Victorville Man First Winners Confirm in National Burro Derby

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.

The Derby started in Pioneertown and bucked and pitched its way across the finish line at the Elks Lodge in Big Bear Lake Village.

First place winner was the burro wrangled by Joe Spearman, Victorville, sponsored by Climate Control. Winning time was 7 hours, 54 minutes, 40 seconds. Spearman also won last year’s race.

Rick Kelly, Big Bear Lake, took second place for DeRoque Buick of San Bernadino in 8 hours, 32 minutes, 50 seconds.

Third place was awarded to Brook Smith, Long Beach, sponsored by the Pine Cone Bar in Big Bear Lake Village, and The Hitching Rack of Fawnskin, Smith brought his burro in with a time of 8 hours, 43 minutes, 55 seconds.

Fourth place went to the Lions Club of Beatty, Nev. Dick Stone covered the distance in 9 hours, 33 minutes, 21 seconds.

Three girls signed on as wranglers, but Sherry Gridey was the only one to finish.

The 1965 Derby was supervised by members of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Of 84 entries, 75 finished the race.

Aug. 11, 1965 - The San Bernardino County Sun article clipping