CREEDE — Creede hit the road running on Saturday with the 2021 Donkey Dash. The event kicked off Saturday afternoon, June 12, and was greeted by Colorado blue skies, warm sunshine and braying donkeys lined up on Main Street.
The furry animals lined up behind the starting line, vibrating with anticipation while their racers waited for the sounding shot. At 1 p.m. the racers were off, heading for the historical mining district located up the Bachelor’s Loop Road.
Burros are tame animals most of the time but can have a stubborn streak that makes this event enjoyable for spectators to watch. The racers made their way up the steep incline along the same route many miners and characters of the past once walked with their burros in tow. The race follows rules set by the Western Pack Burro Association and is one that many participants look forward to every year.
Some of the animals participating in this year’s race were once part of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program. According to BLM, “The Bureau of Land Management manages and protects wild horses and burros on 26.9 million acres of public lands across 10 Western states as part of its mission to administer public lands for a variety of uses. The Wild Horse and Burro Program's goal is to manage healthy wild horses and burros on healthy public rangelands.
“The Bureau of Land Management created the Wild Horse and Burro Program to implement the Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act (.pdf), passed by Congress in 1971. Broadly, the law declares wild horses and burros to be ‘living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West’ and stipulates that the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service have the responsibility to manage and protect herds in their respective jurisdictions within areas where wild horses and burros were found roaming in 1971.”
Hidden in the foothills of the South Fork area is also a place for wandering burros of all shapes and sizes. The Forever Home Donkey Rescue has been healing, loving and comforting donkeys for the past three years as a satellite location for the larger operation that is in Benson, Ariz. Almost all of the racers who participate in the event became lovers of the animals after learning of rescue efforts.
The route up the Bachelor Loop is a trial at best with a rise in elevation from 8,900 feet to above 10,000. It is an endurance race for only the brave at heart and with a stubborn burro in tow, can be even more difficult at times. Over 50 racers participated this year and made it to the finish line later that afternoon.
The Gravity Derby was held Sunday, June 13, in Creede. The reported best time was recorded by the entry from Creede Repertory Theatre, the "CRT Wolverine" ridden by Ethan Fuller. It was built by Tyler Horn and he had a “pit crew” of Lauren Ramsey and Elly Hunt.
Donkey Dash Results
1, Bob Sweeney, Leadville, Yukon, 1:22:47.42
2, Marvin Sandoval, Leadville Buttercup 4.5 1:22:47.83
3, Joe Polonsky, Palmer Lake, Jake, 1:30:72.79
4, Roland Bruder, Colorado Springs, Tin Cup, 1:31:72.79
5, Brian Rowlings, Luck7, 1:34:00.00
6, Russell Rizzo, Arvada, Sugar Ray, 1:35:70.00
7, Smokey Burgess, Leadville, Pablo, 1:38:93.35
Fastest of the Mini Burro races Angie Spurlock, 40 seconds and Creede local Ruby Michales second fastest, 41 seconds
Winner of the Poop Clean Up, Dawn, 6 pounds
Gravity Derby Results
Fastest Team: Big Bertha 20 mph
Most Unique: Shop Rod
1, CRT Wolverine — Tyler Horn, Ethan Fuller, Elly Hunt, Lauren Ramsey
2, Big Bertha — Sally Domingue, Mack Lamb
3, It All Rolls Downhill — Dan Mead, Bobby Johnson
1, Dol Indians — Gavin Jackson, Casen Brown
2, Roof Rack Racer Ruffians — Nathan Newton, David Allison
1, Turtles — Finnegan Lamb, Jadyn Eubank
2, Shop Rod — Mikah, Sam
3, Speedsters — Brook Sliwkowski, Kye Eubank