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Photo via Snippet & Ink

Unlike sane people, Chris and I have a crazy love for little burros. We believe the world’s problems are being solved behind those blank stares and if there were only a way for us to tap into their thoughts humanity would finally find the keys to peace and brotherly love.  I’m serious, we LOVE donkeys, we take photos of donkeys, we purchase artwork with donkeys in it, we even have dreams for a little burro on our own little farm! YEA DONKEYS!!!!

Two weeks ago I read an advertisement for “Haulin’ Ass”…

a documentary about Colorado Burro Racing playing at The Chautauqua (a great venue by the way) and pretty much lost it! In the end Chris couldn’t make it so Erin filled in for him and I think she’s caught the burro bug! Here’s the trailer, if you ever get a chance to watch the whole documentary I promise you will not be disappointed.

Needless to say, Erin and I fell in love with the sport and have already started scheming ways to sign Chris up for a race by the end of this Summer…he’s actually agreed to give it a try!!!  I secretly have dreams of running my own burro race in the next year or two – hells yea!

A neat side note; throughout the documentary I kept thinking the guy winning all the races (in 2009) looked so familiar. He was not the focus of the story so we didn’t learn any personal details until the very end when he answered a few questions about winning the prestigious Triple Crown. The moment he mentioned his wife “Natalie” it immediately clicked that Bob Lewis is the son of someone very dear to me and I was tickled to death to have a connection to this bizarre sport! I sent an email to my friend who responded with this:

Years ago, when Fairplay started all this with “Get your ass up the pass,”  Bob (Sr) and I thought it was so fun and so funny, but we never dreamed our family would get so involved.  They LOVE their burros.  Yes, they’re horse people and they love their horses, but they really really really LOVE their burros.   

Yes, I’ve seen “Haulin Ass” a couple times and have been at as many finish lines as I could.  When Bobby said ” Natalie drove all night” – it was from their Saturday Association Day and she drove to the final race on Sunday to give him a chance at the Triple Crown in Leadville, because he had already won the other two that year.

You would howl if you saw the photo finish picture of the first race Bobby won here in BV.  He beat Barb, the yearly winner, by inches, and a more determined look you have never seen.  The town made that photo into a poster which covered the town for years.  Fun!

I’m beside myself with excitement! Here’s the burro racing schedule for 2012 along with rules and additional info hopefully you’ll see me there!

Sunday, July 15th  Idaho Springs
Idaho Springs, Colorado
4 – 6 miles – Great distance for first timers
Weigh In:  10:30am
Middle school parking lot (near the USFS Visitor Center) – exit 240 off I-70
Parade – All entrants must participate in the Parade before the burro race
Race Start: 12:00 pm
Contact: Bill Lee (Red Tail) – 720-234-8200

Sunday, July 29th
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 13,000 ft summit of Mosquito Pass.
Also a Short course (15 miles). Both start and end in front of the historic Hand Hotel in Fairplay.
Weigh In:  8:00 am
Race Start: 10:30 am
Race Director : Ralph Herzog – 719-836-2659

Sunday, August 5th
Boom Days Pack Burro Race
Leadville, Colorado
2nd Leg of Triple Crown .
Open and Women’s races. Open course – 22 miles following 4-wheel drive roads to summit of Mosquito Pass through historic mining district. Women’s course- 15 miles on roads with a trail loop around Bald Mountain. Both courses bring men and women back to town down, notorious mining area of California Gulch.
Weigh In:  9:00 am
Weight of pack saddle and gear must be 33 pounds for standard and mammoth donkeys, and include pick, shovel, and pan. Post race weigh in required for winners.
Race Start Open: 11:00 am
Race Start Women: 11:15 AM
Race Director:  Dave TenEyck  303-437-9898
Race info and entry form: www.leadvilleboomdays.com.

Sunday, August 12th
Gold Rush Days Pack Burro Race
Buena Vista, Colorado
3rd Leg of Triple Crown.
12-mile course crossing suspension bridge over Arkansas River, climbing the Whipple Trail to the historic Midland Railroad grade. Views of the Collegiate Peaks … if you have time to look around!
Weigh In:  9:30 am, in front of the Library on Main Street.
Race Start: 11:00 am
Race Director: Karen Thorpe – 719-221-2424 (cell), 719-539-3135 (home)