Hey, Spike! finds a native always in the saddle | SummitDaily.com

Hey, Spike! finds a native always in the saddle

Colorado native Deb Burney.
Miles F. Porter IV / Special to the Daily |

Native Coloradan Deb Burney just stays in the saddle — be it a road bicycle or her quarter horse.

Born in Pueblo, she moved to Rye in the Greenhorn Valley at age 2, and stayed there until middle school, graduating from East High School in Pueblo.

In 1980 she relocated to Leadville’s Colorado Mountain College’s Timberline Campus for more schooling as a photography major until 1982.

She then slipped over to Summit County, where she’s spent 22 years on and off.

Deb has worked the Copper Mountain Resort horse stable operations with Willard Foreman, driving draft horse teams and being a wrangler; she has helped out at area ranches, labored in big-time construction, and has even done some modeling, featuring her authentic western beauty — blonde hair and always-on cowgirl hat.

“I worked with Willard at Copper driving teams for sleighs for years, then did trail rides on the Colorado Trail, and even out in Utah’s Bryce Canyon and Monument Valley,” she says.

Over in the Yampa Valley, Deb worked for about three years on Hayden’s Elkhead Ranch, not far from Steamboat Springs.

While in the Steamboat Springs area, Deb was chosen to star in a resort promotion video, “Steamboat — Still Western, Still Proud,” that was published on YouTube.com in March 2012.

“Deb shows us how the western heritage is still alive and a proud part of life here in the Yampa Valley. Thanks, Elkhead Ranch,” reads the tagline.

She proudly notes her western wardrobe get-up for the galloping horses-shoot, hat and duster, were hers, as were the horse and dog.

“I own one horse, an 11-year-old blue roan quarter horse, aptly named ‘Blue,’ and a border collie, Pip, who is 5,” she says.

She also owns a pickup truck and horse trailer.

Not long ago, the Meeker area drew her west where she worked on the Pioneers Medical Center project for Haselden Construction that wrapped up recently, prompting her return to Summit County, looking for ranch work again someday.

“I came back to Summit to be with friends and more work,” Deb explains, adding that her mom Marcia and brother Bruce still live in Pueblo.

Other “rides” in her personal stable are a Cannondale road bike and a Specialized mountain bike. Deb also is a fly-fisher and loves it.

As a testament to her strong outdoor spirit and conditioning, the other day Deb biked from the Mount Powell Ranch, near Heeney, to the top of Vail Pass and back, a distance of 74 miles, in about five hours.


Liz McManis of Frisco’s River Townhomes, who’s putting up a valiant battle against multiple sclerosis (MS), asked Spike! to give a shout-out of thanks to a bunch of folks who helped make Hike MS so successful — “especially the dear people who launched and supported team Friends of Liz.”

In late July many locals hiked the trails of Keystone to help fund a cure and aid those suffering with multiple sclerosis. The Friends of Liz raised $1,200.

The Friends of Liz hikers, volunteers and contributors included organizer Bonni Stenerson, Dick Stenerson, Scott Holzer, Butterhorn Bakery’s Barry Abromowitz, Deborah Casaletta, Tia Netz, Terri Golden, Niki McManis, Sherry Gaede, Tonda McAuthur, Natalie Weist, Rachel Gaede, Jonny Greco of Greco’s Pastaria; Scott Pohlman of Prost German Beer Garden; Ryan Weber, Weber Enterprises; Bill McCall, Farmers Insurance’s Doug Berg; Pat Aden, Emily and Fritz Baumgartner, Mary Margaret Motsinger, Leah Baxter, Brenda Cole, John McManus, Marty and Dave Sheets, Tami Clark, Carrie Manns, Deb and Larry Sullivan, and Gary Weist.

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former hardrock miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to milesfporteriv@aol.com

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