A portion of the proceeds goes to

Burro Days image
Park County RE-2 schools
Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)
Burro Days image
Weather/Road Conditions
State of Colorado
Burro Days image
Burro Days image

Pack Burro Race

or download the entry form below

Official Rules World Championship Pack Burro Race

Entry Fee
Each entrant or his sponsor will pay a $50 entry fee. This fee must accompany the entry form and will not be refunded. Each entrant must also sign a release of liability waiver and return with entry form. Make checks payable to the Town of Fairplay. Entry fee includes a t-shirt!

Burro Days image

Each burro will be required to be equipped with a regulation pack saddle, packed with prospector's paraphernalia and must include a pick, shovel, and gold pan. The combined weight of the pack saddle and paraphernalia shall be a minimum of 33 pounds. It is strongly recommended that all participants carry at least one quart of water, food (an energy bar), and clothing (such as a windbreaker). Water, food and clothing worn during the race shall not be part of the 33 pounds. This weight will be checked at the start and finish of the race. Loss of all or part of the pack and paraphernalia will eliminate the contestant.

Burro Days image
photo by Linda Balough
The burro will be led by a halter to which is attached a rope not to exceed 15 feet in length. This rope may be single knotted or looped. It is recommended that the rope be one inch in diameter or larger. No other rope or strap may be attached to either the burro or the saddle. A regulation halter must be used.

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 following is the definition of a burro and is to be used in selecting a burro. The word "burro" comes from the Spanish word meaning donkey.

Burro Days image
photo by Jim Mills
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. Winning burros can be held in a designated area by the race committee for 30 minutes for checking by the veterinarian. 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.

Course Routes - Course Map
The race route must be followed. It will be marked by signs, people, or aid stations. Do not cut switchbacks. Any burro leaving the course must be returned to the course without shortening the distance of the course. Failure to follow these rules will result in disqualification.

The Long Course race begins on Front Street in Fairplay, goes up Mosquito Pass (elevation 13,185 feet) and returns to Front Street in Fairplay. Distance is approximately 28-30 miles.

The Short Course race begins on Front Street in Fairplay, follows the Long Course to the designated turn-around and returns to Front Street in Fairplay. Distance is approximately 15 miles.

Course Map

Course Map

Any contestant mistreating his animal may be disqualified. No needles, electric prods, narcotics, clubs or whips, other than the halter rope, may be used.

Burro Days image
photo by Linda Balough

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

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

Carrying and use of firearms will not be permitted.

Course Rules
No contestant shall interfere with other contestants by deliberate personal contact or receive help deliberately from others, nor shall he or she use anything other than the speed of travel to keep from being passed. He shall not scare or startle any opponent's burro to keep from being passed. Any contestant judged by officials to be deliberately slowing the pace of the race shall be disqualified. This applies especially to the finish of the race. No one is authorized to run with a runner at any time while on the trail. Any trail judges or authorized person may stop a burro while on the trail to check out equipment, runner or burro. If the trail judge or other authorized person feels that a violation has occurred, runner and burro may be disqualified.

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.

Burro Days image
photo by Linda Balough

Winning Team
The winning combination consists of 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.

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

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.

A Few Last Words to the Racers
This is your race. Keep it clean and remember that spectators make the race possible, so please grin and bear it if they become troublesome.

Burro Days image
photo by Jim Mills

Prizes for Burro Days

"$200 Bonus" for 1st Team to top of Mosquito Pass

Long Course
1st - $1,000
2nd - $800
3rd - $500
4th - $300
5th - $200
6th - $100
7th - $75
8th - $50
Short Course
1st - $500
2nd - $350
3rd - $250
4th - $200
5th - $150
6th - $100
7th - $75
8th - $50

Information Subject to Change

(Top of Page)