Minturn girls handle Democratic donkeys |

Minturn girls handle Democratic donkeys

Matt TerrellVail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY Heddie Hall and Valentina Virion havent been following the presidential primaries and caucuses, but theyre proud to have a pair of Democratic donkeys in the family.

Hall and Virion, students at Minturn Middle School, are the proud handlers of Further and Massai, two donkeys who could quite possibly be the official mascot for the Democratic National Convention in Denver this summer. At the National Western Stock show in Denver this past weekend, Further and Massai were awarded first and second runners up, respectively, at a statewide contest to find the perfect donkey to represent the Democratic Party. The donkeys will be alternates in case the winner, a donkey named Mordecai from a farm in Fairplay, cant make it. Further and Massais owner is Curtis Imrie, who lives in Buena Vista.Hall and Virion really arent interested in the political aspects of the whole brouhaha. They dont have any favorite candidates and arent quite sure who their parents support. Theyre just interested in working with animals.The donkey, they say, has that sad looking face and a great personality. They are, as cartoons and stereotypes suggest, a little stubborn and sometimes tough to handle.Theyre just fun to be around, Virion said.Really, all that reluctance is just cautiousness, said Michelle Hall, Heddies mother. The donkey always has a reason for being reluctant or stubborn, and its the job of a handler to calm it down and reassure it things will be OK.So what is the Democratic National Convention looking for in a donkey? Cuteness, they say. It takes a cute donkey to be a democratic mascot.

Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or

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