Burro Team General Information

Burro Teams

Due to the nature of the event, it is limited to 15 burros. The event is conducted on a semi-invitational basis, with priority given to burro and handler teams that support the MCD Burro Brigade on a year-round basis by participating in both this event and/or the annual Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering Parade.

The event includes:

  • Trail Obstacle Course competition
  • Opportunity to win one of several awards
  • BurroFest CeleBRAYtion
  • Sack lunch following the obstacle course

As a registrant you will be paired with an artist in advance and are expected to work with and communicate with the artist prior to the event in order to help the artist prepare. All registrants will be expected to proceed to the artist tents on Grand immediately following the awards ceremony so that their burro can serve as a live model for their artist during the Live Art Show / Public Interaction portion of the day.

What are the details?

Costumes & Burro Bios

The event begins with the Grand Entry and reading of the Burro Bios (provided by the contestant prior to the event). The burros and their handlers are required to be in costume, adding to the fun and creative flair of the event.

Trail Obstacle Course

Obstacle Description. This will be a bonafide in-hand trail obstacle course with a historic western theme creatively customized to the burro-packing days of Southwest Colorado. The obstacle course will require that the handler has previously trained and worked with their burro to address a variety of obstacles one may encounter on the trail.

Obstacles MAY include:

  • Crossings of various types (i.e., water, slopes, bridges, deadfall, etc.);
  • Approaching and navigating past or through unfamiliar objects or sounds (i.e., wildlife, boulders, screens / blinds, bulky equipment, noisy machinery, etc.);
  • Traditional burro work (i.e., transporting, dragging, rendering aid, etc.); and
  • Certain skills required to accomplish such work (backing through obstacles, loading, standing tied, etc.).

Protocols & Procedures. The following protocols & procedures will be followed:

  • Contestants will learn the names of the obstacles at the CeleBRAYtion dinner on Friday evening.
  • On Saturday, prior to the start of the event, there will be an on-course meeting where the Lead Judge will walk contestants (without animals) through the course and explain what is expected at each obstacle.
  • Following the walk-thru, there will be 15 minutes allotted to entertain questions in the presence of the entire group pertaining specifically to the course and completing the specific obstacles.
  • No private or side questions about the course or judging will be permitted.
  • General questions and clarifications about this event are welcome anytime prior.
  • All questions and answers will be posted publicly under FAQ on this platform for the benefit of all contestants.

Rules. The following rules apply to the Trail Obstacle Course:

  • The course will consist of 8 obstacles
  • Each team will be limited to 8 minutes to complete the entire course
  • The handler may use their own discretion in determining how best to use their time on course (no per-obstacle time limit)
  • No outside assistance is permitted
  • Obstacles must be done in order

Scoring. Placings will be based on a calculated score that considers overall time to complete the entire course and judged points for each obstacle.

  • There will be a different judge doing the scoring at each obstacle and the total points will be tallied
  • The overall time to complete the course will be measured
  • Should the team run out of time before completing the course, the remaining obstacles will be scored as a “No Attempt,” receiving a zero (0) score
  • The total points will be deducted in 5-second per point increments OFF the total time to complete the course, giving the “Time Score”
  • The team with the lowest Time Score will be the winner
  • A separate timed activity will be used as a tie-breaker, if needed

Judges will rate the team’s performance through each obstacle on a scale of 0-5, as follows:

  • 0   No Attempt
  • 1   Attempted – Complete refusal to enter
  • 2   Attempted – Partial completion
  • 3   Completed – Significant errors / refusals
  • 4   Completed – Minimal errors
  • 5   Completed – No errors


Five (5) possible awards are up for grabs: Grand Prize, Runner Up, Last Ass, Best Costume and Fan Favorite.

BurroFest CeleBRAYtion

The MCD encourages participants to arrive Friday and participate in the CeleBRAYtion Dinner. Details will be mailed to registered participants who RSVP that they plan to attend. Each contestant will receive a complimentary dinner ticket (included with the registration). Additional dinner tickets for guests may be purchased in advance.

Commonly Asked Questions & Answers

Questions may be asked via email at katie@mancoscreativedistrict.com Answers to emailed questions will be posted here. Check here before emailing MCD Executive Director, Katie McClure with questions.

Burro Teams Obstacle Course Clues

This year’s obstacle challenge will be a bonafide BurroCross Trail Obstacle Course with a creative historic storyline. In order to help you prepare for the obstacle challenge and add to the suspense, stay tuned to these FUN CLUES for to each obstacle, released on a weekly basis.

Obstacle Story

You just received word that a prospector friend high up on Troublesome Creek needs your assistance. Your friend has not called upon you for medical attention or rescue, but rather because he must stay to guard his claim from the likes of that FIEND … Nuggets McNichols!! You are the only person he trusts who can get the job done. Your task will be to take his gold off the mountain, deposit it, and file the claim with the recorder at the bank. You are happy to be of service and he has promised to reward you for your troubles, so grab your trusty burro and hit the treacherous trail!!

𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚊𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚝𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚃𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚋𝚕𝚎𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝙲𝚛𝚎𝚎𝚔 𝚒𝚜 𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝙾𝚕𝚍 𝙼𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚘𝚜 𝙱𝚛𝚒𝚍𝚐𝚎. 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚜𝚑 𝚠𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚝𝚘𝚘𝚔 𝚊 𝚝𝚘𝚕𝚕 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚛𝚒𝚍𝚐𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚒𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚒𝚗 𝚍𝚎𝚜𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚛𝚎𝚙𝚊𝚒𝚛! 𝙸𝚝’𝚜 𝚊 𝚐𝚘𝚘𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚋𝚞𝚛𝚛𝚘 𝚌𝚛𝚘𝚜𝚜𝚎𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚋𝚛𝚒𝚍𝚐𝚎 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢 𝚍𝚊𝚢, 𝚋𝚎𝚌𝚊𝚞𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎 𝚒𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎!

Photos by Sue Murray

Photos by GS Bauman

Photos by Paul Boyer

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