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BRAY Sonoita Stargazer Burro Run

Sat March 30, 2024 Sonoita, AZ 85637 US Directions


BRAY Sonoita Stargazer (~4mi)

10:30AM MST - 2:00PM MST
Open to ages 14 - 99.


31.773385781231717, -110.65833086014167 (Approximate. Camp coordinates will be given in the pre-race email)
Sonoita, AZ US 85637


Runners must provide/arrange for their own burro. BRAY DOES NOT provide burros to participants. All burros attending the event (this includes any burros camping at Empire Ranch but not running), MUST have a current (within the last year) negative Coggins/EIA test in the current owner's name. No participants under the age of 14 will be allowed on the course. 

Do you long for a weekend out on the range, where the burros and jackalope play? Then join BRAY at the beautiful Empire Ranch in Sonoita for the second annual BRAY Sonoita Stargazer burro run! This historic cattle ranch and western heritage historical education center is now part of the picturesque Las Cienegas Natural Conservation area, offering beautiful trails through the rolling grasslands of southern Arizona.

Since this is one of our smallest races we decided to do thing's a bit differently: a no-frills race. You may have noticed this race is half the price of typical BRAY races, and that's because due to the small size of this event we will be using the entry fee to cover only insurance, permitting, and the typical five prizes (which will be smaller this year than past years.) Additionally, we will only be doing one distance, of approximately four miles. 

Weekend Schedule, Saturday March 30:

8:00-10:00 vet in and check in

10:10 mandatory pre race meeting 

10:30 race start. Please note: If all participants are present, vetted in, checked in, and ready to run, the start time could be moved up to as early as 10:00. 

The course is largely compact single track over rolling hills, but keep an eye out for the local fauna, whether it be a herd of range cattle, a pronghorn, or a chupacabra. There will be one distance, and approximately 3-4 mile loop starting and ending in close proximity to The Airstrip, where we will have trailer parking and camping available. 

Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers.

All finishers will receive a participation sticker. 

BRAY Burro (Donkey) Race Rules

Good sportsmanship is encouraged and will be rewarded. Please be kind, considerate and have a great time enjoying these wonderful animals and our open spaces. That is what the long-ear community is all about.

Team: one runner + one burro. To remain the same combination for the duration of the race.

Runner/racer/person/contestant: these terms are used interchangeably and are used to denote the human half of a team. 

The following rules apply to all participants and teams unless otherwise specified. 

Runners must keep their burros under control. Any team (runner AND/OR burro) that interferes with another team (runner AND/OR burro) may be disqualified.  “Interfering” can include, but is not strictly limited to: intentionally spooking another runner’s burro, colliding with another team, kicking or biting another team, cutting off or weaving directly in front of another team, using a length of rope to block/impede the progress of another team, or otherwise failing to control your animal and/or behaving in a way which is reasonably likely to impede the progress of another team or cause injury to any member, human or burro, of another team. Any team who leaves the course resulting in a collision or near-collision with spectators or bystanders who are not inside the confines of the course will be disqualified. 

Teams may receive assistance from other teams on course if assistance is requested. Teams may not receive assistance from spectators, participants who have already completed the race, non-participating family members, unentered herd mates stationed along the course, etc.

The runner is 100% responsible for the safe handling and welfare of the burro throughout the entire event. 

Runners must be 14 years old or older on the day of the race to participate.

The burro must be outfitted with a strap- (leather or synthetic) or rope-style halter. The runner may only use a single lead rope, attached to the halter of the burro, which does not exceed 15 feet in length, measured from the end of the rope to tip of the snap. The lead rope may only be connected to the halter tie ring, or tie loop in the case of a rope halter, and may not be affixed to the saddle or to any other part of the burro. Ropes are to be held in the runner's hands. Harnesses or other apparatuses used to tie or anchor the burro to the runner will not be allowed. Any runner who ties, anchors, or attaches themselves to a burro in any fashion beyond holding the rope in their hands will be immediately disqualified. The runner may lead, drive, or carry the burro. The contestant shall at no time progress except under their own power.

No intact jacks shall be permitted to race in a BRAY Burro Race. 

BRAY will have a completion of veterinary checks before every race for soundness and general health of the burro and after the race for soundness of the burro. A burro will be disqualified for unsoundness (before, during, or after the race).

A negative Equine Infectious Anemia/Coggins test is required for each burro to compete. Certificates must be dated within one year of the day of the race, and must have the current owner's name, and the address of the animal's current residence. Tests with blood drawn at a sale barn will not be considered valid.

Any contestant mistreating their animal will be disqualified. No needles, electric prods, narcotics, clubs, or whips may be used. Runners may use only vocal/audible cues, halter/lead rope pressure/guidance, food rewards, and/or physical movement to cue their burro. Additional apparatuses including, but not limited to flags, bags, noise makers, sorting sticks, rattle paddles, rattle cans, etc. are not permitted. Using fear-based techniques as a primary method of gaining forward movement is not permitted. 

Jack chains may be used only if used with a pressure-release technique. (A jack chain is a chain or strap which is used to apply pressure over the muzzle or under the chin) Any racer coming across the finish line with nose, eye, and/or chin injuries on the animal resulting from the jack chain will be disqualified. The jack chain is not permitted to be in the mouth of the burro. A race director may prohibit the use of a jack chain by a runner if they feel the chain is being misused. 

The race route must be followed. It will be marked by flags/tape, flour,  signs, volunteers, or aid stations. Do not cut the course, such as cutting across switchbacks. Any burro leaving the course must be returned to the course without shortening the distance of the course. Any runner becoming separated from their burro ( burro and runner are no longer racing as a connected team or unit) must return to the place they became separated before continuing the race. Failure to follow these rules will result in disqualification. 

During the race, teams must remain a unit from start to finish. No burro swapping. No assistants will be allowed to accompany any team. If the team becomes separated, the person must retrieve their burro then must return to the point where they became separated and proceed from that point to be considered for prizes and placing.

The winning team must cross the finish line as a unit. The person may be leading or following the burro but the burro's nose crossing the finish line first constitutes the winner. Both members of the team must cross the finish line as a connected unit for the course to be considered complete.Should a contestant be disqualified by a race official they may appeal their grievance to the BRAY Board. The decisions of the board will be final. If a contestant is disqualified due to burro injury or unsoundness, they may not finish the course nor contest the decision.

In the event of a tie, the prizes, if any, will be equally divided amongst the contestants involved.

Carrying and/or use of firearms will not be permitted.

Firearms, starter pistols, or firing blanks will not be permitted to begin a race. Races may be begun with a bell, buzzer, siren, countdown, or horn.

If a participant breaks the rules or attempts to bend the rules through a “loophole,” the decision regarding the appropriate course of action will be made by a board of critical thinkers and experts in the equine community (with specific attention given towards the sport of Burro Racing). Your actions are at their mercy.

Additional Information

Click here for Etiquette and Helpful Hints

BRAY STRONGLY recommends runners secure a burro partner before registering for an event. Refunds will not be issued on the basis of a participant's inability to locate a burro teammate in time for the event. To register your burro partner for the event, a participant must select "create a burro" to add your unique, password-protected burro by name. Once a runner has done so they may register under the burro's name as their "team". Runners will not be able to add a burro for which they do not have a password. If a runner needs to switch burros prior to the event, or needs to add their burro's name to their team, they may contact race management to do so.

As with all equine sports, for safety and sportsmanship’s sake, BRAY expects all handlers to have a level of competence in safely handling their animal throughout the event. Additionally BRAY expects a level of training be acheived with all participating animals prior to the event. If you are unable to handle and/or control your animal throughout the duration of the event, even after using tools such as starting at a walk at the back of the pack, and remaining in the proper relative location to control your animal (at their head with your rope shortened in your dominant hand) BRAY suggests utilizing the training links at 

The following is the definition of a “burro” and is to be used in selecting such. The word burro comes from the Spanish word meaning donkey. A donkey is defined as being an ass, of the species ‘Equus asinus’. They have chestnuts on the forelegs only, while other animals of the same genus of equus, such as mules or horses, have them on both the hind and forelegs. The tail has short hair, except on its lower portion , which has a brush. A registered veterinarian shall have the authority to disqualify any contestant and animal that does not match the above description, or whose animal is sick, doped (BRAY adheres to current United States Equestrian Federation [USEF] drug regulations), injured, unsound, or mistreated. The veterinarian will check the animal before and after the race. If necessary, the race committee can hold winning burros in a designated area for 30 minutes to allow for veterinarian checks.

Each entrant or their sponsor will pay a fee as determined by BRAY for each race. BRAY will have discretion as to how the entry fees will be used; The Entry fee must accompany the entry application and will not be refunded. 

It is strongly recommended that all participants carry at least one quart of water and food such as gels or an energy bar, and a small first aid kit for themselves and their burro. 

While it is a race, remember to slow down and enjoy the beauty of nature and time with your burro. Safety first, competition second.

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