Welcome to the Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation website!
Our group 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.
Andit yourself. 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!!