaper to buy one from the BLM than to rent one. However, an "educated" ass is valuable. Don't be afraid to pay what you would for a grade horse if the burro is proven runner, packer, rideable and driveable and between 4- 12 years old. It costs the same to. feed bad stock as good stock. Training and vitality are what I pay for.

Work With Your Animal

Basically, you train them with love and wet saddle blankets. "Handy" them through a winter and they'll remember on the trail. Every runner develops his or her own style, and only by finding the fun and regularity of the training process will you cut the deal with your livestock/pet that will put you in the money come race time.

Fine Tuning

Take a long pack trip with your animal -- at least one overnight, two if possible. This is where you try to do everything at a leisurely pace that you might encounter in a race -- creeks, bridges, hardtop. Packing gear, straps, rigging. You learn about your critter's limits. You want to know when he, she or it is holding out on you and when the animal is actually maxed physically. There's a fine line in a race between when to ask for more and when to back off and just maintain the rhythm you've got.

An Edge

Many races are won and lost through a burro's mouth and feet. What and how you feed and trim, shoe their feet. The trained wild burro is still the best stock on pack burro courses. They do fine on rough grass, stick and twigs and have rocks for feet. Respecting their natural selection with natural grain concentrates and good trimming, you can have as fine a pack burro racing machine as there is if you can find away to their renegade hearts ... which may take imprinting, raising the domestic offspring of two wild critters and having the unique satisfaction of truly knowing the oldest domesticated, large quadruped man has ever encountered.

Training — It Pays

Get Yourself in shape. If nothing else, our poor man's PGA/rodeo circuit makes you fess up and point to certain dates in the year to put your body on the line and not get hurt and maybe excel. Everything your grandma said was true. Regular sleep, three square meals. Helps if you can run a decent 10K or finish a marathon. Strength, endurance and flexibility. Moderation in all things... including moderation.

Burros Like to Run

by Sheri L. Thompson, DVM Most people view donkeys as lazy stubborn creatures. If you observe donkeys in the wild, they aren’t sedentary creatures. They exercise all day long, as they move about grazing, usually at a walk. They trot while playing, if excited, and when approaching water holes. And yes, they do run. They gallop as part of courtship, run when playing, and chase each other. Donkeys, especially young ones, will trot or gallop away from their dam or another donkey then return. They will run from or toward an object, simply just to run. In the wild, donkeys are very trim athletic animals. Their hooves are kept trimmed by travel over rocks. So, is burro racing humane? Is it natural? Is it more humane than keeping a donkey confined in a small area all of its life and allowing it to get obese with overgrown hooves and a matted hair coat? It is the same argument as with other animals. What is better for your dog? Is it better to overfeed it and not exercise it or to take it running with you or hook it up to a sled to run as part of a team? Most dogs love to run and most donkeys enjoy an active life. There is an overpopulation of many wild animals, including donkeys. Wild donkeys are captured and adopted. They adapt to a domestic lifestyle amazingly well and excel at burro racing. There are many different viewpoints on the ethics of owning and working animals. I respect everyone’s individual opinion. I am an advocate for caring for an animal in such a way that the animal receives proper nutrition, has shelter, companionship, means of exercising, and is not abused in any way.
Whenever humans are caretakers for animals, there are always a few people who don’t act in an ethical manner and/or care for their animals properly. In general, burro racers take exceptional care of their donkeys. The human and the donkey are a team. In addition to racing their donkeys, they often provide other stimulating experiences for their donkeys, they ride, drive, and show them, etc. They keep their feet trimmed, groom them, and spend a lot of time with them, and thus are quickly aware of any health concerns. Donkeys seek human attention. Often when I am training one of my horses or mules, my donkey will approach and stand nearby or try to get my attention. This summer, she started coming over and standing close whenever I apply fly spray to one of the other equine. She accepts the fly spray without her halter on. They are very smart social creatures and form close bonds with humans. When they have a bond with humans, they appear to enjoy doing activities with people. They are willing participants. If they don’t want to go, you can’t make them do anything. If you doubt this, sign up for a burro race and see if you can make the donkey do something it doesn’t want to do! Try pushing a donkey. If they don’t want to move, they will freeze in place. Occasionally, they will lie down and refuse to get up if they are really concerned about something. Burro racers use a pressure and release method to train their donkeys. This is the same method used by a female donkey to train her foal. Often there is over breeding of animals. Burro racing donkeys are purpose bred. They are generally bred responsibly for conformation, health, viability, and athletic ability.
In all burro races, cruelty to the burro is prohibited. The Western Pack Burro Association states that “any contestant mistreating his animal may be disqualified. No needles, electric prods, narcotics, clubs or whips, other than the halter rope, may be used”. The halter rope can be used with a pressure-release technique. Jack chains may also be used with a pressure-release technique. A jack chain is a chain or strap which is used to apply pressure over the muzzle, under the chin, or through the mouth. They are often used to control jacks or jennies that are much stronger than a human, to prevent them from getting loose where they might injure themselves, another donkey, or a person. The Western Pack Burro Association has a guideline encouraging veterinary checks before every race.

Humane Care and Training

by Sheri L. Thompson, DVM Pack burro racing donkeys are athletes and thus are kept in good condition. Just like sled dog athletes, they are conditioned and trained before they race. Donkeys are healthiest when they are fit and not overweight. Overweight donkeys are prone to health problems, such as hyperlipidemia and laminitis. A sick donkey should not be raced. Donkeys that get training year round tend to do the best in the races. If you can, get them out for other activities, such as parades, shows, trail rides throughout the year. There are different innate athletic abilities of donkeys, just as there are in people. Some donkeys are excellent racers and others would prefer to walk the course or stand in the shade under a tree.
The Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation has strict rules overseeing the treatment of donkeys at the races. There will be no cruel or inhumane treatment of the donkeys. Cruel or inhumane treatment involves any action or inaction, which causes preventable pain or suffering to a donkey. Any contestant mistreating their animal may be disqualified. No needles, electric prods, narcotics, clubs or whips, other than the halter rope may be used. If the halter rope is used to drive the donkey then a pressure release method should be used. A rule of thumb to follow is only apply the rope on the donkey as hard as you would on yourself. It is considered abusive to use the lead rope to hit them repeatedly or hit them with a stick. The rope is used to cue them as with a driving whip for carriage horses.
The burro must be outfitted with a strap- (leather or synthetic) or rope-style halter. Jack chains may be used only if used with a pressure-release technique. A jack chain is a chain or strap which is used to apply pressure over the muzzle, under the chin, or through the mouth. Any racer coming across the finish line with nose and/or chin injuries on the animal resulting from the jack chain will be disqualified. The halter, pack saddle, britchen, and breast collar should be fitted correctly as not to cause rub sores or injuries. Shoes or correctly fitting boots are recommended for burros running the long courses.
All runners must keep their burros under control. This is especially true for runners with jacks. If you have spent adequate time training your burro then the jack chain is only for insurance purposes if your jack gets rambunctious. A rope used instead of a chain gives them a quicker release. The burro’s reward during training is the release of pressure.
You will often hear burro racers using the command “hup” as a cue to go forward. Yelling at them, instead of using commands tends to be unpleasant to those around you and to the spectators (be aware that the spectators may view what you are doing different from what you do). Yelling just desensitizes the burro to your voice. Every chance you get, educate the spectators about donkeys and racing. Try to always drive your donkey quietly. This conserves energy! Try to use the smallest cue possible. I am impressed by the racer and burro that run along quietly as a team stride for stride. It is a treat when you train frequently with consistent good techniques and your donkey bonds with you. Not everyone has the facilities or time to own a donkey. If you lease a donkey for a race, train with that donkey as much as possible and try to race the same donkey each time. Racing can be frustrating; however, it isn’t helpful if you lose your temper. The “burro is always right” per trainer Tom Mowery. Take a deep breath and see what you can do to help the donkey. What can you do differently to get the donkey to do what you are asking?
The drive line on a donkey is their shoulder. Get behind the drive line to cause them to go forward. Be in front of the drive line and turn their head towards you to get them to stop. Donkeys respond best to pressure and release. Donkeys naturally respond to pressure with pressure against you if they don’t get a release. Trying to drag a donkey will just create more resistance against your efforts. Treats can be used intermittently. I reserve them for special occasions, the end of the race and occasionally if I get into a spot where they are stalled. Curtis Imrie was an inspiration to us. He was good at getting a group of racers out to practicing creek crossings, obstacles, etc. prior to the race. Practice, patience, pressure/release, and consistency are key factors for forming a bond with your burro. Lastly, have fun. Enjoy the beautiful scenery if you aren’t going as fast as you would like. Any kind of motion is good!

Grounded Training

Grounded Training By Curtis Imrie Pack burro racers are ground trainers from hell. We train our animals for the three to 30-mile burro races from the ground and may never get on the donk or hitch up a cart behind the animal. Pack burro racing is a little known sport where thin clad runners sprint, jog, walk and race alongside donkeys laden with 35 pounds of mining gear. Consequently, we spend most or all our time on foot navigating the same trails and roads that the beast runs. Over time, one develops cues and a body language to manage the animal from the ground at the end of a lead rope, usually near the animal's left hip. It's this odd dance of hazing, tapping and cajoling the critter down race courses that makes our sport semi comical yet very athletic. The donkey gets a deeply embedded sense that the human is a perpetual partner. You become part of his herd of two and his security blanket and task master. I have tripped and fallen in mid race, and the animal has so respected me that he stops, too. The donkey has been so conditioned that he's almost like a suburban dog who brings his collar and leash to his master for a walk. The donks get bored as well and come to look forward to any and all changes to their paddock life. They'll do the standard training courses, but they'll always like something new and different. That's why it was no big deal for Masai, my 16+ hand jack, to rumble this past January at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. It was just enough new stimulus to engage his willing soul. It's always been kind of sad to me that hardly any young American knows how to handle a set of lines. Where do you think the term "teamster" comes from? This is too much fun to be left to the old timers. Rolling through the tunnel leading into the gaping, yawning National Western Stock Show arena is something akin to the thrill of Steven Boyd and Charlton Heston, Mr. NRA himself, rolling into Ben Hur's coliseum. It was particularly gratifying with monster Masai, who before his debut as a draft animal, looked like a big amiable life support system for a breeding mechanism. I've always known Oscar and Peckinpah liked to pull. But Masai relished it and floated around the arena. It's not that different an adrenaline rush to those initial surges from the pack stampeding in the early stages of a burro race. Ride em cowboy. Catch that wave; hang on to that comet because here we go. Let me explain the event. The "single hitch pleasure driving class" involves a single animal harnessed to a cart with human driver seated behind, circling the arena and performing a number of gaits, stopping and standing, and finally backing when the judge requests. The driver must carry a whip at all times and upon entering the arena use it to "salute" the judge. Gentlemen must wear a coat, hat, gloves..."dressed conservatively according to the style of the day." A knee rug drapes over the driver's knees. And around the huge arena you go with five or six other carts, donks and drivers. The animal must show extraordinary composure, listen and follow commands he hears and feels in the lines attached to his mouth. So it's really about the animal. It's not too dissimilar to other forms of education. Now bear with me on this; this may seem a little off the wall. The teacher appears when the "student" is ready. Pack burro training did the ground work with Masai,and all I needed was a little help from my friends, a set of cues, the gear and some organ music.
No wonder there was such resistance to the horseless carriages. This could all get very personal. I look forward to the jingle and jangle of wheels and harness and lines echoing at a trot through the Stock Show tunnel next year and bursting out into the light, complete with hokey organ music in the air. Okay evverreebody....let's skate. I didn't train Masai, of course. He trained me. I haven't been feeling that hot the past few years and the gentle jibing and encouragement of our pack burro ass-ociation members sustained me in an odd way. I made up my mind to use what little energy I had and burrology on working with my greener animals in the races. I particularly paid attention to my three-year-old Masai. The hubcap-sized buckle, the money and the blue ribbon at the NWSS single hitch driving class was won over the very tough 21-mile Mosquito Pass course that I used to run in close to two and a half hours. But on that 2002 afternoon with Masai and a squirrelly gut, it took more than four hours. However, Masai and I really got to know one another on that long pressure afternoon… and on many short hike/runs during the summer. I knew when he was about to sull up, blow up, shuck, or have at it like many smaller animals from Hayduke to Moose to Oscar and Peckinpah. It's the same learning to anticipate and develop a peculiar dialogue with my partner so I can eventually ask him to the ultimate question when under pressure, "Will you please deliver, now?"… whack! The whack isn't hard on his butt, but he KNOWS that I need his cooperation NOW. "Trust me, dammit." "You're not going to get hurt." And that's when these peaceful appearing docile creatures give up their profound characteristics of caution and become warriors too. Don't kid yourself. The biggest misconception about man's oldest beast of burden is that he's stubborn and a little cowardly. No. He just wants to know you're sure. And finally, he'll jump off that cliff with you… if you've done the ground training from hell…like all successful pack burro racers must. Some day pack burro racers have to get back to mechanical aids, leg press, and the whole tradition of good horsemanship. But we're a cantankerous lot and want to dot it OUR way. That was the case with Masai and me at the Stock Show. I had this intuitive feeling, having worked with Hayduke, Oscar and Peckinpah, that in a self taught, primitive, single hitch way with the funkiest of carts imaginable that I was ready … and somehow Masai was ready … on Stock Show day in Denver even though I never had put all the equipment on him nor a cart behind him. Carrie and Craig Clawson from Kiowa, Colorado, had just won the Grand Champion jack halter class with Masai's eight-month old jack foal, Jack Daniels. This young couple has been raised on horses and longears by their mom and dad, the Parkers, who own Iron Horse Stables between the railroad tracks and I 25 south of Castle Rock. Carrie helped me tack up Masai to a cart and we started him in a small round pen near the arena and work him around the wall, Carrie at Masai's head all the while. Eventually I got in the cart. Carrie led him and me down the alley between the draft horses and the parked semi trailers and the incoming freight train 10yards away Closest I've ever seen Masai coming unglued -- eyes rolling behind the "blinkers," wanting to jump out of his feet! But some old-time breeder knew it was no good to cross spooky George Washington's mammoth jacks with even the best Belgians, Clydes, Perchenonsetc., whereupon you'd have a crazed mobile home sized mule who could really hurt somebody with their hybrid strength and a two-ton, beer wagon trailing behind him. My only insurance was NWSS mule/donkey show curators, Tom Mowery and Bill Rossman who I've seen jump retaining walls to catch runaway teams dragging tangled contestants.
I gave Masai all the pressure in one moment that I had applied on him in the four hours on Mosquito Pass last August during the Leadville Boom Days pack burro race. He bent … but he didn't break. And he sure let me know he was truly different from the wild, chargy stock I've caught, bred and raised from much of my pack burro racing life. But you know what? Carrie was at his head, and I was on the lines and the beast got through it. She introduced me to a cavasson and the check rein…duh. We took him up to a larger arena, and he was stepping out fine. What I thought was a sluggish brute was actually a quick study. Thirty years ago when some rank jack and I charged out of Fairplay for 30 miles, I thought, you know… we can do this..... same here in the city. The challenge has changed and the partner is bigger, but the idea was the same as we tooled around the darkening round pen as trains thundered through the stockyards beside us. The next day I polished what Masai learned the night before with help from Anita and Jake Skobel, experienced muleskinners and harness and hitch masters from Leadville. We hooked Masai to a heavier cart Jake trucked in from Grand Junction ….and it was into the arena we went …. Showtime! It may be small, dorky potatoes to urban America and a bit corny in this over-revved and over-hyped, over-communicated, over-fossil fueled world, but you couldn't prove it by Masai and me. Besides, I've been to the Stock Show eight times now and the State Fair twice. Once in the arena, Masai harnessed and pulling me in the cart behind him, riding the wave at an extended trot, I heard the call over the organ music for a "park trot." What the hell is that, I thought? Put the "parking brake" on and trot? Nope. I confronted what was in front of me -- and it wasn't down the road , but a huge ass. Years before, I could see over Peckinpah's and Oscar's butts, but with Masai I had to move to the edge of the cart seat to see around him and trust centuries of harness and rings that the lines were still going to Masai's mouth and that my Mosquito Pass verbal cues still meant something even though the blinders prevented him from seeing me and this contraption he was dragging around seemed even more a natural extension of his body and biomechanics than our standard halter, 15-foot lead rope and pack saddle. Hey! He was doing me a favor either way. But the verbal cues remained the same. "Easy" to slow down; "Hup" to trot; "He yaw" for faster; "Whoa" for stop. I'll be damned if a touch on the lines didn't make these verbal cues even more direct to his walnut sized brain. A touch on the sides or the butt with the mandatory whip was another mechanical aid that made it easy to enforce the equine golden rule, "make it easy for him to do the right thing and difficult to screw up."
Somehow, the business of living, my day job, climate change, the drought and the quintuple jump in hay prices in Colorado and incipient middle age had encroached on my enjoyment of my donks. The extended moment in the arena and the cavernous NWSS arena/ Event Center, haulin' ass with my ass momentarily banished the bitter sweet struggle of small ranching and reminded me why I do this stuff. A working, functioning, organic partnership with some "body," apart from my piddy pat, teamwork at its second best. There are other mammals on this planet that celebrate their existence with song and dance! The corny organ music played on. Get out of the way ole Dan Tucker… you're too late for supper. I was there, literally, for the ride. Anita Percefield-Skobel, transplanted Indiana Annie Oakley, long-haul drivin', Leadville livery service and muleskinner from the highest city in North America … cloud city, Leadville (10K feet in elevation), has a more trained eye than I. Watching from the stands, she said Masai looked like he was pulling with his chest and totally congruent with the whacky gerry-rigged cart. He had a ground eating gait compared to the shorter striding standard donkeys. Well, I knew I had the funkiest cart because I assembled two of the other well sprung cushion carts going around the ring -- Oscar and Sue Conroe, Peckinpah and Jake Skobel There were other carts and I'm sure we looked like go carts with peculiar engines. But we all changed directions, did our park trot, road trot, walk and lined up for the judges and backed. Masai was like an old Chevy Laguna. The torque took more time between gears, but he was so smooth. He was prepared to back back to Buena Vista, but the judge stopped us after four steps. Same old pressure-release from the jerk line/lead rope of pack burro racing. Twenty mule team jack whackers had even more success with that long single line hauling tons of borax wagons from Death Valley to Boron, California, using similar jerkline, pressure-release hitching techniques a century ago, not unrelated to sitting in this stadium as we watched the judge pace up and down the line of animals and carts. Easy to say now, after the adrenaline is gone and it's a matter of history and the lost frontier that these contestants inadvertently honor in our own peculiar moment. It's all been done before and probably better. Even the six-hitch draft animals that came on after us don't hold a candle to those runaway 20-mule teams. Talk about harness and jingle and jangle! You'd have to be a multi-national corporation to set up a rig like that now. Some group out in California did just that. But just how long can you be a corporate write-off? The musical tones of a knowledgeable longears announcer, Ms. Kathy Herrin, called out, "In first place… from Granite, Colorado… Masai D. Democrat." What?! We're a long way from the columbined trails of the high country. My jaw dropped! All I wanted to do was get through this performance -- hitch, cart, body and Masai all intact. Oh yeah. There's ribbons and hardware and cash attached to this -- to say nothing of old timey photographer (Remember celluloid images instead of digital?) with a big camera and a flash bulb -- the omnipresent rodeo queen presented a drape-sized ribbon to me. When I was younger, the Boom Days and rodeo queens would give me a kiss, too. This one wouldn't have anything of it. What the hey. I cracked my whip, called "hup" to Masai and I headed into the tunnel at a trot with my "one-day wonder." Having written all this, I would now have to say, "Kids, adults...don't try this at home." This is NOT the way to properly prepare for an arena, single-hitch event. I share this story simply to illustrate the power of pack burro style ground training in acquainting you with your animal and preparing him and you for just about any task required. The long, slow way is still the best way.
Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation Board

Eric Lynn, President

Eric Lynn grew up riding, training, showing and working cattle on quarter horses.
He acquired a pair of BLM burros and fell in love with these intelligent,
affectionate equines. He quickly realized donkeys were not "horses with long ears"
and set out to learn a different approach to training these highly intelligent equines.
Eric has established himself as a donkey wrangler and trainer that utilizes these
wonderful critters in a multitude of ways. He has trained "wild" burros to ride,
pack, drive and burro race in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Eric, his wife Michelle and two sons live in Peyton, CO. After more than 24 years in the military,
Eric founded Mountain Ridge Gear, a company that makes high-quality equine, mule and
burro packing and racing saddles and accessories. In addition,
Eric regularly shares what he’s learned and offers a number
of different clinics and discussions and has presented at many different
venues as a professional donkey trainer.
Eric’s goals for the WPBA include developing standardized rules and procedures to be used
across the country for burro racing to ensure the safety and enjoyment of humans and burros alike.

Melanie Layton, (interim) Vice-President

Like many burro racers, it was finishing the Leadville Trail 100 Run that eventually led Melanie on a
path of seeking the next crazy Colorado thing to add to her bucket list. Prior to even running with a donkey,
the Wann’s contacted her about an opportunity to adopt
two donkeys through the Equine Rescue Network and the rest is history.

Melanie grew up in the Midwest and has lived in Conifer, CO for 20 years. She and her husband Kent,
have three children (Sierra, Chase and Dane), dog Grover, cat Trucker and of course the donkeys,
“Team Top Gun”—Maverick and Goose.

As a co-owner of Colorado’s longest-standing lobbying firm, Colorado Legislative Strategies,
Melanie hopes to use her connections to help obtain funding and recognition for Colorado’s
Official Summer Heritage Sport. Melanie joined the board last year as a way of giving back to
so many people in this community that have helped her since adopting her burros two years ago.
Her favorite aspect is seeing so many unwanted burros adopted and someday hopes to
have a burro rescue in Salida, CO where she and her family spend much of their time.

Joe Polonsky, Treasurer

Joe grew up in Southern California where he spent all of his free time playing baseball.
Joe moved to Colorado in 1987 and eventually ended up joining the Air Force, where he served for 8 years.
He is also an accomplished athlete, having completed the infamous Leadman race series, which includes
finishing the Leadville Trail 100 Run and Mountain Bike Race just a week apart. It was after the 2017
mountain bike race that Joe and his wife, Kim, stopped in Buena Vista for lunch and saw their first
burro race. Shortly after that, they adopted their first burro, Tin Cup, who was only four months old
and two months later, adopted another BLM burro, Jake. Since then, their family has grown significantly
to “countless children” including six burros, five horses, seven goats, one llama, three pigs, five dogs,
and a lot of chickens and cats.

Dodger, Joe’s chocolate Labrador and he are a registered animal therapy team through Pet Partners where they have visited many hospitals and senior centers. Joe and Kim are working on developing a non-profit centered around animal therapy activities.

One of Joe’s main goals for serving on the board is to help people understand that donkeys/burros are not stubborn animals as they are often portrayed to be. They have reasons for acting the way they do and believe it or not, they do love to run. Joe hopes to spread the word about the great sport of burro racing and to educate the public on the animals and the sport.

Lisa Sandoval, (interim) Secretary

After Lisa’s husband Marvin ran his first burro race in 2018, their family (which includes four children—Reilly, Jaxon, Jules and Calvin), set off to Arizona to adopt a BLM burro but of course came back with two. Shortly after, they adopted three mini-burros from New Mexico. One of the burros (Buttercup) became the first ever mini-burro to win the Triple Crown series last summer.

This season, Lisa is looking forward to racing with Lil Ricky, one of their BLM burros, and is also training for her fifth finish of the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike race.

Lisa is a Co-Responder Care Manager at Solvista Health in Leadville, CO where she helps individuals suffering from mental health illnesses and/or substance use disorders. She believes therapy animals can be a powerful tool in recovery and is working to establish a partnership in the Leadville area to provide therapy animals (including donkeys, of course) to mental health providers and their clients.

One of Lisa’s main goals in serving on the board is to promote this sport and provide education about how awesome donkeys really are. She hopes to see pack burro racing continue to gain popularity as well as the increasing trend of rescuing and adopting donkeys.

Brad Wann, Media Relations

Anyone who has heard of burro racing, has heard of Brad Wann and his family. For the past 10 years, Brad has been a tireless advocate and spokesperson for the sport.

Burro racing is more than a hobby for the Wann family—it’s a way of life. Past-WPBA President Blair Smith and his wife Claudia, Brad’s in-laws, were the impetus for getting Brad’s wife, Amber, then Brad himself, signed up for their first burro race in 2009. Since then, the Wann’s four children (Emily, Bonnie, Bailey and Benjamin) have also competed in many races. The family lives in Highland Ranch and keeps their herd of 12 burros in Douglas County. In addition to Brad’s work as a furniture master, he and Amber are owners of Colorado Burro Rentals, which provides burro rentals and instruction for new racers, along with Rocky Mountain Beverage Burro, where burros serve drinks at weddings and events. As if that wasn’t a big enough contribution to the burro racing community, the family has been placing rescued burros with Colorado families and helping them train for burro races. There are few in the pack burro racing community that have not been touched by the kindness and guidance of the Wann family.

Brad is the longest serving board member and brings a wealth of knowledge and history to the board. He is an outspoken advocate of growing the sport and ensuring there are plenty of “jobs for these critters”. He was instrumental in the passage of House Joint Resolution HJR12-1021, to make Western Pack Burro Racing Colorado’s Official Summer Heritage Sport.

When & Where

Mar 1, 2021 - Dec 31, 2021


9:59 PM

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Georgetown, CO

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