Pinedale Online!

Pinedale on the Web!
Pinedale, Wyoming

Home | Calendar of Events | Photo Gallery | Local Businesses |

Pinedale Online > News > May 2018 > Donkey Basketball in Pinedale

The Donkey, Doc and Evelyn. Photo by Terry Allen.
The Donkey, Doc and Evelyn
Donkeys have a mind of their own, and this one likes the photographer.

Between the Ears. Photo by Terry Allen.
Between the Ears

Passing to the Twins. Photo by Terry Allen.
Passing to the Twins

Cheek to Cheek with Urie. Photo by Terry Allen.
Cheek to Cheek with Urie

Boot Heel Shoes. Photo by Terry Allen.
Boot Heel Shoes

Rolling it Up His Leg. Photo by Terry Allen.
Rolling it Up His Leg
Holding donkey with other hand.

Magen Contemplates Stripping the Ball from Scott. Photo by Terry Allen.
Magen Contemplates Stripping the Ball from Scott

Scott Makes the Shot. Photo by Terry Allen.
Scott Makes the Shot

Popcorn Girls. Photo by Terry Allen.
Popcorn Girls
Donkey Basketball in Pinedale
by Terry Allen
May 8, 2018

Pinedale High School hosted a fun night of Donkey Basketball on Monday evening, May 7th in the Wrangler gym. The event raised money for the National Honor Society scholarship.

Jeff Pittsinger is a Donkey Wrangler from Oregon. I asked him what town and he said central Oregon. His last stop on the Donkey Basketball tour was in Ammon, Idaho. After he leaves Pinedale, he goes to Hulett, Wyoming. There are 80 games on the circuit before he gets to go back home to get his nails done. Thatís what his wife does for a living; and he wouldnít answer me when I asked, so Iím taking that as a yes. I just know if I had been hauling 9 donkeyís around the country for three months, Iíd just want to sit down and have a beer and if she wanted to do my nails, Iíd let her.

The average donkey lives to 27 years of age. Some live to be 40 if their genetics are good, they are well cared for and they donít live in grizzly country. Jeffís donkeys were all between the age of 6 and 18, so Iím going to estimate they were about 18 to 45 in human years.

As I was looking at the donkeys, I started to think a couple of them looked a lot like burros. Jeff said there isnít much difference and I waited for him to give a bigger answer but he didnít. Jeff has been a Donkey Wrangler for 8 years, so I wondered if the donkeys have rubbed off on him and that is why he was reluctant to say much. You know, donkeys having a reputation for being stubborn and all.

But then he started to talk more and told me all kinds of stuff. The donkey shoes are made out of boot heels, and they donít get saddled up, they just wear bareback pads, and they have the reins gathered under the chin and donít use a bit of any kind.

Finally all the riders showed up and Jeff gave them the rules of donkey basketball and donkey handling. The only part I remember is "donít pull on the tails and ears and donít beat themÖjust expect them not to cooperateÖbecause thatís just part of the fun," he said.

Doc Sare was a rider in a colorful shirt and he said his daughter Evelyn had dressed him for the event. Urie was doing a cheek to cheek cuddle with a donkey and a burro and she said it was her first time to meet donkeys.

Finally Jeff said: "Okay everybody, grab whatever donkey you want." There was a rush for donkeys as if they had all been picking out their favorites the whole time.

The game: Teacher teams against student teams, and it mostly consisted of slow walking donkeys following each other no matter what the riders wanted. The donkeys did know to go up and down the court, but I think it was only because there were doors at both ends and they were trying to make their get-away. Anyway, as they passed from end to end, riders tried to throw the ball in the basket as the donkeys headed for the doors. Quite often balls went out of bounds and riders had to dismount and chase the ball. Chase isnít the right word. Try to drag a donkey with all your mightÖis the correct phrase. Seriously, the riders pulled so hard they were almost horizontal to the floor. The rule is, you can't let go of the donkey.

There was a lot of slipping and falling because of this and thatís when I noticed the riders wore all kinds of shoes and boots on their feet. No city school would ever let anyone on a court floor like we do and I think thatís a nice thing. In fact, I think that question should be on all job applications for administrators and teachers, that way nobody will ever change the rules. Iíve been to courts in big cities and they make you walk around in socks, and at the end of games you have to sort thru 1000 shoes to find your own.

Well, the teachers won the Pinedale World Championship of Donkey Basketball and Jeff said he was impressed with all the good riders and shooters we had; and he really liked how all the kids came out to pet the donkeys at every break and halftime.

I asked Jeff if he knew where the food called Burritos came from and he didnít answer me.

Thank you Dawn Ballou at Pinedale Online for sponsoring this story. I always wanted to see a donkey basketball game.

Terry Allen:

Throw me the Ball. Photo by Terry Allen.
Throw me the Ball

Okay, Catch. Photo by Terry Allen.
Okay, Catch

The Nelson's and Jeff the Ref. Photo by Terry Allen.
The Nelson's and Jeff the Ref

Alex and the Herd. Photo by Terry Allen.
Alex and the Herd

The Money. Photo by Terry Allen.
The Money

Half-Time Means Donkey Petting Time. Photo by Terry Allen.
Half-Time Means Donkey Petting Time

Clean up Involved. Photo by Terry Allen.
Clean up Involved

It Ain't Easy. Photo by Terry Allen.
It Ain't Easy

Trick Shot. Photo by Terry Allen.
Trick Shot

Makes it. Photo by Terry Allen.
Makes it

Getting Water After the Game. Photo by Terry Allen.
Getting Water After the Game

Yep, Everyone Notices. Photo by Terry Allen.
Yep, Everyone Notices
Pinedale Online > News > May 2018 > Donkey Basketball in Pinedale

Pinedale Online!
Pinedale Online! PO Box 2250, Pinedale, WY 82941
Phone: (307) 360-7689 , Fax: (307) 367-2864

Office Outlet in Pinedale, 43 S. Sublette

Copyright © 2018 Pinedale Online. All rights reserved.
Pictures and content cannot be used in whole or part without permission.