Buttercup, a 3-year old mini burro, is the triple crown winner of the ‘Fairplay, Leadville, Buena Vista Burro Races,’ which took place in Buena Vista on Sunday, Aug. 11 as part of the Gold Rush Days festivities.  Her owner, Leadville resident Marvin Sandoval, said that this is Buttercup’s first year of racing, and she has completed four races so far this summer.

Marvin Sandoval and Buttercup on the home stretch after passing the halfway point. (Photo by Sandy Hobbs)

According to the American Trail Running Association website, the burro race, is, “Approximately 13 miles consisting of pavement, bridges, single track and jeep road. Starting at Colorado and East Main heading west on East Main Street, around the baseball fields, over the Arkansas River, and up the Whipple Trail to the Midland Railroad grade and around the “Gentleman’s Loop.” The finish line is on East Main Street near Colorado Ave.”

Buttercup’s entry into racing started with her first race in Creede, where another burro who was supposed to run had to be pulled from the races. Buttercup stepped in to race at the last minute.

Sandoval and his wife, Lisa own four burros.  He competes in many mountain races as a biker and a runner, most recently in a 100-mile bike race. Immediately following the burro event, Sandoval headed back to Leadville for a 10k race.