Classic Photos: Grand Junction Colorado’s Coveted Donkey Races of 1952
This Grand Junction, Colorado event may have very well been the sport of kings. Take a trip back to June of 1952 with these Robert Grant Images of Grand Junction's donkey races.
Apparently, donkey races, or perhaps more accurately, burro races, used to be a thing in Grand Junction. The event is still around. In this case, though, we're looking at images from past tournaments of champions.
Do People Really Race Burros?
According to The Gazette, the proper designation is "state summer heritage sport." That is, at least, according to legislation from 2012. In addition, it looks as though only Colorado has this particular piece of legislation.
Does This Still Happen In Colorado?
You betcha. As a matter of fact, the Naturita Colorado Inaugural Pack Burro Race is coming up on Saturday, May 20, 2023.
Grand Junction's Donkey Races of June 1952
Each of the images in the gallery below was lifted from negatives. Aside from minor cropping, they have not been altered. Unfortunately, aside from the location of "fairgrounds" and the date of "June 1952," Bob Grant did not provide any other information with the negatives.
As I Mentioned Yesterday...
The photographer responsible for these photos, Robert Grant, passed away in November 2000. Following his death, his son-in-law, Arlie Jordan, began the process of finding, sorting, digitizing, and archiving Grant's photos. When Arlie passed away in 2019, I took over the job.
After close to four years, I've hardly put a dent in this massive project. At the rate I'm going, I'm going to be about a billion and six years old by the time this project is completed. With that, I recently made the decision to hand over all of Bob Grant's personal prints, negatives, and some of his photography equipment to the Museum of the West. Hundreds of prints have already been delivered, and the digitizing process is well underway.
Coming up in 2024, keep your eyes open for a Robert Grant exhibit at the Museum of the West. The project has already started, but the curator at the museum assured me it will be at least 2024 before the exhibit is ready.