When California legislators advanced a bill a few months back to make surfing the state’s official sport, I started looking into the official state sports of the rest of the union. A couple are strange. Maryland’s is jousting, for example.

But Colorado has by fat the best: pack burro racing.

This is indigenous to Colorado and is a bit of a nod to the state’s mining past when prospectors would lead burros laden with supplies through mountain passes. It works like this: there’s a prescribed course that runners must navigate while leading a burro on a rope. The runner may not, at any point, no matter how tempted they are, ride the burro. They can carry the burro. They can drag the burro. They can push the burro. But the burro may not be ridden.

The below video is a really nice little history of the nation’s strangest and most charming state sport.

ADVERTISEMENT