Racer and burro

Colorado Mountain History Collection/Lake County Public Library

An unknown racer and burro make their way north on Harrison Avenue past East 5th Street during the Second Annual Bur-Rodeo burro race in 1970.

Highlights from

The Herald Democrat

50 Years Ago

Terrific Celebration Staged

Monday, July 13, 1970


How about you — are you tired? We sure are! It was worth it, though. Many hands in Leadville joined together for months of preparatory work for its summer celebration, and it’s all over within just a few days of concentrated fun.

So that’s what we had last weekend. The number of persons in Leadville for the weekend attest to the fact that visitors came from far and wide to witness the Bur-Rodeo in Leadville. More Leadville residents seemed to have turned out for the celebration also. Several educated estimates have given the number of persons watching the Saturday parade at 7,000.

The one item added to the celebration this year that proved to be very successful was the children’s events, and whether they had more fun than the adults watching them is a matter of conjecture.

The burro race was a most successful affair, even though only ten racers entered. Of this ten, there were four former champions, with three of them finishing in the top four. Of course, as you all know by now, the Leadville perennial winner, Joe Glavinick, came in first in the truly amazing time of 2 hours, 32 minutes, 20.3 seconds—shaving 18 minutes off Steve Mathews' time from last year.

By the time the racers had reached the lower portion of East Fifth Street, Glavinick assumed the lead and held it for the remainder of the race. At one time, while the contestants were cutting across the mountain between Fifth and Seventh Streets, the Bristol brothers closed in to within ten feet of Glavinick, but they then had to drop back, and that was the end of the threat to his victory.

Following Glavinick across the finish line was former winner Carl Lee of Bellvue, Colorado, and his burro, Little Jack. Lee finished about seven minutes behind Glavinick and continued his enviable record of being in five races in Leadville and winning money in each. Carl has now had one first place, three seconds and one fourth—all with the same burro, Little Jack. Lee was second to Steve Mathews last year.

Coming in third to win $400 was 35-year-old J. Wilson of Fort Collins, racing Possum. Wilson entered the race for the first time last year and finished sixth. In fourth place was the winner of the 1969 Bur-Rodeo race, Steve Mathews of Denver. Mathews had to give up on the burro that he had trained with and substitute Charlie Brown. Charlie liked coming downhill, but he wasn’t enthused about going up the mountain. This burro is owned by Jerry Reynolds of Denver.

The team of Joe and Harold Bristol finished almost neck-and-neck, with Joe fifth and Harold sixth. The two brothers from Frisco have always trained their burros together, and ran almost side-by-side during the entire race. Joe, 19, was racing Reed, while Harold, a previous winner of the race, competed with Mr. Pink.

In seventh place was Larry Cleghorn of Ouray, Colorado, and Mosquito. Larry, who had been a favorite last year and led a good part of the race before being dragged, had a little trouble with his burro this year. The burro injured a hoof several weeks ago and was out of training for a time.

Eighth place was won by Denver marathon runner Bob Campbell, who was running Banjo, another Reynolds-owned burro. Failing to finish were Ted Clutter of Denver with Muffin, and Rocky Mountain Airways ticket agent Nancy Vick, who was the only woman in the race. Nancy, racing Cream Puff, had the misfortune of being knocked down by her burro and stepped upon. Nancy was taken to St. Vincent Hospital, where her leg was x-rayed and placed in a cast to allow the muscles time to heal. She’ll be all right.

In addition to being a race of veterans, it was a race of veteran burros. Ringo, the winner with Glavinick, was used by Cleghorn in the 1969 race and was the winning burro with Harold Bristol in the Fairplay-Breckenridge race. Muffin was the winner of the ladies’ Leadville and Fairplay races last year. Banjo was used by Mathews in winning the 1969 Bur-Rodeo; Possum raced last year; Little Jack has been in the money five times; and Cream Puff, who was flown in here by Rocky Mountain Airways, had been a two-time winner with Mathews.

The race began at 11 am with a double-barreled shotgun blast by Police Chief Van Pelt. Trouble almost appeared on the scene at Fifth and Poplar when some unthinking motorist from another county drove across the intersection as the racers got there.

Other than that, there seemed to be no real problems. The trail judges did an efficient job, the Herald Democrat driver Dick Anderson performed his role perfectly, the official timers, Bill Gregory and Dom Cornella, were right on the ball, the trail was exceptionally well-marked, and all went well.

Each of the racers was talked to concerning the trail and the conduct of the race. They were high in the praise of the conduct of the race, had no complaints and thought that it was a real tough test. The consensus was that it is a much tougher trail than that in Park and Summit County, especially since the route goes up Jonny Hill and then up the Mosquito Pass trail. They felt that the winner earned his money and belt buckle, and they all want to come back next year.

Veteran competitors Max Cornella and Murril Roberts bowed out to let some of the younger bucks try. Dr. Allen Watts was forced out when he injured his foot in practice. Mae Witcher of Denver left her running shoes at home.

It was a good race for the competitors and also the spectators. Several persons were unable to enter because they couldn’t get a burro. Others had burros, but no contestants. Perhaps next year the Chamber of Commerce could establish a directory of burros and potential contestants so that the two could get together.

The ten Hi Rodeo was also a successful event, with more than 200 entries—more than last year. It was a well-run affair, and well-attended despite the rain, with Harold Webb furnishing the stock, popular Len Whitman, now of Meeker, was back again as the announcer, and George Shaw also back as the clown. All did an excellent job. The only casualty among the cowboys seemed to be one broken arm.

The event was featured by a personal appearance by Mary Ann Bledsoe, Miss Rodeo Colorado 1970, who also attended many of the other functions.

The winners in the various rodeo events, on a combination payoff for the two days, were:

Bareback Riding — Larry Rohrig, John Mahoney, Dwain Triplett and Ken Mahaney.

Calf Roping — Allan Johnson, Jim Reimer, Jim Mazuchi, Aubry Maines.

Saddle Bronc Riding — Allen Farrow, Troy Triplett, Dwain Triplett.

Barrel Racing — Sharon Cox, Gwin Coker, Sharon Jammer, LeAnn Westfall.

Steer Roping — Dave Prather, Jim Mazuchi, Millard Dixon, Harold Webb, Gene Gatley, Carl Sayer, Jack Baldin, Butch Hall.

Bull Dogging — Arnold Felts, Allan Johnson, Jim Mazuchi, Jim Reimer.

Bull Riding — Butch Kane, Floyd Hutton, Glenn Younger, Dave Coker.

In addition to the regular rodeo events, the spectators were also entertained by the clowns, and the interesting horse riding demonstrations by eight-year-old Lori Shaw and seven-year-old Charlie Shaw—children of George Shaw. The barbecue at the rodeo grounds each day was well-attended.

Many of the contestants in the WSRA-sanctioned rodeo were familiar faces from previous years, and all gave their heart and soul to successfully compete in this exceptionally dangerous sport. For many it meant considerable winnings, while for others, it was a weekend of bruises, jolts, and the feeling of “maybe next time.”



In this busy weekend when waitresses were pressed hard enough to answer questions mechanically, one visitor received the following answer to his request to be told where the men’s room is: “You go out the door, proceed up the highway, turn the corner, go another eight blocks, turn right for one block, and then left and go out of town.”

The surprised visitor said, “You mean it’s that far to the men’s room?”

With a red face, the waitress explained, “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. I thought you wanted to know the way to Minturn.”


Figures to make you blink: if inflation is permitted to continue at 6 percent for the next 30 years, a man earning $10,000 today with need $57,000 to live in the same style as he is now; that $20 bag of groceries you brought home last weekend will cost $115; a $3,000 automobile will jump to $17,000, and a $25,000 home will be available for $147,000.

Today’s Chuckle


Before one finds the fountain of success, he must first drill through the bedrock of inertia.

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