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In Historic Downtown Salida

Another Season on the Trail

Column by Hal Walter

Pack-Burro Racing – July 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

BACK IN 1949, Melville Sutton won $500 in the inaugural “Rocky Mountain Pack Burro Championship” race. The Rocky Mountain News provided the cash award for the first finisher to wrangle his burro the 23 miles from Leadville to Fairplay, a route that included the small matter of 13,187-foot Mosquito Pass. All other finishers received a case of beer from the bartender at the Hand Hotel. Read the rest of this article

July , 2007   Comments Off

Burro races start on May 26

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-Burro Racing – May 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Burro Races start on May 26

So far as we know, Colorado does not have an official state sport, even though it has an official dance, fossil and gemstone. But if our state did have an official sport, it should be pack-burro racing, since it’s the only sport indigenous to Colorado. It began in Leadville in 1949 with a race over Mosquito Pass to Fairplay, and it’s been around ever since. Read the rest of this article

May , 2007   Comments Off

Everybody loves a donkey tale

Everybody loves a donkey tale

Article by Laurel Mchargue

Pack-Burro Racing – January 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

“He’s looking for a nice ass. Not just any ass. A wild ass won’t do. Neither will a wise-ass. Really what he’s dreaming about is a healthy little burro that won’t mind hauling his equipment for him while he’s trotting around doing adventure races…” Read the rest of this article

January , 2006   Comments Off

What’s a pack-burro race?

Sidebar by Hal Walter

Pack-Burro Racing – August 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

It’s been said that a pack-burro race is a combination of a footrace, a rodeo and Teddy Roosevelt’s boys charging up San Juan Hill.

The sport, the only sport indigenous to Colorado’s mountains, is rooted in mining history, and to celebrate this competitors pack their burros with a packsaddle containing 33 pounds of gear, which must include a pick, pan and shovel. Read the rest of this article

August , 2005   Comments Off

Confessions of a pack-burro racer

Article by Hal Walter

Pack-Burro Racing – August 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

“The thin air smelled of stone and snow, the sun came through it and lay warm on her hands and face without warming the air itself. Up, up, up. There was no top to this pass.”

– Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

A COUPLE OF WEEKS before the World Championship Pack-Burro Race in Fairplay, I’ll sometimes park at a place known as “The Resurrection,” named for a mine near timberline at the base of Mosquito Pass above Leadville. From here I can cover the top sections of both the Fairplay and Leadville courses in one last, long workout before the races. Read the rest of this article

August , 2005   Comments Off

A Central Attraction

A Central Attraction

Article by Martha Quillen

Pack-Burro Racing – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

ED AND I WERE STANDING just off Main Street in Buena Vista, trying to saddle our not-so-trusty steed. But the fancy pack saddle we’d borrowed came with a confusing array of straps, buckles, and rings, and we had no idea what we were doing. Then a gunfight broke out half a block away. Someone shouted, a woman screamed. Shots sounded and reverberated. Three women with parasols cheered the gunmen on. And Virgil kicked and bolted. Read the rest of this article

July , 2005   Comments Off

Joe Glavinick in the Hall of Fame

Joe Glavinick in the Hall of Fame

Column by Hal Walter

Pack-Burro Racing – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

BACK IN JULY OF 1959 a Denver Post banner headline, what we in the newspaper industry would call a “Screamer,” belted out in boldface type across the top of the page: Read the rest of this article

July , 2004   Comments Off

Burro races start June 26 in Cripple Creek

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-Burro Racing – June 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

This year’s pack-burro racing season will start June 26 with an amateur race at Cripple Creek, followed on June 27 with the 12-mile pro race from Victor to Cripple Creek.

There won’t be a Golden race this year, but the three Triple Crown races remain: Fairplay on July 25 (Burro Days), Leadville on Aug. 8 (Boom Days), and Buena Vista (Gold Rush Days) on Aug. 15. Read the rest of this article

June , 2004   Comments Off

Pack Burro Racing Results for 2003

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-Burro Racing – February 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

So far as we know, pack-burro racing is the only organized competitive sport that originated in Central Colorado, which is as good a reason as any for us to publish the results of the 2003 season.

The Western Pack Burro Racing ASS-ociation held the end-of- season banquet in November at Twin Lakes. Awards — some serious and some whimsical — were a prominent feature of the festivities. Read the rest of this article

February , 2004   Comments Off

The future of pack-burro racing will come from its roots

Column by Hal Walter

Pack-Burro Racing – July 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine

It was late June and snow banks still lingered in the trees and along the stream bank. The young burro peered into the high mountain stream, then snorted, turned his neck, and yanked me back through the water. This was not the first time I had been in the creek. In fact my feet were pretty much numb. Around and around we went. I pushed. I pulled. And finally I managed to get one of his hooves into the edge of the water. The burro thought about it for a couple of seconds. Then with a great leap he launched himself over the full width of the stream, nearly snatching me out of my wet shoes. I swore this was the last one of these critters I would ever train. But then I’ve lied to myself numerous times and not just about jackasses. Besides, what sort of life would it be if I couldn’t reserve the right to change my mind at any time? Read the rest of this article

July , 2003   Comments Off

Racing at the top

Racing at the top

Article by Columbine Quillen

Pack-burro racing – January 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine

IT’S A SHORT SEASON for a professional donkey racer; the pack burro racing season is not nearly as long as the football, basketball, or hockey seasons. And the profession is not nearly as prestigious — nor as lucrative. But to keep winning the ultimate prize in pack burro racing, as Barb Dolan has, you have to train all year. Winter is not an excuse to hang out and watch television for nine months. Read the rest of this article

January , 2003   Comments Off

Burro racers award 2 triple crowns

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-burro racing – December 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Pack-burro racers celebrated the end of the 2001 season on Oct. 20 with a six-mile run around Turquoise Lake, followed by the annual awards banquet, held this year at the Boom Town Brew Pub in nearby Leadville.

They honored two winners of the Triple Crown. The prize goes to a runner who finishes first with the same burro in the Fairplay, Leadville, and Buena Vista races. Read the rest of this article

December , 2001   Comments Off

There’s always another jackass out there

Column by Hal Walter

Pack-Burro Racing – July 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE OWNER OF A COMPANY that is a major editing client of mine recently joked that he had fired me because he can’t employ anyone who actually owns a jackass. Actually, I don’t know this information firsthand. I was told by someone on “the inside,” a remarkable term when you consider that for me living anywhere east of the Front Range’s angle of repose, having a “real job,” and not owning jackasses, would be sort of like a jail sentence. Read the rest of this article

July , 2001   Comments Off

Burro racers start season in Lasauces

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-Burro Racing – July 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Central Colorado’s only indigenous sport is pack-burro racing, now in its 53rd season.

The season began with a 13-mile race in Lasauces on June 9.

Where’s Lasauces? Read the rest of this article

July , 2001   Comments Off

Barb Dolan and Chugs win another triple crown

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-burro racing – December 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

For the second straight year, Barbara Dolan of Buena Vista won the women’s triple crown from the Western Pack-Burro Racing Association.

That means that she and her burro, Chugs, came in first at the three major races: from Fairplay to the top of 13,188-foot Mosquito Pass and back, from Leadville to the same spot and back, and a lower but exhausting 12-mile course above Buena Vista. Read the rest of this article

December , 2000   Comments Off

Prunes Memorial will get an addition

Prunes Memorial will get an addition

Brief by Hal Walter

Pack-Burro Racing – August 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Pack-burro racing is still a full-contact sport — the first serious injury in several years in Central Colorado’s only indigenous sport was reported this year.

Rob Pedretti of Cañon City received a collapsed lung when his burro Samaritan kicked him in the chest about halfway through the Central City Pack-Burro Race in mid-June. Pedretti, a renowned hunting outfitter, also lost his glasses from the impact, but somehow regained his form to finish 2nd in the race. After spitting up some blood at the finish line, he was taken to a Denver-area hospital for three days of treatment. Read the rest of this article

August , 2000   Comments Off

Zen and the Art of Pack-Burro Racing

Column by Hal Walter

Pack-burro racing – July 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

The thin air smelled of stone and snow, the sun came through it and lay warm on her hands and face without warming the air itself. Up, up, up. There was no top to this pass. — Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

A COUPLE of weeks before the World Championship Pack-Burro Race in Fairplay, I’ll sometimes park at a place known as “The Resurrection,” named for a mine near timberline at the base of Mosquito Pass above Leadville. From here I can cover the top sections of both the Fairplay and Leadville courses in one last, long workout before these races, which combines long-distance running, mountaineering and equine handling skills. Read the rest of this article

July , 2000   Comments Off

Prunes gets a companion

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-Burro Racing – March 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

As best we know, there’s only one burro monument in the world — the Prunes memorial on Front Street in Fairplay.

It will soon have a companion, which will display engraved brass plaques with the names of every Fairplay pack-burro race winner since the contests began in 1949. Read the rest of this article

March , 2000   Comments Off

1999 Pack-Burro Race Results

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-Burro Racing – January 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Winston, N.M.

14 miles – April 17, 1999 Read the rest of this article

January , 2000   Comments Off

Burro Racers award one Triple Crown

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-burro racing – January 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation — the outfit that preserves and promotes Colorado’s only indigenous sport — convened in Leadville in late 1999 and elected the group’s first woman president, Sue Conroe of Salida.

She replaces Dave TenEyck of Golden, who has served two terms as president. He promoted gender equality by racing with Xena, a jenny — most racers run with jacks or geldings. Read the rest of this article

January , 2000   Comments Off

Competing in Colorado’s Six-Legged Race

Article by Columbine Quillen

Pack-Burro Racing – August 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine

I HAVE NEVER considered myself an athlete. Athletic yes, athlete no. My only dream to be an athlete was demolished when I was a little girl and dreamt of being a gymnast. Every day, I cart-wheeled, flipped, and somersaulted in Alpine Park, waiting for Bella Karolyi to find me — just like he found Nadia. But he never did. And eventually I found out that Olympic gymnasts often broke bones and had to perform with painful injuries. Read the rest of this article

August , 1999   Comments Off

Pack-Burro Racing season started in New Mexico

Article by Central Staff

Pack-Burro Racing – June 1999 – Colorado Central MagazineBurro racing resumes

Curtis Imrie of Buena Vista, the Cal Ripken of pack-burro racers, finally missed a race after competing in them all for 25 years.

The April 17 race — 14 miles at Winston, N.M. — was the first one of the season for the Western Pack Burro Association. Nancy Dolan and Sailor won the women’s division in 2:03, while Hal Walter (who writes for Colorado Central) and Spike (who doesn’t) took the men’s side in 1:47. Read the rest of this article

June , 1999   Comments Off

Barbara Dolan wins triple crown

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-Burro Racing – December 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Barbara Dolan wins the Triple Crown of Pack-Burro Racing

Barbara Dolan of Buena Vista won the Triple Crown award from the Colorado Pack-Burro Racing Association at the group’s annual Burro Banquet on October 10 at the Fairplay Hotel. Read the rest of this article

December , 1998   Comments Off

Barb Dolan wins Triple Crown

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-Burro Racing – September 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Pack-burro racing celebrated its 50th year this summer, and Colorado Central columnist Hal Walter, along with his burro Spike, won two major events: the Fairplay World Championship on July 26 and the Leadville International on Aug. 9.

Barb Dolan of Buena Vista won the women’s events in Fairplay and Leadville, and beat all contenders of any genders in Buena Vista on Aug. 2. This would give her the female triple crown, except that she didn’t run with the same burro in all the races. The association is trying to figure out how this fits into its rules and by-laws. Read the rest of this article

September , 1998   Comments Off

Pack Burro Stories by Hal Walter

Review by Ed Quillen

Pack-burro racing – August 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Pack Burro Stories
by Hal Walter
Published in 1998 by Out There! Publishing
No ISBN Read the rest of this article

August , 1998   Comments Off

Pack-Burro Racing turns 50 on Mosquito Pass

Article by Hal Walter

Pack-Burro Racing – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Mosquito Pass has its own special place in history.

At 13,187 feet, the route originally was a footpath between the two mining camps of Fairplay and Leadville. In the 1860s Father John Dyer carried mail and Protestant preachings over this pass, using skis in the winter. Later the pass served as a route for telegraph and telephone lines, was a toll road for wagons and stagecoaches, and was immortalized in Wallace Stegner’s epic novel, Angle of Repose. Read the rest of this article

July , 1998   Comments Off

Results of 1997 Pack-Burro races

Sidebar by Central Staff

Pack-Burro Racing – September 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

1997 Races’ Results

Fairplay: 29 miles

1. Tom Sobal, Taco Bell 4:47:38

2. Hal Walter, Clyde 4:48:54

3. Curtis Imrie, Peckinpah 5:45:53 Read the rest of this article

September , 1997   Comments Off

Barb Dolan, Tom Sobal win triple crowns

Article by Central Staff

Pack-burro racing – September 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

For the second straight year, Barb Dolan and her burro Sailor crossed the finish line before all racers to take first place overall in the Buena Vista Pack-Burro Race on August 9.

Dolan’s win captured for her the title of winner of the prestigious Triple Crown of Pack-Burro Racing in the Women’s Division–as she also won the women’s division at both the World Championship Pack-Burro Race held in Fairplay July 27 and the Leadville International Pack-Burro Race August 3. Read the rest of this article

September , 1997   Comments Off

Beware the Burro Lobby

Letter from Clay Warren

Pack-Burro Racing – August 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Beware the Burro Lobby and its cleverly hidden agenda

Editors:

Ah was all set to ignore them two essays in Issue #41 [July, 1997], the ones about how real men enjoy the outdoors, as jest another example o’ two extremists train’d to put a happy face on their own personal vices. Then hit occurred to me, “Clay” this little voice says (that’s how things occur to me). Clay, it says, how often does somebody with yere attitude get to play the part of the voice of reason, the guy in the middle, the man o’ moderation, etc., etc.? Read the rest of this article

August , 1997   Comments Off

Triple Crown results for 1997

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-Burro Racing – August 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Triple Crown Series

Pack-burro racing is the only sport indigenous to Central Colorado, and the schedule is at its peak now, with the Triple Crown series:

1) World Championship Pack-Burro Race on July 27 in Fairplay, 29 miles to the summit of Mosquito Pass and back.

2) International Pack-Burro Race on August 3 in Leadville, 20 miles to the top of Mosquito Pass and back.

3) Gold-Rush Days Pack-Burro Race on August 10 in Buena Vista, 11 miles into the Mosquito Range and back. Read the rest of this article

August , 1997   Comments Off

The treasure of the Sierra Mojada

Sidebar by Patrick O’grady

Pack-burro racing – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

I ran my first 10K on Memorial Day weekend, and I’m here to tell you — I’ve never seen a bigger pack of jackasses.

That’s not just a figure of speech. The event was the Silver Cliff to Westcliffe Western Pack-Burro Race, and as such featured a herd of four-legged jackasses to complement the two-legged variety. Read the rest of this article

July , 1997   Comments Off

Pack-burro racing in the “Real World”

Column by Hal Walter

Pack-burro racing – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

It’s easy to figure, but difficult to understand, that if it hadn’t been for the obscure sport of pack-burro racing, I might not be living in Central Colorado tending to this jackass and word farm. But here I am, and if I have anyone to thank for saving me from the madness of what most people call “The Real World,” it would be Jumpin’ Jack, Clyde, Virgil, Hannibal and Spike — my five long-eared dependents. Read the rest of this article

July , 1997   Comments Off

Not exactly the sport of kings

Column by Hal Walter

Pack-Burro Racing – July 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Some jackasses never go away. Just ask the folks in Buena Vista, where the third leg of the Triple Crown of pack-burro racing is about to resume after a three-year hiatus. Read the rest of this article

July , 1996   Comments Off

Racers venture to Arizona

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-burro racing – March 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Central Colorado may be the birthplace and spiritual center of the sport of pack-burro racing, but the southeastern Arizona town of Safford may soon be leading the way when it comes to staging one of these ærobic rodeos. Read the rest of this article

March , 1996   Comments Off

1995 pack-burro racing results

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-Burro Racing – September 1995 – Colorado Central Magazine

Tom Sobal of Leadville, racing with Maynard the burro, continued his winning ways at the International Pack Burro Race in Leadville on Aug. 6, coming in first at 2:44 for the 21-mile trek up Mosquito Pass and back. Read the rest of this article

September , 1995   Comments Off

47 years of getting an ass up the pass

Article by Hal Walter

Pack-burro racing – August 1995 – Colorado Central Magazine

How could something as ridiculous as the sport of pack-burro racing go on for 47 straight years? In 1999 — just four years away — the only sport indigenous to Central Colorado will be half a century old. Read the rest of this article

August , 1995   Comments Off

Central Colorado’s only indigenous sport

Article by Hal Walter

Pack-Burro Racing – July 1994 – Colorado Central Magazine

Rain, sleet, and snow fell in sheets. Thunder rocked the talus roadbed of Mosquito Pass. Lightning blazed like God’s own black light. The fog-shrouded bolts painted the intensely gray scene with purple snowflakes against a sky darker than death itself. Darker than death itself.

Read the rest of this article

July , 1994   Comments Off

Colorado Central Magazine
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