My wild burro story: Karin Usko and Bracelet Margarita

By Karin Usko

Bracelet Margarita is my Johnny, NV burro. You may know the story; she earned her name by getting her foot caught in a pipe and somehow made it to someone's back yard. They called the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Ridgecrest Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in California, to let them know there was a hurt donkey in their backyard. The BLM retrieved her and named her Bracelet. They healed her wounds and kept her until I took her as a Trainer Incentive Program project for an adoption event at the 2018 Bishop Mule Days. Yeah, we ended up adopting her ourselves as she was always a super kind donkey. Just like Eeore.

Just three days before Bishop's event we were still convinced she was going to be adopted out to some lucky home. I decided to take her on a 4-mile walk -- and we jogged. She did so great that I told my husband, "this is a premium donkey, she will be a great and docile pack burro runner!" Well, she went to the adoption event in Bishop and then came home with us!

By the end of July 2018, she made it to the Fairplay, Colorado pack burro race with me and her brand-new pack saddle. We signed up for the 15-mile run and I was convinced we would do great. CNN was even there covering the race, it was great! So about 1/4 mile into the race, Bracie didn’t want to go any more. At this point, her friends/herd buddies were way ahead of us and she just lost her momentum!   After much encouragement, cajoling, pushing and pulling it became evident we were not going to be able to continue the race past the two-mile Aid Station. I decided to quit (in our community it is called a DNF for did not finish and there is NO PRIDE IN THAT!).

I started up a conversation with someone behind me struggling with her pack – she had also decided to quit. At that point, we decided to go off-course and wound up walking and exploring about eight miles together – I gained a new trail friend and it was great!

So, that is how sweet Bracie earned her title "my DNF donkey". Running is not her thing, but loving is --  she is a great trail donkey and bomb proof obstacle buddy. She attends the Christmas Service at a local church with Mary, visits the residents at the Assisted Living Facility and shops at the Farmer’s Market with us.  She is our Bracie... the DNF donkey.

OH and YES! We made it to the CNN feature “annual running of the… burros?”

Karin Usko and burro Bracelet compete in burro pack race in AZ
Karin Usko and burro "Bracelet" complete burro pack race in Arizona


Karin Usko and Bracelet compete in burro pack race
Karin Usko and burro "Bracelet" compete in burro pack race in Fairplay, Colorado
burro Bracelet clears a stream while on the trail
"Bracelet" clears a stream while on the trail
Karin Usko and burro Margarita in pasture
Karin Usko pauses for a moment with burro "Bracelet" in pasture