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Barb Dolan and Chugs win another triple crown

Brief by Central Staff

Pack-burro racing – December 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

For the second straight year, Barbara Dolan of Buena Vista won the women’s triple crown from the Western Pack-Burro Racing Association.

That means that she and her burro, Chugs, came in first at the three major races: from Fairplay to the top of 13,188-foot Mosquito Pass and back, from Leadville to the same spot and back, and a lower but exhausting 12-mile course above Buena Vista.

No man won all three of those races, so Hal Walter (among his many accomplishments, he’s also a Colorado Central columnist) remains the last male to win that version of the Triple Crown, back in 1998.

Pack-burro racing is Colorado’s only indigenous sport, which means it is generally ignored by the mainstream media in this state, which prefer to focus on football, baseball, and other sports invented elsewhere. It began in Fairplay in 1949 as an effort to get more tourists to come to Gold Rush Days.

Association members gathered on Nov. 4 at the Elkhorn Grill in Buena Vista to elect new officers, dispense awards, exchange tall tales, and disseminate bad puns.

The WPBA will have co-presidents next year: Kate Larkin of Leadville and Ed Mighell (pronounced “Mile”) of Denver.

Formal awards included:

Rookie of the Year, Pam Cruse-Sollazzo.

Horizon Award, Neil McGowan and Wendy Hartman.

Trainer of the Year, Rob Pedretti. He also deserved some sort of “toughness award,” since he was kicked hard in the chest during the Central City race, finished anyway, and then spent several days in the hospital with a collapsed lung.

Burro of the Year, Spike, owned by Hal Walter. Spike got a bag of oats, just like last year, except that this year, he’ll probably get to eat them since Hal has sold Virgil, the burro that ingested everything biodegradable within reach.

Less formal awards:

Feminist Movement Award: Rose Nordby and Opal, the only female-female team.

Most Under-rated Ass Man: Jim Feistner, who’s 62 years old and still kicking.

Finally Got Some Balls: Dave TenEyck, who traded in his jenny after eight years and ran with a jack.

Can’t Get Enough of Jackasses, so he wants to be in politics: Curtis Imrie, the Democratic candidate for congress in Colorado’s third district.

And now, for those of you who didn’t get enough numbers when looking at the Florida election returns:

Central City, June 18

6.2 miles (No times or burro names available)

Men, 25 entries

1. Curtis Imrie

2. Rob Pedretti

Women, 11 entries

1. Barbara Dolan

2. Diane Ridgway

Cripple Creek June 25

10.2 miles


1. Barb Dolan, Chugs 1:11:14

2. Sue Conroe, Oscar 1:21:36

3. P.J. Cruse Sollazzo, Laredo 1:27:22

4. Wendy Hartman, Mr. Ziffle 1:34:54

5. Rosemary Norby, Opal


1. Hal Walter, Spike 1:09:11

2. Curtis Imrie, Peckinpah 1:15:39

3. Wayne Archuleta, Herbie 1:23:34

4. Clyde Archuleta, Rusty 1:23:35

5. Ralph Herzog, Cochise 1:29:29

Frisco, July 15

10 miles


1. Rob Pedretti, Samaritan 55:07

2. Hal Walter, Spike 55:12

3. Curtis Imrie, Peckinpah

4. Dave TenEyck, Smokin’ Jack

5. Bill Lee, Bullwinkle


1. Barbara Dolan, Chugs 54:57

2. Mary Walter, Clyde 59:05

3. Wendy Hartman, Mr. Ziffle

4. Sue Conroe, Oscar

5. Pam Cruse-Sollazo, Laredo

Fairplay, July 30

Short Course, 15 miles

1. Curtis Imrie, Peckinpah 2:13:12

2. Sue Conroe, Oscar 2:41:22

3. Wendy Hartman, Mr. Ziffle

Long Course, 29 miles

1. Hal Walter, Spike 4:42:00

2. Tom Sobal, Bullwinkle 4:43:49

3. Barbara Dolan, Chugs 5:37:08

4. Rob Pedretti, Samaritan

5. Mary Walter, Clyde

6. Steve Hart, Ringo

7. Clyde Archuleta, Rusty

8. Wayne Archuleta, Herbie

Leadville, August 6

Men, 22 miles

1. Tom Sobal, Bullwinkle 3:02

2. Hal Walter, Spike

3. Curtis Imrie, Peckinpah L. Democrat

4. Clyde Archuleta, Rusty 5. Steve Hart, Vern

6. Neil McGowan, Laredo 7. Pete Kendrick, Maasai 8. Leo Lashock 9. Jason Bruce

10. Bill Lee 11. Cole Chlouber

12. Ken Chlouber

Last Ass up the Avenue, Scott Hirst 6:58:16

Women, 15 miles

1. Barbara Dolan, Chugs 1:59

2. Mary Walter, Billie

3. Sue Conroe, Oscar L. Democrat

4. Diane Ridgway, Nester 5. Rose Norby, Opal

6. Renee Smith 7. Errin Smith

Buena Vista, Aug. 12, 12 miles


1. Barbara Dolan, Chugs 1:23:49

2. Mary Walter, Clyde 1:39:53

3. Sue Conroe, Oscar 1:54:58

4. Melissa Jane Clarkson, Horace 2:33:51

5. Rose Norby, Opal 2:34:20


1. Tom Sobal, Bullwinkle 1:16:21

2. Rob Pedretti, Peckinpah 1:19:10

3. Hal Walter, Spike 1:22:04

4. Dave TenEyck, Smokin’ Jack 1:39:44

5. Clyde Archuleta, Herbie

6. Bill Lee, 911

The Platoro Race was not held.