Take Pioneertown, near Yucca Valley, a very small community, with stores and businesses one can count on one hand. It has its own newspaper; “Jackass Mail.” Type is hand set. The four column five page paper is small but July 1 weekend 500 persons bought every single copy at 15 cents.
The noon stop of the burrow wranglers will be the Copper Room at the Yucca Valley airport where lunch will be served by the Yucca Valley Elks Club. Lucerne Valley, the first night’s stop, will roll out the red carpet for wranglers and visitors.
AUGUST 5 is the date and the photo shows some of the exciting action that will go with the starting of some 60 to 80 wild burros from Pioneertown’s “Golden Empire Corral” on the long trek from Pioneertown to Big Bear. It is Pioneertown’s first National Burro Derby Days, held in conjunction with Big Bear’s Old Miner Days, an annual event. The name “wild burro” is no misnomer. These burros are captured on the Nevada deserts and are really wild! Early the morning of August 5, the burros will be saddled and leave Pioneertown for Yucca Valley with a lunch stop, then on to Lander and Lucerne Valley for an over night stop, reaching Big Bear the evening of the 7th. The burros will be “housed” and cared for at the Pioneertown Golden Empire Corral from July 31st., to be groomed for the race.
Wranglers and ropers are needed for the 12th running of the National Burro Derby, to be off and running Aug. 5, at Pioneertown.
Shown getting in shape for the Aug. 5 start of the Pioneertown to Big Bear Burro Derby is Lio Pedrezzano of Desert Hot Springs, a veteran mule pusher in these events. The burros and their drivers leave Pioneertown Aug. 5 with stops scheduled at Yucca Valley, Landers and Lucerne Valley before reaching Big Bear Aug. 7. The wrangler must lead, push and shove the obstreperous burro over much of the rugged terrain.
Sixty burros, which will be competing in the 12 annual National Burro Derby starting Aug.5, were inspected here Tuesday by officials of the Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Southern California Humane Society.
Modern communication systems will take a back seat to the carrier pigeon this week during the twelfth annual national wild burro race, to be held Thursday, Friday, and Saturday between Pioneertown and Big Bear Lake, a distance of some 40 miles.
It will be “Big Bear Lake Or Bust’ for 95 wild burros and their intrepid wranglers who line up here on the starting line at 7 a.m. today and begin their three-day 40-mile 12th Annual National Burro Derby. Finish line is at the Elks Club at Big Bear Lake.
Wrangler Richard Kelly, El Monte, formerly of Big Bear, paced his burro to a first-day win yesterday in 2 hours, 55 minutes to take the opener in the three-day, 12th annual burro derby from Pioneertown to Big Bear Lake.
Winners in what is probably the zaniest race in the country – the National Burro Derby – were confirmed yesterday. The three day Derby included crossing both high desert and mountain trails, and a 48-mile truck ride.